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OTA Report: Babin optimistic after surgery


JACKSONVILLE – Jason Babin says he's optimistic.

Babin, the Jaguars' veteran defensive end, said Friday he doesn't anticipate a problem being ready for training camp after undergoing surgery on his groin in Philadelphia Tuesday.

"From that I was told, it went very well," Babin said Friday after the Jaguars wrapped up the last of 10 2013 organized team activities practices at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields adjacent to EverBank Field.

Babin, who had 1.5 sacks in five games after joining the Jaguars off waivers from Philadelphia late last season, said the groin has been a lingering issue that he had treated with ice and rest. He sought a second opinion in Tuesday and underwent surgery that day.

"It's a short turnaround, they told me," he said. "It's one of those surgeries with high, high results and nothing else is affected. It's a low-risk surgery and I should recover."

Babin, entering his 10th season, said it was his first surgery of any kind.

"It didn't affect me going full speed," Babin said. "It was one of those things that they didn't want it to get worse by the season. It had an opportunity to get done, so it got done."

Asked if he would be ready by training camp, Babin replied, "That's not going to be an issue."

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Maybe the oddest part of the Jaguars' offseason is how many people seem to have forgotten about . . . well, the guy who might have been the Jaguars' best player last season. We're not talking Maurice Jones-Drew, Paul Posluszny, or even Bryan Anger. We're talking Cecil Shorts III. It's been amazing the number of emails since Justin Blackmon's suspension from people worried about the Jaguars losing their best receiver. No knock on Blackmon, but statistically and in reality, Shorts was the Jaguars' best receiver last season and maybe the best player, period. He made the biggest plays, and did so the most consistently. Here's what's most impressive: from all indications, he is getting better. He's consistently open in practice, running crisp routes and both quarterbacks – Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne – have a lot of confidence in him. One of the neatest things about an NFL offseason is seeing a guy on the cusp, clearly ready to take another step. Of all the current Jaguars, Shorts looks the most like that guy. So, yes, the Jaguars will miss Blackmon early next season. Yes, they need Blackmon to develop, but to say the Jaguars will be without their best receiver early? Most people watching this offseason would be hard-pressed to argue that.

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"We're very pleased with the challenges we've presented them and they kind of went back and forth. The offense a couple of days ago had a really good day. Yesterday the defense had a really good day, so it goes back and forth. And that's what happens when you start seeing both sides of the ball improve."

--- Head Coach Gus Bradley


"I think we've grown as a team. I think the approach of 'getting better every day' did that. It's still nowhere near where we need to be, but we got a good feel for what's expected. It feels like we got better."

--- Jaguars DT Tyson Alualu

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The Jaguars will hold a three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday-Thursday, June 11-13 at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. Thursday's practice is open to the public.


*Rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders continued to impress coaches and teammates with his speed and playmaking Friday. "I met with the offense (coaching staff) yesterday and they were very pleased with Ace – very pleased the last couple of days," Bradley said. "They think he's got a chance to do some good things if he's been progressing like he has been. He's just a really, really competitive kid, really competitive."

*Quarterback Jordan Rodgers remained on the side rehabilitating following sports hernia surgery, while Babin also missed practice Friday.

*Running back Maurice Jones-Drew was the lone player not in attendance Friday. He is training and rehabilitating in Miami. Jones-Drew is expected to the attend next week's mandatory minicamp.

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