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2013 Stand United Caravan kicks off


DAYTONA BEACH – Sen'Derrick Marks didn't know what to expect.

But since joining the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March, the veteran defensive tackle said he has been struck by not only the energy around the organization, but of the fan base, too.

Marks saw it again Friday night.

That was when he, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, wide receiver Cecil Shorts III and four members of the ROAR of the Jaguars represented the organization at the Volusia Mall in Daytona – the first stop of the 2013 Jaguars Stand United Caravan.

"It's always great to go out and see the fans," Marks said Friday. "They're fans that I haven't been around, and to see some new faces is great. No matter what team you're on, you want to meet the people who support you."

Gabbert, Shorts, Marks and the members of the ROAR were introduced to the crowd by former Jaguars left tackle and the first Pride of the Jaguars inductee Tony Boselli.

"It's important to get out into areas outside our five-county area," Boselli said. "That's our core fan base, but we want to expand the fan base as well. We're getting around, engaging the fans and getting the players out to sign autographs. I feel like it's invaluable."

Players answered Boselli's questions in a brief question-answer session, and then signed autographs for fans for more than a half hour.

"It was great," Gabbert said. "Any time we can get out and connect with our fans, have some fun and sign some autographs – it's great to interact with them. It's nice to kick it off and keep it rolling."

Shorts, a third-year veteran, agreed that the opportunity to meet with fans is significant.

"It's always good to meet with the fans," Shorts said. "They give us a lot of support, even in the tough times. It's always good to give back the same support. They come out every Sunday, even through the rough times. They're always excited and you can tell they really want a winner. It's a little added motivation."

Marks, who played for the Tennessee Titans his first four seasons, said he has been impressed with the Jaguars' fan base.

"I didn't know Jacksonville was like this," he said. "I was drafted there to not like the AFC South opponents, but after coming here and seeing everything that happens around the team, there's a lot of love and respect for the Jaguars. They love their team, and I'm appreciative to be a part of it."

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