Jaguars Recap, OTA 5: Bouye gets back to work, Linder seeing a lot of work at guard

Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye discusses his progress in the secondary

The Jaguars' starting cornerback tandem was reunited on Thursday.

Big free agent addition, cornerback A.J. Bouye, returned to the practice field after missing the first four sessions of organized team activities.

Bouye signed a five-year, $67.5 million deal with the Jaguars in March.

An undisclosed injury kept him out of practice, but he was able to take part in drills in his return to the field.

"I feel great," Bouye said. "It's just making sure my feet are right and I felt like - for the most part - I was on top of all of the routes, so I'm going to watch it on film and see what I need to work on. I know Jalen [Ramsey] will tell me to just study him, so I'm very excited to watch film."

Bouye and Ramsey are expected to form one of the top cornerback tandems in the league this season. With his return to practice, Bouye is heavily focused on taking the ball away from the offense.

"Just get better as far as technique-wise and just causing turnovers as an individual, but even from the [defensive backs'] standpoint and defense's standpoint, because when you go in, when you're in OTAs and minicamp and doing that, you have something to study going into camp," Bouye said.

Bouye's absence has allowed for journeymen like Doran Grant and Josh Johnson to receive extra playing time in practice. Starting nickel cornerback Aaron Colvin remains sidelined.

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For the fifth session of OTAs, Colvin was joined by wide receiver Dede Westbrook, running back T.J. Yeldon, cornerback Tyler Patmon, tight ends Neal Sterling and Marcedes Lewis and starting safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church.

Lewis, the team's projected starting tight end, was a new addition to the sideline crew.

Defensive tackle Stefan Charles missed his second-straight practice, but he was at EverBank Field.

Defensive end Calais Campbell and safety James Sample also missed practice due to personal reasons.

Linder spending time at guard

Last year's starting center Brandon Linder may be transitioning back to guard.

The former third-round pick spent his first two seasons at right guard before making the move to center last season. Linder is considered one of the best linemen on the team, but right now he doesn't have a settled position.

"I've been taking some center snaps in drills and before practice," Linder said. "But I've been mostly [at] guard."

Linder has started 18 games at guard and 14 games at center during his career. That's a pretty even mark for both positions.

The third-year player is part of Head Coach Doug Marrone's shuffling of offense linemen this offseason. He could remain at guard in the long run or solidify his standing as the starting center.

He doesn't know what position he will play in Week 1.

No matter his position, Linder isn't worried about being in the final year of his contract. He is due for an extension, but that hasn't been at the top of his priority list this offseason.

"I don't really listen to all of that, I'm just on the field and what I do on the field will hopefully speak for that," Linder said of his contract uncertainty heading into the season.

Marrone mentioned Luke Bowanko and Tyler Shatley as potential replacements at center in May.

More News and Notes

- The Jaguars took part in a tug-of-war tournament this week. Linder said his group won on the offense and they will face the defensive winners on Friday. However, there are some discrepancies as to who won the rope battle on defense.

"It was fun," Linder said. "Good team bonding."

- Fifth-round linebacker Blair Brown is looking to make his mark as a rookie. It appears his goals will mostly be set on special teams.

"As of right now, I'm working on everything, just trying to get better at everything," Brown said after practice. "I'm talking to all of the older guys, trying to get my position down as best as I can, but a lot of what's going to happen this year I feel like is going to be special teams and I feel like I'll play a good role on our special teams."

- The Jaguars' sixth OTAs practice will take place on Friday and the entire session will be viewed by media. The media is allowed to watch the three Friday practices in their entirety during this stage of the offseason program.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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