JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars open training camp on July 31 at the Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice fields outside EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Here's a closer look at the Jaguars' camp, which wraps up on Aug. 20.
Top storyline: While a lot of attention is naturally focused on the development of second-year quarterback Blake Bortles, the Jaguars' No. 1 priority is fixing an offensive line that has been one of the league's worst over the past several seasons. The Jaguars gave up an NFL-high 71 sacks last season and have averaged 88.8 yards per game rushing from 2012-14, a number that ranks 30th in that span. Jacksonville is hopeful the addition of former Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone to coach the offensive line will make a significant difference. He already has tinkered with left guard Zane Beadles' stance to help him generate more power, and is pleased with what he has seen from left tackle Luke Joeckel, who hasn't played at a high level in his first two seasons. If the offensive line doesn't improve significantly, then all the offseason work Bortles has done won't make a difference because the offense won't be able to consistently move the ball.
Position battles to watch: The most important one on offense will be between Stefen Wisniewski and Luke Bowanko at center. Bowanko started 14 games as a rookie last season and the Jaguars are pleased with his development, but they also brought in Wisniewski, a four-year veteran who has started 61 games for the Oakland Raiders despite playing with shoulder issues. Also keep an eye on the free safety spot, where rookie James Sample was closing in on Sergio Brown before fracturing his right arm in organized team activities. Sample will miss a few weeks of camp but he was scheduled to get some first-team reps when he was injured. The Jaguars signed Brown after not being able to make a run at Devin McCourty, but he hasn't done much in his five-year career (eight pass breakups, one interception in 71 games).
Veterans to watch: The Jaguars gave big money to cornerback Davon House ($24.5 million over four years) to be a starter, but he was never able to capitalize on several chances to win a starting job in Green Bay. He'll be pushed by Dwayne Gratz, who finished OTAs and minicamp strong. It'll be interesting to see how the Jaguars are going to handle the leo (pass-rushing defensive end) position since first-round pick Dante Fowler Jr. is out for the season. Chris Clemons is the starter, but he turns 34 in October. Even though he showed up at minicamp 17 pounds lighter and said he's in great shape, the Jaguars are going to limit his reps to decrease the wear-and-tear on his body. Still, he's the Jaguars' top option at the spot. Andre Branch is entering his fourth season but he has just 10 career sacks.
Rookies to watch: Running back T.J. Yeldon has the size (6-foot-1, 226 pounds) and running style general manager David Caldwell has wanted in a back, but Bradley said the Jaguars are going to be smart and not overload the former Alabama standout. He can be an every-down back, but that's not the plan early in the season. The Jaguars didn't draft a linebacker and went with rookie free agents instead. Thurston Armbrister has the best chance to make the team because he has experience playing inside as well as rushing the passer. He'll have to make his mark on special teams, though.
Bubble watch: There really aren't any “big name” vets on the bubble. Running backs Bernard Pierce and Storm Johnson could get edged out by rookie Corey Grant. Maybe kicker Josh Scobee? That's a stretch, though, because the other kickers in camp (Jason Myers and Kasey Redfern) didn't do anything in the spring to put his job in jeopardy. He's scheduled to make $3.45 million this season and his accuracy on field goals dipped to 76.9 percent last season, but he's still reliable from inside 45 yards (16-of-18 last season).
Few health issues: Other than defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, and safety James Sample, the Jaguars are expected to be completely healthy heading into camp. Fowler will miss the season with a torn left ACL suffered on the first day of rookie minicamp. Sample will miss several weeks with that fractured arm. Marks is continuing to rehab his right knee (torn ACL) and there is no timetable for his return, but he's aiming for the season opener.
For daily updates at camp, check out the Jacksonville Jaguars' clubhouse page.