Doug Marrone was fired up during his first training camp press conference as Jaguars head coach.
The former offensive line coach fielded several questions pertaining to the next few weeks. He also revealed several new nuggets regarding the team's plans moving forward.
Winning always comes first
Marrone and football executive Tom Coughlin are all about winning. It seems like there has already been more talk about winning in the last six months at EverBank Field than there has been in the previous two offseasons put together.
“I want to make sure everyone understands. I think clear communication is very important. I think when you are in position of leadership and you are talking to the group that you need to communicate clearly. I don’t want to mix messages that ‘Hey this is this.’ If I start I started off with something else, meaning anything else. Then why are we here? For me it’s important to say this is what it’s about. That has to be the first meeting. When we talk about that I want to make sure, so no one goes crazy about this. We are truly talking about winning the moment. We are talking about, ‘Hey I have come in here. [Senior Director of Public Relations] Tad [Dickman] gives me about ten pieces of paper of questions of that you could potentially ask.’ Which I don’t really have time to go through. You understand my point? My point is to come in here enthusiastically, sit with you guys, welcome you guys back. Give you the best I can from myself and walk out of here and say, ‘I felt like I gave my best and I won this situation.’ Now I’m about to leave here and I’m about to do something else and I feel the same way. I think that type of competitive situation is what we want to – I want to make sure our players understand. If we are trying to win in the weight room, we are trying to win nutritionally, we are trying in what we are doing. Whether you want to win or winning is the most important thing for you – that’s great. Or it could be the other way. Maybe you just hate losing. Maybe you just hate losing. Whatever inspires you to do it, you have to do those things. Make no mistake about it, there is a ton of work to do to put yourself in the position to win on Sundays. You have to put multiple practices, multiple days, multiple competitive issues together to give yourself an opportunity of what we want to do as a team. I think it’s the first message because to me it is the most important message.”
Marrone wants to see results from Blake Bortles
The quarterback job is the most important position in sports. Marrone wants to see his quarterback deliver on his potential sooner rather than later.
Bortles spent most of his summer break in California working on his fundamentals. Marrone hopes those workouts have helped his overall game.
“I think of him, just like everyone else, I want to see him go out there and I want to start seeing results. I want to see him go out there and I want to see him throw the ball well. I want to see him take control. I want to see him show confidence. I want to do that with every player. To me, I don’t usually treat [the quarterbacks] much differently than I do everyone else. If he makes a mistake, just like if our right tackle made a mistake and it’s upsetting, I’m going to say something.”
Marrone will take his time with the offensive line
Marrone wants to make sure he allows the offensive line to grow as a unit. He is excited to see the unit in the early stages of training camp, but the padded and joint practices will determine quite a bit.
"Honestly, what I’m really looking forward to is the acclimation period is two days. Then we have pads the one day. Then we are off on Sunday. Then we come back and we have five straight days. To me we should have a very good feel where we are prior to going up to practice against New England. I think there may be a couple things here or there that the New England practices may separate for us, but I think we should have a good feel. If everyone is participating and everyone is available then we will have a good feel of where we are there, as far as what the positions are or at that point what the best five is – we should definitely know. As far as the best five at that moment.”
Cam Robinson is still a left tackle
Despite the presence of veteran Branden Albert, the Jaguars still have second-round pick Cam Robinson battling at left tackle. He may eventually line up elsewhere, but for now, that's where the team wants him.
“Right now we have him at left tackle," Marrone said. "We haven’t talked about it. We have had major discussions of how do we want to get to know what the best five are. We haven’t discussed anything else except left tackle.”
Marrone is never content on player conditioning
The Jaguars' head coach has no interest in settling, especially when it comes to player conditioning. He wants his players to take on that same mentality.
“It’s very difficult for me. You preach, you preach, you preach ‘come back in shape, come back in shape, come back in shape.’ For me I will always want more. I’m always going to want more from the team because the better shape they come in, the better they can be coming in and then obviously our workload can start off at a higher standpoint as we build it up. That has been the problem. I have addressed it before with teams that haven’t done well. They take these phases, they come back and they feel that when they are in the building they will build it up and get ready to go. I think the good teams start out at higher beginning. For us, I think the first couple days I’ll have a good feel of where we are, how that transitions over to the field. Does everyone visibly look like they were in shape and good? Visibly, yes. But again, it still comes down to the same thing about seeing them on the field with footballs to say whether they are in football shape or not.”
More News and Notes
- The Jaguars had full attendance on Wednesday. That means 87 players will be available for the first training camp practice on Thursday.
Marrone said free safety Tashaun Gipson, who missed all of the offseason program with an undisclosed injury, will be able to practice. Marrone plans to adjust the workload for running back T.J. Yeldon, who is also working his way back from an ankle injury.
- Cornerbacks Aaron Colvin and Jalen Ramsey remain on the physically unable to perform list. Joining them is rookie fullback Marquez Williams, who may be close to a return. Marrone sounded optimistic when asked about how Williams' absence will impact the fullback competition.
“It’s always difficult, especially much more difficult for the younger players," Marrone said. "We’ll see today. He just went through his running test, so we’ll see where he is afterward and we’ll make a decision whether to take him off or not.”
- Marrone said Brandon Linder will start at center in the early portion of training camp. He was complimentary of the lineman, who just signed a record extension with the franchise on Tuesday.
“I think Brandon has been a good player for us, but I think in the same sense that when a player has been rewarded for performance – we are actually looking for the challenge of the results," Marrone said. "Meaning that Brandon is a good football player. We want to reward our good football players, but we want to reward ourselves and our fans by winning football games. That’s the next challenge. Players have to understand that comes with a responsibility. Obviously it’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport. The next challenge for Brandon is how his security being here comes into moving forward with us winning football games.”
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.