Jack Del Rio stated his position on Maurice Drew's recent arrest and talked about the attempt to give troubled offensive tackle Wayne Hunter a second chance.
"On the Maurice Drew situation, I was aware of the incident before the draft. The facts, in the end, will prevail. I would just ask that you allow the process to unfold," Del Rio told reporters following the Jaguars' passing camp workout at Alltel Stadium on Monday.
Drew, of course, was arrested last week for an incident near the UCLA campus that resulted in the alleged assault of a man. Chicago Bears defensive back Ricky Manning and former UCLA football player Tyler Ebell were also arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident. Drew was UCLA's leading rusher the last two seasons and was selected by the Jaguars in the second round of this year's draft, one week after the alleged assault.
"Our philosophy is to make decisions case by case, person by person," Del Rio said of personnel moves involving players with troubled backgrounds or in brushes with the law. Clearly, the Jaguars believed Drew's side of the story, that he was not involved in the alleged assault, when they made him the 60th overall selection of the draft.
The Jaguars claimed Hunter off waivers from Seattle on Friday and Hunter practiced with the team on Monday morning. Hunter was a third-round pick by Seattle in 2003, but was cut by the Seahawks following a barroom incident in suburban Seattle. Hunter has a history of violent episodes and Del Rio said, "He's already shortened that leash. I think he's very grateful to have this chance."
At the root of the Jaguars' decision to sign Hunter is the belief the team's Hawaiian delegation, including Chris Naeole, Vince Manuwai, Chad Owens and running backs coach Kennedy Pola, will provide a friendly atmosphere and guidance for Hunter, a Hawaiian.
"We are aware that he has a couple of issues he's resolving," Del Rio said of Hunter. "He's got some talent. We feel this locker room gives him the best chance to succeed. This young man has a chance to come in and be a better person and be a better player."
Del Rio also commented on the signing last Friday of wide receivers Troy Edwards and Randy Hymes, both of whom practiced on Monday.
"We feel good about our young receivers. We added a 10th and 11th guy to give a chance to compete for a roster spot," Del Rio said.