JACKSONVILLE – Here’s what we learned from the Jaguars’ pre-training camp media availability Tuesday:
2). . . but after that? Jones-Drew likely will be brought along slowly to start camp. That’s not surprising, nor is it alarming. He just finished rehabbing from significant foot surgery. Being smart with him is . . . well, smart. He is an eight-year veteran and he knows what he needs to do to prepare. If he’s cleared now, he’ll be ready for the regular-season opener. That’s Priority One.
3) Jones-Drew likes what he sees. This echoes a lot of what we’ve heard all offseason from Jaguars veterans, but Jones-Drew was pretty effusive Tuesday on liking the approach of Head Coach Gus Bradley and General Manager David Caldwell. “It’s not necessarily stressing on how you’re doing, but they just want to see how you are as a person and how you are feeling, not necessarily football wise, but more of how is your life and family,” he said. “I also understand it’s a business and it’s going to come to a point where you’re not going to be able to play football anymore, because you get too old or not good enough, but to have that initial contact that they care more about you than you just being a commodity, that definitely helps out a bunch.”
5). . . but that could be a blip. Bradley said the expectation is that Cyprien could begin practicing by next week. The Jaguars begin practicing in pads Wednesday, so if Cyprien is back around then, he won’t miss much.
7) Gus Bradley is excited about camp. Not that you’d expect any different, but the infectious energy the first-year head coach brought to his first four months on the job carried through summer vacation. “I really love our atmosphere, and our mindset going into training camp,” he said.
8) The theme is the same. As was the case all offseason, and as likely will be the case as long as Bradley has any say about it, the theme is competition, which means getting better. All day, every day. “That’s my goal, is to stay consistent with our message,” he said. “We have a goal with our team, is to get better, and we trust the results will come. I’m going to try to stay strong with that mindset with our team.”
10) The quarterback competition is real . . . Bradley spent plenty of time on this Tuesday. Bottom line: there’s no timetable on the competition, and there’s a chance both
11) Offensive line depth is a priority . . . Bradley said a training camp issue is finding a sixth or seventh offensive lineman who can rotate and play some guard. The Jaguars’ offensive line generally is projected to start left tackle
12) . . . so is defensive back, linebacker depth and pass rush. Bradley said there will be competition at cornerback, as well as for roster spots at linebacker. He also said the team needs to find pass rush beyond Babin. He also said players need to “step up at the receiver position.”
13) Fresh legs and health matter. The Jaguars will practice at 9:55, with a long afternoon of meetings – 2 p.m. until about 5 p.m. – scheduled each day. “The whole reason behind this is to really get our players off their feet,” Bradley said. “We think it’s going to be an advantage health-wise. We’re looking for extended recovery.”
14) It’s football season again. The offseason is over. Veterans report Thursday. Practice starts the next day. It’s the 2013 season. At last.