JACKSONVILLE – Kyle Love has no doubts about his future.
If the New England Patriots feel differently, Love figures he can't control that. Beginning this week, he doesn't much care.
"I'm very confident," Love said Monday following his first organized team activities practice with the Jaguars after being claimed off waivers from New England last week.
"I'm a fighter. I'm a warrior."
Kyle Love, a four-year veteran defensive tackle, was released by New England – the team that signed him as a college free agent in 2009 – last Wednesday. The Jaguars claimed him the following day, and he worked with the team for the first time Monday.
"It feels great to be back," he said. "I had a little setback but I'm ready to work and get better every day."
The Patriots released Love with a non-football illness designation after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He reportedly lost 30 pounds and had not practiced in the offseason program, but he said on Monday he feels great and that he's working 100 percent.
"There's nothing wrong with me," he said.
Love said while the Patriots released him after the diagnosis he never wanted to think about the situation possibly ending his career.
"I'm the type of guy that if something gets me down I want to be a warrior," he said. "I want to be able to fight anything that ever happens to me and anything in life. That's just my mentality. With my dad being a Colonel he put that in me. He instilled that in me, so I want to keep on pushing."
Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said, "We met with our trainers and our medical staff and they reviewed him and felt good about the situation. We felt like we could give him the care that he needs. He'll just add to our team."
The addition of Love gives the Jaguars 17 defensive linemen currently on the roster.
"I looked at them today and I thought we had to get two sets of bags or something to get everybody through there but it's good," Bradley said. "It doesn't matter to those guys if there's seventeen, twelve, eight – it shouldn't matter to them. They all should be trying to get better within themselves and that's how we're going to get better as a team."
Love (6-feet-1, 315 pounds) played in all 16 games each of the past two seasons, starting 24 games over that span, including 11 this past season. He is considered a solid run player who can add depth and strength to the interior of the line.
"He does a nice job on tape, I thought, for what we're going to ask him to do," Bradley said. "We're going to try him out at some different spots but I think it's just another creating and adding competition to that whole group."
SANDERS WORKS HIS WAY BACK
Wide receiver/punt returner Ace Sanders returned to practice Monday, working for the first time since sustaining an abdominal/hip injury early in rookie minicamp. He watched the first three OTA practices from the side. "I felt pretty good," Sanders said. "They told me to tone it back a little just for precautionary reasons. I just listen to them on what they tell me to do. Other than that I feel pretty good." A fourth-round selection from South Carolina, Sanders said holding back is difficult, especially in his first day practicing with the veterans. "It's hard to do that (hold back)," Sanders said. "You see everyone else going fast, you don't want to be the one just out there kind of looking like you're going through the motions. I try to push it for the most part, trying to blend in with the rest of them." When will he return to full speed, full-time? "Soon," Sanders said. "I really think it will be soon."
VIEW FROM THE OZONE
It's come to the attention of this observer there is concern among other observers about the Jaguars' quarterback situation – namely, that the competition between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne somehow won't be fair. It's true that right now Gabbert appears ahead of Henne and it's true that most people seem to think Gabbert will win the job come training camp and preseason. But this notion that somehow the competition is slanted toward Gabbert just doesn't add up. Remember that Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley was in Seattle last offseason when Pete Carroll oversaw the competition between Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. Flynn was a high-priced free agent and most assumed he would start. Instead, Wilson – a third-round draft pick – won the job and the rest is history. This isn't to compare either Gabbert or Henne with Wilson or Flynn, but when Bradley talks about competition, he isn't talking about lip service and he isn't talking about preconceived notions. Bradley believes in this competition thing, and history gives us no reason to think he won't believe in it when it comes to who starts at quarterback for the Jaguars next season.
"You can count on him, steady, always does things right – had a good year last year. I think he brings that continuity to what we have. He raises the level of play throughout the whole running backs."
--- Head Coach Gus Bradley on running back Justin Forsett
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I'm disappointed. I want to be out here playing with these guys. There's vital experience you get from being on the field. I just have to do as good as I can, listen and take mental reps. I have to do extra to be up to par with the experience these guys are getting on the field."
--- Rookie quarterback Jordan Rodgers on missing OTAs after sports hernia surgery
The Jaguars will hold the fifth of 10 organized team activities practices at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields Tuesday at 11:25 p.m.
AROUND THE JAGUARS
*Cornerback Jeremy Harris, a seventh-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2013 NFL Draft, signed his contract on Monday. He became the first of the team's eight selections to sign.
*Defensive end Jason Babin (knee) returned to practice after missing the first week of OTAs.
*Defensive end Jeremy Mincey and tight end Marcedes Lewis did not attend practice Monday for personal reasons, with kicker Josh Scobee missing to attend an event.
*Wide receiver Justin Blackmon missed practice with tightness in his groin, Bradley said.
*First-year tight end Matt Veldman (knee) continued to work on the side Monday, as did veteran defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) and running back Jordan Todman.
*Linebacker Jeremiah Green and running back De'Leon Eskridge continued to miss because they are attending classes, while veteran defensive end Austen Lane returned to practice after missing last week to attend the NFL's Sports Journalism boot camp at Bowling Green University.
*Bradley on last week's release of two-time Pro Bowl special teams player and running back/fullback Montell Owens: "We wanted to get a chance to look at our younger guys. It was a decision by me just to give him a chance. We kind of had an idea with the youth we had at that position that we wanted to . . . give him an opportunity to get picked up at this time of year. I think that was part of it rather than waiting if it should happen to the last cut."