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Back to school


Even in the era of twitter and instant information, sometimes we must wait.

That's the case today, and although it's busy around EverBank Field with this being the first day of the team's first mini-camp under Head Coach Mike Mularkey – not to mention with the 2012 schedule set to be announced at 7 p.m. – the first few hours are a whole lot of waiting.

The players spent the morning in meetings, and practice is scheduled to begin at 1:15, with "Tweeting" and reporting of practices not allowed until afterward.

That means the information flow today will begin around 3:30 p.m., so until then, we'll take a look at what the mini-camp means, and talk a little about what's going on around the Jaguars.

First off, the mini-camp:

Mularkey, who took over as the Jaguars' head coach in January, is calling this a Veteran Orientation, and he's doing it for a reason. This is the first on-field work for the team under Mularkey, and it's when the on-field instillation of an offensive playbook coaches have been compiling for two months begins.

Some of what the Jaguars will work on today is as simple as how to line up in the huddle, and how they are expected to practice.

It's the first day of school, in essence, so today is about basics.

"I want the players to get a feel for us, our coaching style and our demands of what we are trying to get out of them," Mularkey said. "Then I think the same thing for our coaching staff. I want to see what we have because all we have is tape to go off of, some no tape at all. So I think it is really a chance for us to get to know each other, move forward and take another step.

"This will be the first time offensively and special teams-wise that we will have an install going into this offseason. So this is a critical camp as far as a lot of learning about each other and learning about the system."

The mini-camp lasts three days, with two practices scheduled Wednesday (11:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.), and a final practice scheduled for Thursday at 11:15.

The Jaguars will hold a three-day rookie mini-camp May 4-6, with organized team activities schedule to run from mid-May through early June. They then will hold a three-day mandatory veteran mini-camp from June 12-14.

Also around the Jaguars:

*Mularkey on Monday said he believes newly signed wide receiver Lee Evans can have a positive influence on a young receiver corps. "In that position, it (leadership) is very important," Mularkey said. "There are a lot of personalities on the team. At wide receiver there are personalities. I think the more veteran players that have 100-plus starts that you can have and the way they practice – Lee is not a guy that I do not know how he practices, I know how he practices. Not just receivers but other players will watch how he comes out and works and tries to get better every day. That's a plus for our whole football team, not just that position."

*Mularkey also on Monday said Jaguars assistant strength and conditioning coach John Hingst – who oversees the team's nutrition program – soon will meet with Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton personally. Knighton, who has reported to the last two training camps overweight, recently underwent eye surgery and is expected to be out three months. "I'm sure Terrance is aware of the situation," Mularkey said. "He's been aware of it the whole offseason. He came in here about a week ago when our phase one kicked off and he was in good shape for this time of the year. So I think it's been something that he's addressed already early on in this offseason and I think he knows what he has to do. We're going to try to help him along in that process with a hands-on approach."

*Jaguars Director of Player Personnel Terry McDonough on the team selecting small-school players in past drafts: "A lot of people think we target small school players. We don't do that. We put them in order and we pick them in order. We're not afraid to take small school players. It's not our philosophy to pick big school players or small school players, it's our philosophy to take the best players. So if we picked more players from smaller schools over the last few years it hasn't been something we've done by design, it's been something that's fallen that way."

*Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith said even with two free agents – Evans and wide receiver Laurent Robinson – signed this off-season, wide receiver remains a focus. He also said the draft is a good enough one at the position that a quality player can be added in various rounds. "There are enough wide receivers in the draft that we should clearly be able to add another one for value no matter where we're drafting because it's a position of depth in this draft," he said, adding, "There are enough numbers at that group especially through the first three rounds where you could get guys that could emerge one day as a starter."

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