Once upon a time, training camp was an exercise in feature writing for football beat reporters. We wrote about this undrafted rookie free agent from Ouachita Baptist and that over-the-hill veteran trying to squeeze one more season out of his body. They were tidy-little tales with a series of notes at the end of the story: "Second-round pick left practice early with heat exhaustion."
Imagine, folks, that was once a note.
These are different times. In today's NFL, and especially in this Jaguars training camp, news dominates. Who cares about the kid from Concordia State with the hard-luck life's story when you have something as compelling as a story about heat in Florida in July. News flash! It's hot in Florida in July! Wow! Give me more.
But the Jaguars news in August may be juicy enough to even push the heat back into the notes. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for what may become the most memorable preseason in Jaguars history because this team has the potential to generate some major news stories.
Let's take a peek at some of the possible major headlines:
• "Leftwich signs contract," or "Jags, Leftwich far apart," or "Leftwich says sign me or trade me."
• "Brackens ready to play," or "Brackens needs more time," or "Jags cut Brackens."
• "Brady takes pay cut," or "Brady rejects pay cut," or "Brady cut."
• "Jordan claims LT job," or "Pearson claims LT job," or "Jags looking for LT."
• "Brunell holding off Garrard," or "Garrard overtaking Brunell," or "Jags sure could use Leftwich."
And then there are these lesser issues:
• Will the Jaguars sell out the Buffalo game and avoid the team's first-ever home-opener blackout?
• Who's going to win the placekicking job and if Seth Marler does will the Jaguars rest on the leg of a rookie for a second consecutive year?
• What's with Fred Taylor? Jack Del Rio keeps saying "bone bruise" but, as the days pass and Taylor continues to be absent from practice, anxiety increases?
And there are plenty more candidates for hot August news topics. This could turn out to be the most flavorful month of the whole season.