It was more than a mini-camp practice, it was an event to help aid tornado relief in Jaguars center Brad Meester's hometown.
Jaguars coaches wore "AP Falcons" hats during practice on Friday morning; the same hat jaguars.com and associated outlets are selling for $20 apiece to aid victims of the recent F-5 tornado that destroyed a large chunk of Parkersburg, Iowa. The "AP" stands for Aplington Parkersburg High School, the alma mater of Meester and three other NFL players.
"I'm really thrilled. The coaches were all wearing them. The players are buying them. It means a lot to me and to the people back home. Every little bit helps," Meester said following Friday's opening practice of the two-day mini-camp. The Jaguars were to practice at 4:15 on Friday afternoon and twice again on Saturday.
"This will be a rigorous weekend," coach Jack Del Rio said. "Tomorrow night, when we get done with these guys, they're going to be sore and tired."
All roster players were on hand for the mandatory practices and tight end Marcedes Lewis (knee) participated in practice for the first time this spring. The ranks included four workout players, the most prominent of which is former Fletcher High School and Florida star Ciatrick Faison.
"This is a tryout weekend for him," Del Rio said of Faison, a running back who was originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. "If we feel there's enough there, we'll offer him a contract and bring him to camp."
Friday morning's practice was similar to the OTA practices the Jaguars had been conducting since May 13. They will conclude the spring practice season with three OTAs next week.
Quarterback David Garrard led the Jaguars through one of the more impressive passing drills of the spring season. Garrard's performance appears to be continuing its ascent.
"I see a guy who's picked up where he's left off," Del Rio said of Garrard. "Last year, he heard the news he was number two but he was encouraged to be the best he could be. He was the backup and did all the right things and now he's the starter and doing all the right things."
Safety Gerald Sensabaugh said he's apologized to his teammates for having done something wrong. Sensabaugh was arrested recently in his hometown of Kingsport, Tenn., and charged with reckless driving. He allegedly was doing wheelies in traffic on his motorcycle.
"I guess I was driving too fast. I wasn't doing a wheelie. I shouldn't be on the bike. I apologize to the team and the fans," Sensabaugh said.
Del Rio told reporters that he urges his players not to endanger their careers by riding motorcycles. "Don't throw it away on a motorcycle accident," Del Rio told reporters of what he says to his players. "He's embarrassed by it. He apologized."