The Jaguars will begin their virtual offseason program on April 27th. The program will end four weeks from the start of the program.
This new predicament began due to the on-going coronavirus which causes the disease Covid-19. The NFL, and the majority of sports, have decided to shut down their on-site visits, workouts, and programs, forcing all players and non-essential personnel to leave the premises of their home stadium or worksite for the time being.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone addressed the media last week as part of the team’s pre-draft virtual press conference. During the press conference Marrone spoke about the way in which his team will be conducting the virtual offseason program, the time frame to begin such program starts on the 20th, however teams will have until the 27th to officially begin.
It should be noted that the offseason program is a completely voluntary program, thus no Jaguars, or NFL players, will be fined for missing any time.
Marrone and his team have already began preparations for the offseason program, and made sure to note how important it will be, especially considering the change at offensive coordinator.
“Offensively, there have been a lot of things that have changed, whether it’s terminology or different types of concepts. There have been some changes there,” said Marrone. “On defense, we’re looking to make some changes to help ourselves going into this next season.”
With second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II currently set to be the team’s starting quarterback entering the 2020-21 season, the Jaguars will need to use as much time as possible to get him familiar with all of the concepts and terminology Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will install.
The Jaguars will not be conducting their offseason program live, however, Marrone said. The team will instead upload their content to a cloud, similar to Dropbox, so players who are scattered all over the country, and even in different countries, can access it.
“We’ll send them things, workouts. If they want to use them, they can use them. If they’re doing their own, they can do their own. We’re in the process now of making sure that everybody has at least enough equipment to be able to work things out. We’re working on that, making sure we can send players the equipment that they need. Most of them have that equipment when you look at it.”
Due to the team being younger, this is a perfect opportunity for them to get back to some form of normal, getting right back in the classroom and honing in their craft as they prepare to play this season. Marrone mentioned players such as DJ Chark Jr., Jawaan Taylor, Josh Allen, and Minshew as players who fit the mold of the type of player he and general manager Dave Caldwell are looking for.
“We’re looking to bring people in that have that team concept, not a lot of drama. Really concentrating on being a good teammate and being able to put it out there on the field,” said Marrone. “Those are some things from a psychological standpoint that we’re looking to create. I think we brought in guys that we really believe are going to help us, but they’re also great teammates and guys in the locker room.”
One of the issues with the virtual offseason, however, is the team cannot form the sort of camaraderie which would essentially bring the team closer together.
“Those are the big challenges. The one good thing is going to be a bunch of young guys, going to be a bunch of hungry guys. That’s what we’re focusing on. That’s what I know we’re excited about.”