(July 28)—Head coach Jack Del Rio will welcome his team to training camp with his traditional "team address" on Friday at six p.m. As of early Friday afternoon, the Jaguars held out hope all 85 of the players on the team's roster will be on the field for the first practice of training camp, set for Saturday morning at 10:15.
Third-round draft choice Clint Ingram was the only player unsigned as of Friday afternoon. Ingram's agent, Tom Condon, represents three third-round picks, all of whom were drafted within five picks of each other. None of Condon's three third-round picks have signed with their respective teams. The other two are Travis Wilson, drafted by Cleveland two picks ahead of Ingram, and Miami's Derek Hagan, who was selected two picks after Ingram was picked. Cleveland has already started its training camp and Miami begins practices on Saturday.
The Jaguars begin practices at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday. The first full-pads practice will be Monday evening at 7:15. Practices will be conducted on the fields adjacent to Alltel Stadium and practices are open to the public through Fri., Aug. 11. A full training camp schedule is available on jaguars.com by going to "News" and clicking on "Press releases." Go to "Training camp schedule."
One of the feature attractions of this training camp will be the performance of the team's wide receivers, as they vie for the number one receiver role Jimmy Smith vacated when he retired this past spring. First-round draft choices Matt Jones and Reggie Williams are joined by Ernest Wilford, who led the Jaguars with seven touchdown catches last year. Tight end Marcedes Lewis is this year's first-round draft choice.
"We're gonna find out. What we're gonna find out is if they can replace Jimmy," Offensive Coordinator Carl Smith said of his young wide receivers. "The good part is they all played a lot last year, they were productive, they're not afraid of anybody and they're going to get more snaps."
Quarterback Byron Leftwich is in his fourth season and has said he feels more comfortable in Smith's offense, which was all-new last year. Leftwich, by nature of the position, will be the key to the gains the Jaguars need to make on offense to return to the postseason.
"We expect Byron to pick up where he finished. Byron's gotta play great for us to be great and we expect that he will," Smith said.
Leftwich was playing the best football of his life last year when he sustained a broken ankle in the opening drive of a game in Arizona on Nov. 27. Leftwich missed the remainder of the regular season, then returned to the starting lineup in a 28-3 loss to New England in the first round of the playoffs.
Veteran running back Fred Taylor will also command attention in training camp. Taylor chose not to participate in spring drills, but he applied himself to an intense personal training regimen Taylor said has left him in the best condition of his career.
"I think Fred's going to be fine. He's in terrific shape. I'm anxious to see him," Smith said.
Those and other topics of interest will present themselves for inspection beginning on Saturday.