Speaking to A Head For The Game after the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 30-27 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Wembley Stadium, London earlier this week, Jaguars’ defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks revealed the special treatment that the new players to the squad – the rookies – received as they found their feet not only in a new league, a new franchise and a new city – but a new continent and country.
Just over 10% of the Jaguars’ squad features players in the first-ever season in the NFL including quarterback Brandon Allen, defensive tackle Sheldon Day, linebacker Myles Jack, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, safety Jarrod Wilson and the defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
“We talk about it,” said Marks to A Head For The Game when asked if any of the older players helped the newcomers adapting to the trip to London. “Especially when it comes down to the football aspect we always make sure they always understand what’s going on but as far as them coming over and getting accustomed to London? They’re rookies and we really don’t give rookies too much information.
“We just make sure they’re ready and able to go on Sundays.”
As par the course for any rookie, help is not always the first thing that the senior professionals offer for the young and upcoming stars of the future and for Sen’Derrick, the trip to Europe meant an opportunity to wind the somewhat gullible youngsters.
“Yeah, we told them some,” said Marks when asked if he had told the rookie anything that was not necessarily true. “We were telling Yanni (Ngakoue), ‘you see the movie Taken?’. He said, yeah, then we said, ‘dude, that actually happened 0 and they shot the movie, it really happened, it was a true story – right across the street from where we are at Wembley.
“He kind of believed it,” he laughed. “[This whole visit] is fun man, we enjoyed this trip, I know I will enjoy it each and every time I come over, I’ve been here four years now and I find something new to enjoy every single time.”