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Best Defense in the League? Jaguars CB D.J. Hayden Thinks They Will Be in 2019

D.J. Hayden, like starting cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, wants to prove that a revamped unit, along with him staying healthy, can lay the groundwork for the return of the ball-hawking defense that terrorized opponents en route to the AFC Championship game two years ago, Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union reports.

“I feel like we’re going to be the best defense in the league, I can’t wait,” Hayden said. “I know we’ll have some new faces, but I feel like this is going to be a great defense no matter who is out there.”

Hayden believes the Jacksonville secondary will get back to their ball-hawking ways this season.

“All that good stuff — getting turnovers, sacks and making big plays — I feel like we’ll do that,” said Hayden. “I feel totally 100 percent comfortable with what we’re doing and our safeties. I feel we’ll be the best secondary in the league.”

Jaguars LB Myles Jack Isn’t Worry About His Contract Right Now

Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack seems unconcerned about his contract status, saying his contract will “take care of itself” after the season according to John Reid of the Florida Times-Union.

Jack has started 42 out of a possible 48 games since being grabbed in the second round out of UCLA in 2016 but enters the final year of his rookie deal without an extension on the table.

With Telvin Smith officially out for the entirety of this season, Jack will have every-down opportunity to lead Jacksonville’s defense back to 2017 prominence while manning the middle of the field. He is currently set to make $1.3 million before entering free agency in the spring.

Given the Jaguars’ cap issues, Jack may have to go elsewhere to garner the type of money he has clearly earned. Teams around the league will likely pay handsomely for a middle linebacker who recorded a career-high 107 tackles in 2018 while playing all of the team’s 1,024 defensive snaps and has not missed a game in his three NFL seasons after his draft stock fell due to concerns about his knees.

“When my time comes up, that’s when it’s going to come up,” Jack said. “But right now, I’m just focused on going out there winning games, getting numbers and then by the end of the season that all will take care of itself.”

Jaguars First-Round Pick Josh Allen Likely to Miss Team’s Minicamp

The Jaguars appear on track to hold the mandatory three-day minicamp on June 11-13 without their first-round pick, Herbie Teope of NFL.com reports.

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told reporters Thursday that rookie pass rusher Josh Allen, who has missed a lot of the team’s organized team activities with a knee bruise, isn’t likely to participate in the minicamp.

“I’ll probably just as safety hold him until he’s ready for camp,” Marrone said, via the Jaguars’ official website. “Technically he could be ready to go next week.”

Allen, the seventh overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, began working with trainers off to the side early in OTAs.

Free Agent WR Terrelle Pryor Set to Ink with the Jaguars

The Jaguars have upgraded their wide out core, as the team is signing free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

A source told NFL Network Thursday that the team is expected to sign the veteran pass-catcher. Pryor visited the team Wednesday. The Jaguars quickly offered Pryor a contract, following the workout.

Pryor is back with Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who was the offensive coordinator when Pryor played for the Browns in 2015. Pryor had one catch for 42 yards in three games that season.

The former Ohio State QB had 16 catches for 252 yards and two scores in eight games last season, while splitting the year with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

Pryor had his best season as a wide receiver in 2016, when he hauled in 77 receptions for 1,007 yards and four scores in 16 games for the Browns.

Jaguars QB Nick Foles Misses OTAs After to Wife’s Miscarriage

Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles missed one of the team’s organized team activities because he was caring for his wife after she suffered a miscarriage over the weekend.

Tori Foles announced on Instagram that she was only 15 weeks pregnant with their second child when she went into labor early Sunday morning. She also said that she contracted an infection of pneumonia in her blood.

“Early Sunday morning after a rough couple days fighting a ‘virus’ of some sort, I went into sudden labor and knew something was wrong,” Tori Foles wrote. “Not long after, we learned we had miscarried our baby boy. To fully labor and deliver and even see our baby boy was a pretty devastating process. Come to find that I had contracted an infection of pneumonia in the blood.

“The emotions go back and forth from immense and overwhelming sadness, confusion and anger to firm belief that God has this fully in his hands and will use this for good. We cannot always understand or explain, but we know that is true.”

Foles missed a voluntary practice Tuesday for a “personal reason.”

The Jaguars have no timetable for his return. The signal-caller posted on his Instagram story that “this has been a tough last week,” and added that his wife “has written a beautiful post explaining our experience and what is in our hearts.”

Jaguars QB Nick Foles Misses Team OTA’s for Personal Reasons

New Jaguars QB Nick Foles was not with the team at Tuesday’s OTA off-season workouts, citing personal reasons.

The Jaguars do not have a timetable for his return. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said the team is in contact with Foles.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Nick and his family,” Marrone told reporters.

The team will turn to Tanner Lee, Gardner Minshew and Alex McGough in Foles’ absence. Lee was a sixth round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Minshew was a sixth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. McGough was a seventh round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

None of the Jaguars’ backup quarterbacks have taken a snap during a regular-season NFL game. Foles, 30, is entering his eighth season. He signed a four-year, $88 million deal with the Jaguars this off-season after spedning his 2017 and 2018 campaigns with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Super Bowl LII MVP posted a 96 quarterback rating in five starts last season for the Eagles. Foles completed 72.3 percent of his throws for 1,413 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions in 2018.

Jaguars Free Agent Pickup Cedric Ogbuehi Getting First Team Reps at RT

Free agent signee Cedric Ogbuehi has been getting all of the first team reps at right tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars during OTAs according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic.

Originally the No.21-overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals out of Texas A&M in 2015, Ogbuehi was a massive bust during his four years in Cincinnati and was a healthy scratch for nine games in 2018. The Bengals declined his fifth-year option and he signed a one-year, $895,000 contract to join the Jags in March.

The Jaguars coaching staff is giving the 27-year-old a clean slate for 2019 and the team has a gaping hole to fill at right tackle with the release of Jeremy Parnell.

Still, giving Ogbuehi the early first-team reps is probably more a case of veteran deference than any indication of how the starting offensive line will look by the time the real games start.

Second-round rookie Jawaan Taylor is expected to ultimately win the starting right tackle job and 2018 fourth-round pick Will Richardson is also in the mix for snaps. Ogbuehi could still add depth to an O-line that has struggled to stay healthy, although the draft bust has yet to prove he can successfully play either left or right tackle in the NFL.

New Jaguars OC John DeFilippo Calls for a Bigger Role for Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette

Despite Leonard Fournette’s struggles to stay healthy, lack of production and off-field scorning from management last year, new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo plans on Fournette being a focal point of his offense in 2019, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

“We’re really looking forward to Leonard having a big year,” DeFilippo said this week, via the team’s official website. “I’m going to call it what it is: He’s going to be a major reason where our offense goes. I’m not going to sugarcoat that. Leonard Fournette needs to be a big part of this offense.

“The harder he works — which he is right now — that’s going to be not only good for our offense, but good for our team.”

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