On Friday afternoon I had the chance to attend the Jaguars Rookie Mini Camp at the Florida Blue Practice fields. The crowd, while not as large as the one that showed up on Saturday, it was a pretty good size and very enthusiastic.
The team, which consisted of rookies drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, a hand full of rookie undrafted free agents and around 26 work out players, took the field just before 1 pm.
After some preliminary group workouts and the team stretching exercises the team started with group drills. From my vantage point I was watching the receivers work out with the two quarterbacks at the camp Blake Bortles (#5) drafted at number 3 in the first round and Stephen Morris (#6) signed as an undrafted free agent.
In the wide receivers corp both Marquise Lee and Allen Robinson stood out at the camp but what struck me the most was the coaching that wide receiver coach Jerry Sullivan was giving the two rookie wide outs. After every route he would stop them and give them tips and advice. He would demonstrate with his body how he wanted them to perform the breaks in their routes.
Running back Storm Johnson looked sharp at camp as well. He was quick and looked sharp in his footwork. He caught well out of the backfield. Clearly the talent level of those around him wasn’t as high, but he demonstrated his skill level well in the drills.
There were drops and miscues as one would expect from a first practice with rookies. There were over throws and under throws from the QBs. But over all the new rookies looked very promising and it was a enjoyable afternoon in the bright Florida sunshine and the crowd was excited to see the new guys. Over all there is a high level of optimism that this team is finally moving in the right direction again after more than 5 years since their last winning season.