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New weight room to greet Jags


New strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson (second from right) will open his doors for the official start of the Jaguars' offseason conditioning program on Monday, April 6, and those doors will unveil a completely remodeled facility.

All of the old equipment is gone, replaced by 14 weight-training stations Richesson describes as the "latest and greatest invention" in weight training. The units were built by Sorinex and the Jaguars are the first team in the country to use them.

"The first thing we did was gut the place, top to bottom. We sold everything else. We got a fair price on it and we were able to outfit our weight room for an extremely good deal. It's allowed us to maximize our floor space, train in groups and get back that team chemistry," Richesson said.

Coach Jack Del Rio made it clear at the end of last season that this offseason would focus on getting back the team chemistry the team lost at some point between the end of the 2007 season and the start of '08. Richesson is the early point man for stimulating team chemistry.

"The main theme is competition. We want to have a competitive environment," Richesson said.

A visitor to Richesson's musclerama would reveal many balls; 90 balls, to be exact. They are meant to be used to improve flexibility and core strengthening.

The room is painted a no-frills, battleship gray and features three wall paintings of fierce-looking, teal-colored Jaguars heads. The walls also bear the letters T, C and B, which will implore Jaguars players to take care of business.

Offensive and defensive linemen are first on the day's schedule.

"They're going to set the tone for the team. They have to be the meanest, baddest guys on the team," Richesson said.

The second group includes linebackers, tight ends, running backs and specialists. Wide receivers, defensive backs and quarterbacks begin their workouts last.

What might've been the world's largest collection of dumbbells – the kind you lift – has been replaced by a compact, less bulky, state-of-the-art gizmo called a PowerBlock. Richesson will also introduce the players to a training regimen known as plyometrics, which focuses on explosiveness and power.

The main objective?

"Build attitude; that would be 1A. Athleticism would be 1B. The attitude I'm looking for is one of extreme confidence. We're taking our ships, we're burning them and we're not going back, we're going forward," said Richesson, clearly a devotee of Corinthian history.

Richesson is assisted by Jason George (second from left), Anthony Lomando (left) and Mike Eubanks (right).

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