Jaguars OL coach Doug Marrone: Luke Joeckel making progress

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If this truly is a make-or-break season for Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Luke Joeckel, there’s one early indication that it may be leaning toward "make."

Offensive line coach Doug Marrone said he has been pleased with the progress he has seen from Joeckel throughout the offseason conditioning program and the team’s nine organized team activities.

"I see great progress, I really do," Marrone said. "Not just out of him but out of everyone. He’s put on some extra weight which has been good weight, some lean muscle mass. Obviously it’s a challenge for all of us learning a new system, but I see him progressing and getting better each day."

Joeckel hasn’t performed to the level expected of a No. 2 overall pick. The main reason is the fractured ankle that cost him 11 games as a rookie in 2013 and meant his first NFL offseason was dedicated more to rehabbing than getting stronger and fixing any technical issues.

Joeckel started every game for an offensive line that gave up a league-high and franchise-record 71 sacks in 2014. He had moments in which he dominated his opponent, but overall he wasn’t consistent enough. He also struggled with some footwork and technical issues, such as hand placement during blocks, and got overpowered at times. Those were Joeckel’s points of emphasis for the offseason.

He’s also up 13 pounds from the end of the season and now weighs 311 pounds.

Marrone and coach Gus Bradley admit that it’s hard to judge offensive linemen until the pads go on in training camp, but it is possible to see footwork, positioning while blocking, and how well they are doing the drills and carrying over what they’ve learned onto the field in 11-on-11 sessions.

From that standpoint, Marrone is very pleased with his unit, including Joeckel.

"I’m excited with the direction that he’s going," Marrone said. "I think he feels the same way. There’s a confidence that you see out there. There’s still a level of inconsistency, but we understand that right now. Again, it’s progressing in the right direction."