JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - At this point last offseason, then-rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Day was the talk of the town for Jaguars fans. The fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame got off to a fast start, impressing coaches with his technique and motor.
He suffered a back injury during training camp and his rookie season never seemed to get back on track. Day played in all 16 games of his rookie year but he was rarely used. He only produced eight tackles and a sack during his initial NFL season.
Now entering his second training camp, Day is looking to show he is more than just a rotational defensive tackle. He wants to be a difference-maker on the defensive line.
"I'm trying to raise my game to another level," Day said Monday during an NFL PLAY 60 event at Englewood High School. "I feel like I started off strong with [organized team activities] as a rookie and then I kind of fell back because of the [back] injury, so now a healthy Sheldon Day trying to make my mark and put a mark in Jacksonville."
Day received a lot of hype as a rookie, but he feels even more in control this offseason.
"I would definitely say that I'm more comfortable and more confident in myself than last year," Day said.
Day received a variety of competition during the offseason program. With the Jaguars' constant shuffling of offensive linemen, Day played against several members of the interior line depth chart.
As a surprise to no one, Day listed a pair of veterans as his most impressive practice rivals.
"Definitely Patrick Omameh and then Brandon Linder," Day said. "Man, we definitely had a lot of good battles."
The competition will continue when Day returns to EverBank Field on Wednesday. The Jaguars' first training camp practice will take place on Thursday.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.