JACKSONVILLE – It began for real Saturday, and it’s going to stay real now.
Really, really real.
Forget the offseason, and forget last Thursday and Friday. Forget, too, all the talk – and everything else about the lead up to the Jaguars’ 2017 season. All of that was in a very real sense preliminary.
All pales in comparison to what happened Saturday and what will happen in the coming days. For the Jaguars, 2017 Training Camp starts now.
The pads are on. And that means this thing just got real.
If you don’t believe it, listen to what Head Coach Doug Marrone had to say after Saturday night’s practice on the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field.
“Obviously, we’ve been where we’ve been for quite a long time and the only way to get better is through hard work,” Marrone said in the wake of the Jaguars’ first padded practice of the ’17 Training Camp. “Next week will be a hard week and will probably be one of the hardest weeks we’ve had in training camp.”
Yes, the pads went on Saturday for the first time in ‘17 camp, which means the Jaguars on Saturday worked for the first time in pads since Marrone officially became head coach in January. And remember, Marrone took over as interim head coach with two games remaining last season, so the Jaguars didn’t actually practice in pads either of those two weeks, either.
This was an important moment for Marrone. Very important. He made clear in June near the end of the team’s offseason program how important practicing in pads will be for the Jaguars. He made it clear again this week. He made it…
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