ABC's of 2016 - Jags Training Camp Preview

Are we there yet? A phrase uttered ad nauseum throughout our lives. Whether it be from us when we were young or asked by a child just a few minutes after pulling out of the driveway it is a question as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. So as the Jags open up their 2016 training camp it is a question that will be answered over the next 5 months.

Are we there yet?   A phrase uttered ad nauseum throughout our lives.  Whether it be from us when we were young or asked by a child just a few minutes after pulling out of the driveway it is a question as relevant today as it was 30 years ago.    So as the Jags open up their 2016 training camp it is a question that will be answered over the next 5 months.  The Answer?  "Not yet, but we are close"

Blake Bortles taking that next step is crucial.  His growth mirrors Matt Ryan’s in Atlanta.    Matt Ryan made the playoffs in their 1st Four years in the NFL.   Blake, your next. 

Cyprien showing in OTA’s was impressive.  He benefited immensely from free agent additions in the secondary.  Now can it translate when it is go time.

Dante Fowler Jr  - Oh how you have been missed.   The sibling we have yet to meet.   The motor and talent are unlike anything we have seen.  If Javon Kearse has a twin brother talent wise, DFJ is it.

Effort as been a main point of emphasis from Gus Bradley, Dave Caldwell and the entire staff.   What happens when someone we expect it from doesn’t deliver?

Front Four question marks are starting to disappear.  There is finaly some depth but if recent history is indication the injury bug seems to infect its venom here first and there is usually plenty to go around. 

Greg Hardy – Yeah… PASS

Hurns hit the Jackpot!  $40Million worth.  His desire and tenacity by going undrafted has been evident.   What drives him now?  Pro Bowls?  Stats?  Wins?

Ivory the Inventory King.   The running back shelf is now stocked.   Here and the offensive line are two places where you can afford to be overloaded.

Jalen Ramsey – The knee oh the knee – Look when you are drawing Deon Sanders comparisons you know where you stand.   He reminds me more of Charles Woodson.  If he is ¾  the player either of those guys were then…#WIN

Knee – Myles Jack says its fine.   What will it take for everyone to believe him? 

Love the Lee!  Marqise is the 3rd wheel right now.   Can he be in this offense what Hugh Douglas was to Roddy White and Julio Jones in Atlanta.  If not this year…when?

Myers Mania is just one upright clunk away.  There is no kicker in the NFL that is held to a higher standard than Jason Meyers. Which when you think about it … is ridiculous. 

No more Toby Gerhart and Chris Clemons.   I’ll give you a moment to reflect. 

Odrick is the NFL’s biggest kept secret.   I hope he stays healthy.   The League needs more Jared Odrick’s.  If any player should be a politician.  It’s Jared. 

Paul Posluszny deserves to make the playoffs  -  He has led this team in tackles since arriving is Jacksonville.   With Myles Jack waiting in the wings this will likely be Paul’s last year in the Teal and Black.  He’s a class act.  He deserves better. 

Question – How on earth haven’t I mentioned Malik Jackson yet?  He has a chance to be the Jags Warren Sapp.  The player Warren Sapp… Not the arrested, prostitute chasing, bad tipper Warren Sapp.

Robinson Request – Gus, Please don’t play Allen a lot in the pre-season.   He may be the most important member of his offense.  Coming off a pro bowl season without a really running game to balance things out. He could be even scarier in 2016. 

Smith Showcase – NFL players voted his #83 in their annual top 100 Players list.  When I asked him what it meant to him he said that it means 82 players are better than him.    I like Telvin Smith.  

The Thomas Train – It is a freight train the moves pretty quick.  The only problem is that hasn’t been able to stay on the track the last two seasons with injuries.  He’s a bigger, faster, stronger Greg Olsen when healthy.  Oh what could be!

Unity – A ton of new players, making a ton of money with a ton of expectations – Are the 2016 Jags the exception or the rule? 

Validation – Shad Khan gave Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley a 4th season together.  Something that a lot of HC’s and GM’s never see after going 12-36 over their first 3 campaigns. 

Werner Watch – Can the former 1st round draft pick of the Colts find his groove?  He is back playing the same position he did when he was an All-American at Florida State.   The pre-season is HUGE for Bjoern.  

X-Rays on injuries in the preseason on potential starters – Over/under 5.5 – If it’s over we are in for a long August. 

Yannick Ngakoue is going to be a bit of a project.  I’ll be patient.  Will you? 

Zoo –   In the past by November most people would rather go to the Jacksonville Zoo on Sunday than watch the Jags play.   This year is going to be different.   There is just too much talent for it not to be.    

The 2016 Football season is here!  And welcome to Jags Illustrated! 


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