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Five storylines of camp


    • Will the pass-rush be improved?—The Jaguars spent $11 million on Aaron Kampman and their first four draft picks on Tyson Alualu, D'Anthony Smith, Larry Hart and Austen Lane for the expressed purpose of improving what was the league's worst pass-rush last season. Kampman is coming off ACL surgery and Alualu has yet to sign a contract. It sure would give the Jaguars a lift if Kampman is able to practice and shows a return of the first step that made him one of the game's best pass-rushers a few years ago, and if the team can come to terms quickly with Alualu and make sure his development isn't delayed. More than any other phase of the Jaguars' game, the defensive line, under new line coach Joe Cullen, will be intensely scrutinized in this camp. It holds the key to any chance the Jaguars have of improving their defense from the faltering unit it was in December. * Can they sell the tickets?—The Jaguars have to move about 5,600 general-bowl season tickets to ensure all games will be shown on local TV this season. That figure doesn't include another 5,000 (approximate) tickets per game the Jaguars have moved into the group sales category, for which the team has accepted the responsibility of selling. July is usually the hottest month of the year for selling tickets, but it's been slow for the Jaguars this year. What does that mean? Does it mean the rush is over? Or does it mean the rush has been moved to August? We're about to find out. * Who's number two?—The Jaguars need to find a number two receiver; Mike Sims-Walker established himself last season as the team's number one. Mike Thomas and Jarett Dillard would seem to be competing for that number two spot, but emerging candidates are welcomed. Will General Manager Gene Smith stand pat at the position, or will he seek help from the outside? What about tight end/H-back/wide receiver Zach Miller? Will he make a full recovery from the foot injury that kept him sidelined through the spring? * Is David Garrard the answer?—Challenged by his head coach and owner to dedicate himself more fully to his craft, Garrard responded in the offseason in all the right ways. Now it's time to prove it on the field. The Jaguars are talent heavy on the offensive side of the ball, with a star running back in Maurice Jones-Drew and two building-block tackles in Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton that should give Garrard the pass-protection he needs to be an effective passer. The rest is up to Garrard and a critical fan base is eager for an answer. * What's the plan?—Mike Tice and Kennedy Pola are gone, which leaves the offense to be molded fully in the vision of coordinator Dirk Koetter. Changes could be subtle, but not unnoticed. On defense, coordinator Mel Tucker wasn't able to do much more than play it soft and try to deny big plays last year. His unit didn't tackle well and struggled in pass-defense, largely due to the lack of a pass-rush. In this training camp, the Jaguars will practice tackling, which will be a feature attraction. What might Tucker have in mind for this season? The word is the Jaguars want to be an attack 4-3 defense. Can they tackle and rush well enough to be an attack defense? We'll see.
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