“I consider it an activity.”
And with that, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone ended his first OTA’s in Jacksonville, keeping what was going on over the past few weeks in perspective.
Whether he was calling it “pajamas” practice or letting players know they can be cut by not performing during the OTA’s, Marrone was setting the expectations and laying down the culture he expects the Jaguars to follow.
Practices were up-tempo. Lots of running. No breaks and no music. They took the play clock from 30 to 20 to 16 and then to 14 on both offense and defense getting the players used to making decisions quickly and efficiently.
“It’s basically a progression of tempo of trying to get up, trying to get set,” he explained. So, this way, you get yourself immune to doing those type of things and then what happens is during the course of a game, the other team is not going to put you in check-mate, where you can’t get out of it.”
When teams are practicing football, they’re not playing the game. It’s about technique and conditioning, adjusting and reacting. But Marrone is going to try and change that, giving the Jaguars more opportunities in practice where it feels “game-like.” “I think we have to get a little more situational for our players and try to help them out in those situations and spending more time that way.”
As we’ve gotten closer to training camp and Marrone has had his team on the field, he’s revealing more of what he’ll be like as the Head Coach. He’s candid and straightforward with a lot fewer smiles and jokes during his meetings with the media. He already has the training camp schedule laid out, although he might adjust it after seeing what the team needs. And training camp won’t have anything to do with how the team practices once the season starts.
“Zero. None,” he said. “It won’t even be close to what a regular week is going to be like. I’m not going to get into those schedules until late in training camp.”