The Jacksonville Jaguars have gone on a run of successive practices in pads, in some brutal heat and humidity the past week and a half of 2018 training camp. Media from out of town who have visited camp of noted that it’s the toughest they’ve been to and how hard the team is working, which is by design.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone believes if you practice as hard as reasonably possible, the games, especially late, become easier.
“The only thing I get concerned about is if it is not what we want,” Marrone said when asked if he was afraid of players going too hard during training camp. “If we have THUD and someone is trying to tackle someone or someone falls down on the ground, obviously they do not want to do that or maybe there is a type of contact that you do not really want to have because it is a tag-off period. I think those are the things that I would be concerned about as people taking it too [far]. I would be concerned about safety issues, not how hard they are going. That is the point. We want them to go harder than they have ever gone before so this way, I know people say this all the time, what we are trying to do is make the games a lot easier than the practice. That is really where our goal is.”
In years past you could see things snowball for the Jaguars and could tell when a game was over. The teams, while not very talented, were also mentally weak. It seemed pretty easy to break them and just take over a game. Since Marrone has taken over however, he’s striven to flip that and make the Jaguars the team who are breaking down teams late.
It’s not really the physically demanding part of practice that’s the key, it’s the mental grind of doing it so many days in a row. It’s about when their body is telling them it’s had enough and mentally being able to over come it.
There were games last year where normally an old Jags team would break, but they were able to overcome it and steal some games they probably should have lost. So, it appears it’s working.
“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack said when asked if camp feels tougher than games. “That’s a big thing we did last year. That’s why I was so eager to get through camp. Not necessarily eager to get through it, but go through the grind of what camp is because then we get to the point that when we’re in games, it’s not necessarily easy, but as far as conditioning and just the pressure, it’s less strenuous. He definitely has a plan, and I fully believe in it.”
The veterans on the Jaguars have experienced it work, which I believe is a big part why you don’t hear any rumblings about how hard practice has been this season as opposed to last year. Plus, everything seems to be going well so there’s not as much to grumble about. The fact that some of the team leaders experienced the grueling camp work out in the long run is a huge bonus, as they can convey to the new players it works and they’re all bought in.
Once again, the Jaguars should be the team breaking the other team’s will late in games in 2018.