Sam's Commentary

May 17, 2014 Commentary Archive

Jaguars Rookie Camp: A Look At The Future

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted May 17, 2014 ===========================================================================

It didn't take long for Jaguars fans to get excited about the draft class of 2014. At the first rookie mini-camp at the practice fields, more than 2,000 showed up to see Blake Bortles, Marqis Lee and the other 7 draft picks take the field for the first time as professionals and for the first practice as members of the Jaguars organization.

"It's my job to come out here and work my tail off and compete," Blake Bortles said in front of a large media contingent after practice. Two national cable networks, a couple of statewide cable operations, three Orlando TV stations and beat writers from all over the southeast were an addition to the normal Jacksonville sports media in attendance.

Bortles looks like a quarterback. He has a quarterback's presence. He walks like one, he talks like one, he acts like one.

"Its great having the same quarterback in there," 7th round pick Storm Johnson told us in front of his locker. "Different cadence but the same voice. It was great to take the ball from him, catch passes from him. He knows what he's doing in the huddle," Johnson explained about his teammate from UCF.

While he has all of the attributes, Bortles does look like a raw version of what he and the Jaguars hope he becomes. He'll know the offense better each day. He'll become more familiar with the Jaguars personnel and he'll get physically stronger. Some passes today were blown around by the wind; others came out of his hand singing.

Lee looks to be that explosive "stretch the field" receiver the Jaguars have been lacking since Jimmy Smith. He's exceptionally fast and quick and has an upbeat personality that his teammates are drawn to.

"Marqis is always talking, always smiling," Gus Bradley told us on the field after practice. "Allen (Robinson) is a little different, a little more straight focused but both good." Robinson does have that big body coaches love to envision blocking out defensive backs downfield. He believes he has a lot of room for improvement, saying "You can always be a better route runner."

"Route running" has come a long way since the "Square in" and "post" or "fade" days of yore. Coaches are always looking for the smallest nuance to get receivers in and out of breaks, getting them into open spots. It's a combination of athletic talent, coaching and art. Robinson wants to use all three.

"You can always be a better route runner," the Penn State product said in the locker room. "I want to work on my technique and get better everyday.

Much like last year's draft class, this year's has a wide variety of personalities with different skill sets. But when you spend any time with these guys, you see the similarity in that one thread of their personality: they love to play.

Bradley says he wants players who want to compete, and he and GM Dave Caldwell obviously put heavy emphasis on that when it comes to selecting new players. There's no half-commitment on a Gus Bradley team. You're either buying in or you' moving out.

"I wanted them to get used to the tempo today," Bradley explained. "Some guys were surprised. I want them to know that 'this is how we practice' and what's expected of them. I liked what I saw today, running from one drill to another, the tempo out here. We'll get them all ready and caught up for our mini-camp. It was great."

You could see some of the players head spinning today during practice, trying to absorb all of the information thrown at them before they took the field. But you could also see the better, faster players Dave Caldwell talked about after this year's draft.

Where they go from here is up to them. But after day one, optimism rules.

Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

05-15-2014 - Jaguars "Sustainability" Seems Upward
05-12-2014 - Kaymer Wins Players: Wins Fans Too
05-08-2014 - The Players: First Round Update
05-07-2014 - Players Preview 2014
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Who Can Win?
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Will The Greens Be Up To Par?
05-05-2014 - Players 2014: Some Greens Still Closed
05-05-2014 - The Players : Wide Open
05-03-2014 - The Players Field Almost Set
05-03-2014 - Pre Draft Jaguars Ramblings
04-11-2014 - Jaguars Buzz is Real
04-04-2014 - Final Four Bigger in Big 'D'
03-28-2014 - Gators in Elite Eight: Want More
03-27-2014 - Gators vs. UCLA: Toughest Test Yet
03-26-2014 - Bradley Looking To Upgrade Team, Self
03-23-2014 - Gators Change Mindset, Beat Pitt
03-21-2014 - Gators "Survive and Advance"
03-20-2014 - Gators Ranking Doesn't Matter
03-19-2014 - Gators in Orlando For NCAA's
03-14-2014 - Jaguars Free Agency: Impressed, Not Surprised
03-12-2014 - Gabbert Gone
03-08-2014 - Gators Still "Chasing Greatness"
02-27-2014 - "Personal Foul" on the Dutch
02-22-2014 - NASCAR: Looking To The Past To Find The Future
02-13-2014 - Jax: An Events Town"
02-05-2014 - National Signing Day: "Mark Your Calendar!"
01-07-2014 - As Good As It Gets: FSU Wins National Championship
01-06-2014 - FSU vs. Team of Destiny
01-05-2014 - Fisher/Malzahn, FSU/Auburn Contrast in Style
01-05-2014 - FSU A Close-Knit Group
01-02-2014 - Jaguars Talking Vs. Doing:
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12-29-2013 - Decisions to Make: Jaguars Need A Lot
12-23-2013 - Meester's Day
12-22-2013 - Jaguars Don't Have Enough
12-20-2013 - Jaguars: Who Wants To Be Here?
12-19-2013 - Meeter Retires: The REAL Pride of the Jaguars
12-15-2013 - Jaguars: Three Forward One Back
12-06-2013 - Jaguars Beat Texans Again: Learning How to Win
12-01-2013 - Florida/FSU: Different Directions?
11-18-2013 - Jaguars 2nd Half: "Better But Not Good"
11-14-2013 - Locker Room Culture: Off Limits?
11-10-2013 - Jaguars Victory: A Lot More Than Just One Win
11-03-2013 - Do We Worry About Blackmon?
11-02-2013 - Florida/Georgia: It's Never Easy
10-27-2013 - Jaguars in London: Fun & Frustration:Equal Parts of Both
10-26-2013 - Jacksonville's on a Global Stage
10-25-2013 - Shad Khan "Living The Dream"
10-03-2013 - Jaguars Building for the "Distant" Future
09-30-2013 - Jaguars: Not Getting Better Soon
09-23-2013 - Jaguars Results Not Unexpected
09-17-2013 - Jaguars Ups and Downs
09-10-2013 - Not What They Were Expecting
09-07-2013 - Jaguars Give Reason For Hope
08-25-2013 - "Better and Improved": The Jaguars Buzzwords
08-21-2013 - Jaguars 2013: It's Not About Winning
08-12-2013 - Jaguars Assessment: Is "Not Terrible" Fair?
08-01-2013 - Jaguars Camp: No Surprises But Not Routine
07-26-2013 - Gus Bradley's First Camp: "Slow Down!"
07-20-2013 - Big Thinking Khan Style
06-20-2013 - Its Summer, It's Hot, No Kidding!
05-31-2013 - The Ever Expanding "Season"
05-15-2013 - The Players: One Of A Kind
05-01-2013 - Tiger At The Players
05-08-2013 - Jaguars Needs: Everything
04-03-2013 - Golf in North Florida: It is & isn't all about The Players
01-30-2013 - Players Win Games

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