By Brent Schwartz, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The 2017 Patriots have a great chance to continue their decade-plus dynasty. At this point, even other NFL teams view the Patriots as the NFL’s model franchise, and it has been evident early in the Pats’ joint practices with the Jaguars.
“I just told them when we’re not on the field, watch how their defense practices, watch what they do, watch how they run to the ball and everything with their technique,” Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
Some members of the Jaguars, a team seemingly stuck in a rebuilding process for the past nine seasons, said they’re using this week as a marker to see where they stand heading into the season.
“It’s a great opportunity to practice against the defending world champs and see where we’re at,” said Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny. “It’s a great opportunity for us to play against the best quarterback in the world, and to compete against guys that we know compete at a high level at all times.”
The last time the Jaguars had a winning record was in 2007, when they went 11-5 and defeated the Steelers in the AFC Wild Card round. They entered Gillette Stadium attempting to upset the then-16-0 Patriots, but the Pats won 31-20 to defeat the Jaguars in the playoffs for the second time in three years. Tom Brady was 26-for-28 passing in that game.
The Jaguars franchise has been virtually irrelevant since, and the 2017 edition of the team is learning what they can from the Patriots to help turn their fortunes around.
“I think everyone understands where they are, what they’ve done,” Marrone said after Monday’s practice. “We have a great deal of respect for their coaches and their players. It’s a fact. I don’t think you really have to talk about it enough, I know everybody knows it.”
The Patriots had an impressive outing yesterday, as Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks hooked up for a few touchdowns, including some highlight-reel material. They used the Jaguars as a marker of where their own offense might be.
But for the Jaguars, it’s been a beneficial visit as they hope to make headway in the up-and-down AFC South.
“I’m thankful to Coach Belichick for giving us this opportunity because at the end of the day, we’re just trying to get our football team better,” Marrone said. “This is definitely going to help us.”