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Del Rio praises offseason work


The Jaguars concluded their OTAs season on Thursday with practice-ending gassers that claimed the team's head coach as a casualty. He's not likely to receive a get-well card from the players union.

What was supposed to have been a 14-practice OTA season ended on Thursday at 12. Two practices scheduled for next week were canceled by mutual agreement of the NFL Management Council and the players association, which claimed the Jaguars' OTA practices were too intense.

Coach Jack Del Rio seemed unfazed by the ruling, however, as the coach spoke to reporters following practice. Del Rio wore a wrap on his right hamstring, which he injured while running with his players on the final leg of gassers.

"We hadn't scheduled any more installation. It was going to be review," Del Rio said of the final two practices that were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week. "It was going to be lighter."

Lighter is not how anyone who witnessed the first 12 OTAs would describe them. Practices were usually two hours in length, they were high-energy and the last few were conducted in blazing heat.

"I feel like we really had a tremendous offseason. We looked at every single thing we can do to be better in 2010. I really feel like we've laid a solid foundation for 2010," Del Rio said.

The only negative of the spring was cornerback Rashean Mathis' absence during OTAs, participation in which is voluntary. It's believed Mathis was protesting his contract, though it's expected he will not continue his protest into training camp.

"It's been decided we were going beyond the limits," Del Rio said of the league's order to suspend OTAs. "Though I don't agree with that opinion, we are going to abide by that decision."

As part of that decision, players are not permitted to use the Jaguars' facilities next week.

"When they get back on (June) 28th, we'll kick back up our conditioning," Del Rio said. "I expect our guys to show up (for training camp) in shape."

Del Rio was upbeat in his OTA-ending address to the media. He talked about his team's goal to win the AFC South Division title this season.

"The theme for 2010 is we want to be a team relentless in pursuit of a championship and it starts with winning a division title. We've allowed Indianapolis to be on top too long. That's our goal. That's our target. We're going to be relentless in pursuit of it," Del Rio said.

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