When rookies reported to this weekend’s Jacksonville Jaguars mini-camp, Josh Allen caught head coach Doug Marrone’s eye.
“He’s in a great shape,” Marrone said. “Today when he walked out there he was impressive. It’s impressive his movement skills for a big man.”
Allen was just happy to ditch NFL Combine drills return to the real work on the football field.
“First day was good,” he said. “I got to go back on the football field and do drills, get back in football shape, competing, things that I love to do. I’m just glad to be back.”
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 10, 2019
College football’s consensus National Defensive Player in the Year went back to the basics on his first day in uniform. After standing up in UK’s 3/4 defensive scheme, Allen has to relearn how to primarily play as a defensive end in a three-point stance with his hand in the dirt.
“I gotta get back familiar with that,” Allen said. “I’m a quick learner, so I’ll get it pretty quick.”
As Allen gets deeper into the trenches, many Jaguars’ fans want to see him move in the opposite direction. Earlier this week starting linebacker Telvin Smith announced he is stepping away from football in 2019 to “give this time back to myself, my family, & my health.” As uncertainty swells around the situation, many believe Allen could be the quick fix.
“You look at Josh and you’re looking at a 6’4.5, 265 pound athlete. There’s a lot of things we can do. We just got him here. Obviously, he’ll play up, play down. We’ll see how he best fits our team as we go through and not try to put to much on his plate to see what he can do great,” Marrone said.
Allen’s versatility is one major reason why the Jaguars drafted him with the seventh overall pick. He can do a lot of things well, but first they need to see him do one thing great: rush the passer. Once that’s mastered, they will move him around, but Marrone is going to take his time before putting too much on Allen’s broad shoulders.
“I’ll just do whatever they want me to do, to be honest with you,” said Allen. “They brought me here to play multiple positions. If so, then that’s what they’ll use me as. If they want me to rush the passer, I’ll rush the passer. I just do my job, try to do what they tell to do and be great at that.”