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2014 Jaguars Caravan: New faces, new excitement

Posted Jun 24, 2014

Rookie wide receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson joined left guard Zane Beadles Saturday in Port Orange.


PORT ORANGE – The excitement around the 2014 Jacksonville Jaguars is growing. 

Some fans are excited about the 2014 draft class, including two second-round wide receivers. Others are excited after the successful haul of free agency, including the singing of a new starting left guard.

All were on display Saturday as rookie wide receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson joined fifth-year offensive guard Zane Beadles at the Jaguars Caravan event at the Pavilion at Port Orange shopping complex.

Lee said fans he meets anywhere, even on a daily basis while running errands, are excited for the future.

“Everywhere I go they’re pumped,” Lee said. “For me to just go eat, for me to go to the gas station, they’re just pumped. It kind of puts a little pressure on us, just me thinking you always want to make the fans happy, and that just basically means we have to go out there and do our job.”

For Robinson, his focus is to improve on a daily basis.

“Just go out there each and every day learning from Marqise, and the other receivers and (wide receivers) Coach (Jerry) Sullivan and just getting better, that’s the main focus,” Robinson said.

Most Jaguars fans understand the history of the wide receiver position in Jacksonville, including the years that Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell formed one of the best tandems at the position in the league.

Calen Welch of Port Orange has been a Jaguars season ticket holder since 1995 and is ready to see the position and the offense thrive again.

“I’m really excited about the receivers finally,” Welch said. “It’s been a long time since Jimmy and Keenan were here that we’ve had a duo of receivers … I’m pulling for these guys. I want to see them succeed.

“I’d love to see this bunch grow up together and become a dynamic offense.”

Lee said that he and Robinson have not talked much about what they could do as a tandem in the future, only worrying about the task ahead in training camp.

“As far as now, with me and Allen, our main focus is just getting in there and helping as much as possible,” Lee said. “We just focus on really exactly what we can do that we can bring to the table to help the team. We don’t want to go out there and be just another body.

“We really don’t get the chance to sit down and talk to each other about what we plan on doing (in the future), but we just know at the end of the day we just have to go out and play.”

For Beadles, he was brought in during free agency to bolster a young offensive line. Beadles himself is still only 27 years old, but was a four-year starter for the Denver Broncos.

“I saw something last week where the projected starters on the offensive line are the second-youngest in the league,” Beadles said. “It’s exciting, but by the same token you don’t have that experience and that is important.

“Hopefully through my years in Denver and playing with some veteran guys and playing with some guys who have played a lot of football and won a lot of ballgames, I can bring the things that I learned from them and the things that I’ve learned from the four years I’ve been in the league so far, and bring that and hopefully instill that on some of the younger guys.

“It only can be a good thing for us.”

Having an experienced older player working with younger players at positions excites Pat Brown and his wife Shannon from Titusville, Florida, who drove about an hour north for the event and attend “three or four” home Jaguars games per year.

“I’m really anxious to see how the older guys work with the new younger guys and see how they bring cohesion,” Shannon Brown said.

Her husband Pat said that the stock is rising for the franchise.

“Definitely the direction of the team is what’s exciting; the up arrow is definitely on.”

Welch added that the quarterback position in particular will help increase the team’s reach in the Daytona and Orlando areas.

“I’m tickled for Chad (Henne), and I hope the team does well with him, because I like Chad,” Welch said. “I think we all know that eventually it’s (quarterback position) going to move to Blake (Bortles) one day. I think it’s going to be good for this area. I hope he proves to be the type of quarterback they were looking for.

“I believe in what they’re doing. I’m going to be at every game I can be at.”

The Jaguars Caravan continues Thursday, June 26 in Brunswick, Georgia at Glenn Place Mall at 6 p.m. The final caravan stop for 2014 is Friday, June 27 in Tallahassee at the Miller’s Ale House, starting at 6 p.m. For more information, visit jaguars.com/caravan.

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