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The Jacksonville Jaguars opened their 1998 minicamp with 81 players in attendance for the two practice sessions today.

"It was the first time out, and we have a lot of young rookies who are trying to learn where they belong," said head coach Tom Coughlin. "It is a learning experience for them. The enthusiasm was good and some kids jumped out. We got some things done. We had some people who caught our eye. It was a beautiful day to be out here and you just can't help but smile when you are out here working on the field, the players are here and it is a great opportunity to improve our team."

"I thought there was some speed that was apparent out here; some of the skilled running backs and receivers did well," added Coughlin. "There are no disappointments - it is all upside. I like some of the big defensive linemen. Whether they were drafted or are free agents, some of those kids look like they have a chance, so I am excited about that."

Cornerback Deon Figures missed today's practices because of a death in his family, and running back Malcolm Thomas and cornerback Ricky Parker are playing in the NFL Europe League. The Jaguars' roster is at 84 players, with five exemptions granted for players who were allocated to the NFL Europe League. The Jaguars can still sign one more player.

The three-day minicamp will continue through Sunday, with two practices on Saturday and the final one on Sunday morning at the Ferrell Fields adjacent to ALLTEL Stadium.


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