Inside the Jaguars

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The 'Cat for the Cats?

Mike Mularkey said the Jaguars' future may have elements of the Wildcat offense.

Mularkey, entering his first season as the Jaguars' head coach, said the team may experiment with parts of the run-oriented offense, and could use newly drafted cornerback Mike Harris or second-year wide receiver Cecil Shorts III as a quarterback in the formation.

"We're going to see how it looks in camp and maybe experiment a bit in preseason," Mularkey said Saturday late on Day 3 of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Mularkey said he typically asks cornerbacks and receivers if they have experience at quarterback to see if they have skills that can be used in unconventional offensive formations.

"If you have the right people to do it – we're always looking for that," Mularkey said. "It puts a threat into defenses that they have to be concerned about. It is a threat, if you have them."

Harris, who played quarterback in high school, said if there was quarterbacking in his NFL future, it definitely would be in a wildcat situation.

"I don't have the arm of most of the guys on the college level, so I definitely knew it was time for me to switch after high school," he said.

*IDENTITY CRISIS                       *

He's not *that *Brandon Marshall, but he knows by now some people will never get it.

Marshall, a linebacker from Nevada selected by the Jaguars in the fifth round Saturday, said there are times his online life gets a bit crazy. That's because people can't quite figure out that he's not NFL receiver Brandon Marshall, now with the Chicago Bears.

"Somebody tweeted me and said, 'Hey, who would you like the Bears to pick with the 19th pick?''' Marshall said with a laugh.

Marshall's reply was that he hoped the Bears would select . . . Brandon Marshall.

"It's like he had no idea," Marshall said. "He said, 'Well, that would be kind of crazy to have two people with the same name.'''

* *

"NO SYMPATHY NEEDED"

A day later, the selection of a punter in the third round remained a hot-button issue.

And a day after the Jaguars selected punter Bryan Anger in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Jaguars Director of Player Personnel Terry McDonough said the team is confident the selection will prove a good one.

In a good-natured give-and-take with Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union Saturday, McDonough asked Stellino to revisit the analysis of the position at "mini-camp, training camp, or after the season."

"Let's you and I revisit that when you get a chance to see him, okay?" McDonough said, smiling.
"I just want you and I to have that conversation after this season when you get a chance to see him. . . . I want you to keep this year's third round. Four years from now you and I are going to look at the entire round and we're going to compare him with everybody else in the round.

"And I can't wait for that conversation to happen."

McDonough added of Anger, "I am very excited about the pick," and when Stellino said he was more sympathetic about the selection than many observers, McDonough smiled, "You know what? With this one, no sympathy is going to be needed."

McDonough also said he didn't believe Anger would have been available in the fifth round, the next round in which the Jaguars had a selection after the Anger selection.

PUNTERS WAIVED

The Jaguars on Saturday waived punters Nick Harris and Spencer Lanning.

The releases came a day after the team selected Anger. A 10-year veteran, Harris punted in 11 games for the Jaguars last season with a 42.7-yard average and 13 punts inside the 20.

Mularkey said the team released Harris and Lanning to give them an opportunity to sign with another team. He also said if necessary, Anger can be the lone punter throughout the off-season program.

"That's the plan right now," Mularkey said.

WHAT JAGUARS LINEBACKERS COACH MARK DUFFNER SAYS (ABOUT MARSHALL)

 "What I particularly like is his personality, his attitude. This is a very hungry person, a very competitive person, a very passionate person. . . . How many plays does he make as a linebacker? That's the most important thing. All this height, weight and speed stuff is important, but the bottom line is does the man line up and make plays on the field?"

WHAT MULARKEY SAYS

"We have addressed some additional needs that we talked about when we started the draft – maybe even probably upgraded ourselves special teams-wise with some players that are going to be coming in here. Obviously, everybody that is coming in here we are hoping they compete for starting jobs, but if that's not the case we've got guys that can be core special teams players that we're getting here in the later rounds. They are as important as a starter that comes out of the draft, so we feel like we've addressed some needs and some depth at some positions."

WHAT MCDONOUGH SAYS

"If you don't have belief in this business that you're good at what you do, and you start picking off of what other people say you should do, you won't be doing this very long. If you believe in what you see and how to construct a team, you pick the players that you feel can help the Jaguars win a championship and whatever anyone else says doesn't matter. The bottom line is we will win, we will fill this stadium."

* *

WHAT'S NEXT

The Jaguars spent the moments after the draft signing collegiate free agents, with the list expected to be announced in the next day or two. The team will hold a three-day rookie mini-camp Friday through Sunday at EverBank Field.

* *

TODAY'S TAKE

The 2012 NFL Draft is done, and as the Jaguars' scouting staff pursues collegiate free agents, it's time to wrap up the weekend. What I keep thinking about is the theory that kept getting floated early in the draft that somehow Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith was changing his philosophy, either because of Jaguars Owner Shad Khan or because of public pressure. I found that laughable then, and the rest of the draft showed why. Smith this week drafted as the Jaguars' general manager for a fourth time, and he did what he has done the first four drafts – he has selected the player at the position that he thinks is the best player at that spot that makes the most sense for the Jaguars at the time. Sometimes, that means a popular selection such as Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon and sometimes it means an unpopular one. My favorite quote of the weekend came when Smith was asked after selecting Cal punter Bryan Anger if he worried that the selection meant the goodwill built up from the Blackmon selection now was gone. "No, I'm not," Smith said. "I care about winning games and helping us upgrade the roster. That's my defined role here." Some ridiculed that comment, but it defines the approach a general manager must take. A GM without the belief in his own convictions is useless to an organization, and will result in a rudderless team without direction – and that's a team with no chance of winning, no foundation and no future.  With Smith as GM, the Jaguars are not that.

QUICK HITS

*Despite twice undergoing arthroscopic surgery (meniscus) on his left knee – and despite being limited in spring practice in 2010 – Marshall never missed a game in college because of injury.

*Smith said a reason for drafting Pendleton is that while there are a lot of receivers and cornerbacks available in collegiate free agency that's less true of defensive tackles and offensive tackles. He said it was necessary to take Pendleton to ensure he wouldn't be selected somewhere else.

*Smith said Pendleton is more of a one-technique tackle and will play the position played by Terrance Knighton and C.J. Mosley.

*Mularkey said with six linebackers on the roster, the team likely will sign multiple players at the position in collegiate free agency.

*Marshall played strong side backer as a junior and weak side as a senior. He said he is more comfortable on the weak side, but that he doesn't care which he plays in the NFL. He said the Jaguars haven't yet indicated what role they want him to play.

*McDonough said of Marshall: "We see definite upside in his play, not only as a special teams player, but possibly, someday as a potential starter."

*McDonough said Marshall and Harris were the highest-rated players on the Jaguars' board when they were selected in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively. "This time of the draft it gets thinned out, but there were a few players but we chose these guys. They were the highest ranked guys," he said.

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