First-round pick Taven Bryan enjoys first practice with Jaguars
Via Florida Times-Union
The day after defensive tackle Taven Bryan was drafted in the first round by the Jaguars last month, he was treated like a rock star.
He rode on a private jet with his family to Jacksonville and when he walked into TIAA Bank Field for the first time he saw his name in lights on the oversized videoboard.
On Friday, he got a much different welcome.
He heard mostly whistles and Jaguars coach Doug Marrone’s baritone voice, along with his assistants. Under hot and humid conditions, Bryan had to run, go through individual and team drills and compete alongside 63 players, including all six other draft picks, and more than 40 tryout players.
It was Bryan’s first taste of what it’s like to be in the NFL after the Jaguars selected him with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the draft.
So what did he think of his first day on the job?
?It’s awesome to be able to dedicate 100 percent of your time,? said Bryan, who had 5 1/2 sacks in 36 career games for Florida. ?There’s only 24 hours in a day and you get to spend 16 of it doing football. It’s pretty sweet. It’s like the ideal job in my opinion.?
The Jaguars drafted Bryan to help strengthen their defensive line rotation, though it’s already considered a strength. They liked his skill-set and versatility – he can play both inside or out as a pass rushing defensive tackle or end.
At this point, however, Marrone isn’t getting excited about anyone. In rookie minicamp, players are in helmets and shorts and no full-contact work is allowed.
?We’re basically playing in our pajamas,? Marrone said. ?We’re not tackling, not doing things of that nature. So it’s very difficult to give an evaluation.
?I want them to coachable and available,? Marrone added. ?I don’t want to see them in the training room, I want to see them paying attention and at the front of the line. I want to see the type of leadership they have and are good listeners and they go about their business. First impressions are important and I’m not talking about making plays right now. I’m talking about the way you handle your business and that’s what I’m looking at.?
Bryan and the rest of the rookies will participate in an off-season program that will include 10 organized team activity workouts and a mandatory veteran minicamp later this month.
?I just want to give a good impression with the coaches and do everything I can,? Bryan said.
Earlier this week, veteran defensive end Calais Campbell said he thinks Bryan could help the Jaguars form a strong eight-man defensive front rotation. Bryan said several veteran defensive players have already reached out to him via text messages.
?They have let me know that I’m welcomed and they’re looking forward to helping me out,? Bryan said. ?You got to work your way in, start at the bottom.?