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Minicamp practices get underway


JACKSONVILLE – The moment has arrived.

And if there was a first-day-of-school excitement around EverBank Field Tuesday for a second time in three weeks, it's because to players, that's what Tuesday was.

There was excitement. There was energy.

There was the anticipation of being a part of something new.

There was all of that on Tuesday as the 59 veterans on the Jaguars' roster and the 18 players invited on a workout basis prepared for the first on-field work under first-year Head Coach Gus Bradley and a largely newly assembled coaching staff.

"I think guys are excited to finally get out and move around a little bit, to do some stuff we've been doing in the classroom," Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny said Tuesday, the first day of the team's voluntary three-day veteran minicamp at EverBank Field.

"We get a chance to get out on the field and read and react, and see what the practice atmosphere is going to be like during the season. It's good to get that first feel."

Practice was scheduled to run from 1:10-3:30 Tuesday, with Bradley scheduled to speak to the media shortly thereafter, but around noon, players gave an idea of what to expect.

"It's important for us to get a feel for each other the next three days," wide receiver Justin Blackmon said. "It's pretty much going to get the tempo for the offseason program."

The players had been around the facility the past two weeks for Phase One of the team's offseason program. Those two weeks were about conditioning and meetings, with the focus of the meetings the new offensive, defensive and special teams schemes being installed by coordinators Jeff Fisch, Bob Babich and Mike Mallory.

The three-day voluntary minicamp marked the first day players could be on the field with coaches, and although work was limited to individual and position groups – and specifically not including team drills – players said the minicamp is important to the installation of the schemes.

It also was important for Bradley to establish what he considers his basic tenets of tempo and competition.

"It's going to be high-energy, high-tempo and I think it's going to be a lot of fun," linebacker Russell Allen said.

Also on Tuesday:

*Posluszny arrived for veteran minicamp with his trademark long hair cut well above the shoulders. He said it had nothing to do with getting married this summer, and said his fiancé actually was a fan of the long hair. "I just needed a change," Posluszny said with a laugh. "Long hair is hard to maintain. Life is easier now."

*Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu said he likes the new scheme being installed by Bradley and Babich. He also said the knee on which he underwent microfracture surgery in January 2012 feels better now than this time last year. Whereas Alualu spent last offseason rehabilitating from surgery, he has spent this offseason strengthening and conditioning and is participating in the offseason program. "I feel good," Alualu said.

*Blackmon said he welcomes the addition of veteran wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, and said the former second-round selection of the Cleveland Browns could help the receiving corps. "We need all the help we can get – the more, the better," Blackmon said. Massaquoi was selected by the Browns in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

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