The Jaguars continue to progress towards their preseason opener with the Saints later this week, and there is some curiousity around the new faces like rookie first round pick DT Taven Bryan, speedy WR second round pick D.J. Chark, free agent TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and new backup QB Cody Kessler.
However, even though he doesn’t play a glamorous high profile position, new free agent OG Andrew Norwell is someone else worth keeping an eye on, too.
After all Norwell, a former Panther, has already cashed in with the Jags in March for the biggest deal ever for any guard in NFL free agency history giving him $66.5 million with $30 million guaranteed.
So, there’ an expectation of what he can bring, particularly on the left side of the Jaguars line next to second year LT Cam Robinson.
Star second year RB Leonard Fournette was asked about Norwell’s presence already, and said “Andrew doesn’t say much.” And a lot of times, that’s a good thing.
After Sunday’s workout, Norwell met with media in a rare opportunity for him to “say much” about how his first camp in North Florida has gone.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 5, 2018
Norwell talked first on the subject of being out on the TIAA Bank Field for Friday night’s practice
“It felt great being out on the field. First experience out there in the helmet and shoulder pads and stuff. Just working everyday to get better.”
Then Norwell was asked about Sunday’s hot/humid workout and the mentality of coach Doug Marrone wanting practice to be tougher than games,
“It was a tough one, but you expect that in training camp….I think Michael Jordan said it best, ‘you practice how you play.’ That’s for sure with this mindset and this training camp. Out there everyday and getting better. And that’s what it’s all about.”
And on that subject of not usually saying a whole lot?
“I’m locked in. I’m doing my job….I’m learning my teammates, as well. That’s what this time’s for (training camp). I just go about my business very seriously…Building trust and all of that other good stuff.”
So, who is Andrew Norwell? Great question.
He’s a former undrafted free agent from Ohio State who was a two time All Big Ten offensive lineman, and who’s played the last four years in Carolina. And, in 2017 Norwell was named first team All Pro and is regarded as one of the top 2-3 offensive guards in pro football.
The Panthers have enjoyed tremendous success including their 15-1 regular season in 2015 and Super Bowl L appearance with Norwell starting at left guard. They were an NFC Wildcard team in 2017 with Norwell starting all 16 games and grading out as a top three guard by Pro Football Focus.
The $30 million guaranteed is a tremendous commitment from the Jags, who are also sending a message to the rest of the NFL that aren’t resting on last year’s accomplishments.
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