The Jaguars left the Episcopal School of Jacksonville fields on Tuesday with similar energy as they did on the first day of training camp on Monday. A fresh scent in the air that wasn’t necessarily coming from the players themselves as they exited another day of hard work.
No, the fresh feeling was a sense of newness in town, between both players and coaches. The competition continued as everyone continues to adjust to the new setting. The goal, however, is simple according to Jaguars center Tyler Shatley, who is entering his ninth season in Jacksonville, to win.
Shatley is entering the season as one of the presumed starting players on the team’s offensive line, though there will certainly be a battle throughout camp.
“Trying to get in where I fit in, I reckon,” Shatley told Big Cat Country in an interview shortly after Tuesday’s practice. “Do what I can to help the team. Trying to get out of this rut, you know?”
The Jaguars have gone a combined 4-29 over the past two seasons, including 3-14 last year. The City of Jacksonville hasn’t seen the team have much success since the 2017 run that included a bid at the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. To Shatley, that’s what needs to change.
“I mean we’ve had some rough years. Whatever it is, whatever it takes, let’s do it, because this city … I feel like we’ve earned it [more success], the city’s earned it, try to get something going.”
That is exactly the mentality the Jaguars are taking early on into training camp. Working towards a common goal of establishing a winning culture in Jacksonville isn’t something that’s quite been done in recent years.
With another practice in the books, here are our observations from the day:
Lawrence puts on a show, Highlight of the day
The Jaguars leading signal-caller will always be the focal point of a day, but during Tuesday’s session, it was hard to miss him for a second. Lawrence looked confident, poised and in command within and of the pocket. He stood in the face of would-be pressure, able to sling the ball all across the field with ease.
On the day, Lawrence completed all 16 of his passes in 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 team drills. He was perfect. In fact, Lawrence didn’t throw an uncatchable pass all throughout the day, including in individual drills.
One of his passes would hit the ground against air (individual drills) after tight end Evan Engram dropped it, but that’s about it.
The highlight of the day on Tuesday came from Lawrence who launched a ball deep for veteran receiver Laquan Treadwell. There wasn’t an adjustment needed as Treadwell beat Chris Claybrooks deep down the sideline, and the ball was placed perfectly in his hands.
Lawrence is entering a year with high expectations, to say the least. His new head coach, Doug Pederson, spoke about those expectations on Monday, indicating that a year-two leap is absolutely the goal.
“That’s the goal: to make a significant jump in year two,” Pederson told reporters. “I think building off of last year, the fact that he played the entire season, we can build off that and really expect a ‘sky’s the limit’ mentality with him.”
Tuesday’s efforts were expected but awed nonetheless as the team continues to work in a new, winning culture in Jacksonville.
Offensive line re-work continues
The Jaguars’ offensive line is the storyline of training camp. There are just two players that have a locked-in role: left tackle Cam Robinson and right guard Brandon Scherff. The rest of the line is essentially free reign.
Still, for the second day in a row, Jacksonville used rookie OL Luke Fortner as the team’s starting center and veteran Tyler Shatley as the team’s left guard. That appears to be taking a bit of shape, but without more time to see how they may adjust the line, it’s to be determined if that’ll end up as the final set.
One of the positions on the OL that certainly isn’t finalized is at right tackle. While Jawaan Taylor took all of the repetitions on Monday at right tackle, second-year OL Walker Little would get an opportunity during team run drills in the position. Taylor still took the bulk of the reps, but that competition appears to be underway.
James Robinson’s rehab continues
On Monday, Robinson was surprisingly not placed on the team’s PUP list, making headlines as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury suffered in a Week 14 loss against the New York Jets. The progress appears to have continued forward on Tuesday, with Robinson getting work done in drills off to the side.
Robinson’s recovery will be one of the most talked-about storylines throughout camp and his expected recovery is on the path to have him cleared by mid-August, though the team isn’t going to rush him back.
Laviska Shenault appears quicker, An undrafted receiver stands out
Though he struggled last season with drops, Shenault has yet to let a ball hit the ground when sent his way throughout the first two days of camp. Shenault is being utilized in a variety of ways, and at one point took the ball out of the backfield, making players miss and turning upfield to score a would-be touchdown.
In the spring, Shenault indicated to reporters that he was working on his speed, something that has been seen throughout camp thus far. He has taken on a lot of hats, including a role as a potential punt-return specialist. Utilizing Shenault’s tackle-breaking ability will certainly be something special teams coach Heath Farwell is intrigued by.
One of the team’s undrafted receivers that have stood out through the first two days of camp is Lujuan Winningham out of Central Arkansas. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, Winningham appears to get the most out of his frame, able to stretch for a catch with ease. He’s been a player that has stood out among the rest thus far.
With plenty of time still to go in camp, it’s unclear what receivers will ultimately make the team’s 53-man roster, however.
Andre Cisco continues to start
For the second day in a row, second-year safety Andre Cisco earned the starting nod over incumbent starting safety Andrew Wingard. Cisco was touted as a ball-hawking safety coming out of Syracuse last year, and it’s not hard to see why while watching him play during camp.
Cisco appears to play with a different level of speed than some of his counterparts on defense, able to fly to the football seemingly out of nowhere. On one instance, Cisco was matched up with tight end Chris Manhertz.
Though the pass was completed to Manhertz from Lawrence, Cisco was right on top of him and might have recorded an interception of at the very least, broken up the pass if the action was in a live-game setting.
Cisco is one of the key players to watch this training camp as the team looks to build its secondary in the mold that defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell wants it to be built.
Prior to practice, Caldwell was asked about Cisco and his play thus far. Caldwell stated that he likes that the defense is getting better every day, pleased with where they’re at thus far in the training period. On Cisco, Caldwell was a little more tight-lipped but did say he was a coachable player.
“Yeah, coachable guy,” Caldwell said of Cisco. “You like his athleticism. He’s here, he’s buying in. He’s ready to work.”
The Jaguars will get into full pads on Sunday, July 31, the first day that we will get a chance to see players like rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker and company, thrive.