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Jag expectations high


Jack Del Rio gave spring drills his seal of approval and the Jaguars coach talked about high expectations for his team's offense.

"Let's build an offense around what we can do. I think it's a reasonable expectation for us to have a more explosive offense, a more consistent offense," Del Rio said following Wednesday's final practice of the OTA spring season.

It was a practice the defense clearly dominated, as the Jaguars passing attack struggled, but quarterback Byron Leftwich was not concerned.

"Offense had its days. Defense had it days. You wouldn't want it one-sided," Leftwich said.

It was a spring practice season that began with the retirement of star wide receiver Jimmy Smith. Will a replacement emerge?

"We're asking Reggie (Williams) to do a whole lot more this year and I believe he'll do that. I have to do a better job of getting the ball in his hands," Leftwich said.

Matt Jones replaced Smith at the "X" receiver position. Last year's second-leading receiver, Ernest Wilford, split time with Williams at the "Z" receiver position, though Williams was held out of Wednesday's practice due to leg tenderness.

"We want to continue to develop the players we have on offense. We're going to develop the guys we have. Usually there aren't any saviors out there in late June," Del Rio said when asked if the team might try to acquire help at the receiver position before the start of training camp.

"We're a better football team than we were at this time last year," Leftwich said. "We're opening up. We're allowing guys to make plays. We expect big things."

Del Rio expressed a particular expectation for the team's running game.

"We're going to be able to run the ball, and we've got the ability to strike from longer distance. We feel we can block a little better, run a little better," Del Rio said.

Star running back Fred Taylor opted not to participate in the voluntary spring drills, but Taylor appeared to be in top shape during the mandatory mini-camp practices. All eyes will be on Taylor when training camp begins on July 29.

Offensive lineman Mike Williams was absent from practice, excused so he might attend to personal business, Del Rio said.

The Jaguars will conclude their offseason conditioning program on July 14, then take a break before returning for the start of camp.

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