Mini-camp and a new season have begun and it was ushered in on Saturday with what coach Jack Del Rio called a "new culture" in the locker room.
"Our culture in our locker room over the last couple of years has changed. We're just not going to tolerate things that won't help us win a championship," Del Rio told reporters following a late-afternoon practice in front a strong and enthusiastic turnout of fans.
The team's familiar faces were joined by a crop of newcomers that includes four defensive linemen that were selected in last weekend's draft. Leading the way is first-round pick Tyson Alualu, who immediately stepped into the lineup on defense at tackle.
"Great to be outside working. It was a beautiful day to kick off our 2010 season," Del Rio said.
Del Rio gave a post-practice address that would best be described as tone-setting. He used the media to send the message to the team's fans that his expectations are for an unflagging effort this season.
"We talked to the team about committing. We're looking to be better … to make sure we can have a great year," Del Rio said.
In his season-ending address following the conclusion of a 7-9 record last year, Del Rio told reporters that his expectation for 2010 would be to make it into the playoffs. Clearly, his expectations haven't changed.
"This is going to be the focus point this year. We're going to make sure we give a little bit more. That's what I'm going to demand of the group and of myself," he said.
Defense will be another focus point. The Jaguars defense collapsed in the face of four consecutive losses to end last season. The Jaguars allowed 107 points in those four games.
"We've got to make significant strides (on defense)," Del Rio said.
A draft-day trade with the Raiders for middle linebacker Kirk Morrison added to last weekend's makeover on the defensive side of the ball. Morrison immediately becomes the team's starting middle linebacker.
"He's definitely hungry. He's a take-charge guy. Things we've really been looking for, he's going to add there," Del Rio said of Morrison.
Three players did not practice: Aaron Kampman and Greg Jones are rehabbing from knee and ankle surgeries respectively, and second-year tight end Zach Miller sat out practice with what Del Rio characterized to be a minor foot injury.
"We're looking for any leadership that's willing to be courageous and not only demanding of themselves but of their teammates, too. We want guys playing with their hair on fire. We're going to prop up guys who do it that way. We cannot sit around and let mediocrity and average take place. It starts today," Del Rio added.