JACKSONVILLE – He has seen the old – and now he's seeing the new.
That's the perspective of experience, and veteran guard A.J. Cann said that perspective gives him a good feeling about what he's seeing around the Jaguars these days.
"I'm excited for the future – the change, the culture," Cann said.
Cann, one of the Jaguars' most-tenured players, joined senior writer John Oehser recently for the O-Zone Podcast as 2021 Organized Team Activities presented by Baptist Health continued at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex this week.
The ongoing offseason program is the team's first with Urban Meyer as head coach, and Cann – like many Jaguars veterans – said the feeling of change this offseason is distinct.
"We know where he wants to go," Cann said. "He wants to win and he wants to win now. As a team, we're hungry. We hear a hungry head coach talking like that and working his butt off to give us everything he can to win and increase our value. That makes you want to go out there and give it all you have for a guy like that. He's been everything and all of that since he has been here."
Cann is part of the Jaguars' most-experienced position group, with the projected starting five offensive linemen – left tackle Cam Robinson (fifth season), left guard Andrew Norwell (eighth season), center Brandon Linder (eighth season), Cann (seventh season) and right tackle Jawaan Taylor (third season) – entering their third consecutive season as a starting tandem.
"Just knowing who you're going to battle with, and knowing that person in and out," Cann said. "I've been beside Brandon for a while. Sometimes when we see something, we'll look at each other and it's like, 'You saw that? I saw it, too.' I just know what he's thinking about and I am able to think on the same page.
"It's the same with Jawaan: He can make a point and I say, 'I'm already watching it.' That's a cool thing. You can feel the presence of the group. We've got guys who have been there. We made some strides last year. We're working to build on that."
Cann, entering his seventh NFL season, is the third-most tenured player on the Jaguars. Only Linder and guard/center Tyler Shatley have been with the team longer.
"You get older, and it starts to turn into, 'Can your body hold up?'" Cann said. "I've been blessed. I've never really had anything major. I've been able to stay as healthy as I can. Hopefully, I continue to do that and hopefully it allows me to play as long as I can."
And Cann said he without question sees the benefit of that experience in his play.
"When you first come in, you see things happen and you're a little slow to react," Cann said. "Now, I feel like everything is reactionary. I've seen it so many times. I react to it and get the job done. It's been cool to see that progress from the younger years to now being older. It's helped me out a whole lot."
To listen to the entire O-Zone podcast with Cann, click HERE.