The Jacksonville Jaguars - including No. 1 draft choice Marcus Stroud and nine other players selected in last weekend's draft - opened their 2001 minicamp today with 89 players in attendance for the two practice sessions.
Regarding his first impressions of Stroud, Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin said, "He is an impressive young man. He was impressive in the testing that we have done, impressive with his quickness in the pre-practice agility, and impressive when he comes off the ball. Overall, for all players, it was not bad. The enthusiasm was good, the effort was good. I'm not sure everybody knew where they were going, but it was good."
Forty-six of the 89 players are new to the Jaguars, the most newcomers since the 1995 inaugural season. "You have to watch the tape (of players' names) on the helmet," Coughlin added. "There are a lot of kids, but I tell you what is interesting about that is watching a player, then being impressed, then when you do figure out who it is, it sticks in your mind pretty well. I try to treat the rookies basically all the same in terms of what our expectations are, how they must conduct themselves and what they should be doing in order to make a favorable impression on us. They appear to be able to handle the X- and O-part of it without letting it take away from their athleticism."
Seven players who are still rehabilitating injuries did not participate in the two sessions: offensive linemen Tony Boselli, Zach Wiegert and Mark Baniewicz, tight end Damon Jones, wide receiver Jimmy Smith, defensive tackle Emarlos Leroy and safety Erik Olson
Seven other players are not participating in the minicamp because they are playing in the NFL Europe League: quarterback Jonathan Quinn, defensive back Craig Miller, offensive tackle Reggie Nelson, linebacker Troy Pelshak, defensive end Paul Spicer, safety James Watkins and placekicker Jim Tarle. They will re-join the team for the July training camp. Seven additional unsigned players participated in the minicamp: fullback Jacquis Walker, linebacker Mike Foster, offensive tackles Jeff Long, Russ Nicoll and Josh Arceneaux, and defensive linemen Thaddeus Bullard and Antonio Mays.
The 21 undrafted rookies who had reached verbal contract agreements last Sunday after the draft reported on Thursday and signed their contracts. In addition, the Jaguars claimed QB Ted White off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 6-2, 225-pound White was on practice squads in Tampa Bay in 2000 and Kansas City in 1999, being promoted to the Chiefs' 53-man roster for the final six games that season.
The three-day minicamp will continue through Sunday, with two practices on Saturday and the final session on Sunday morning at the Ferrell Fields adjacent to ALLTEL Stadium.