The Team Teal visit to Nassau County was about what Paul Posluszny expected.
It was raucous. It was rowdy. And it was really, really crowded.
Posluszny, the Jaguars' middle linebacker, was one of several Jaguars representatives who appeared at the Team Teal Thursday night at the Atlantic Recreation Center in Fernandina Beach. Others were linebacker Russell Allen, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and defensive line coach Mel Tucker.
An estimated 400 fans attended the event.
With Team Teal Commissioner Tony Boselli out of town, former Jaguars defensive end and Jaguars radio personality Jeff Lageman served as the host of the event, with Chief Financial Officer Bill Prescott also representing the team.
Posluszny, Cullen, Allen, Tucker and Lageman and the ROAR also signed autographs at the rally, which was the first big Team Teal pep rally for the 2012 season.
"It's always a lot of fun," said Posluszny, who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent from Buffalo shortly before last season.
"It's always great to see how much support there is in the community. I'm still learning my way around the area, but it's great to come out and see the support for Jaguars football."
Also on Thursday:
*Tucker, Allen, Cullen and Posluszny answered questions from the crowd, and Tucker discussed his thoughts on the future of a defense that ranked No. 6 in the NFL in yards allowed last season. "I'll be very disappointed if we don't take that next step," Tucker said. "We talk about it every day, that we have to take that next step and take it up a couple of notches. If we stay healthy, we should take that next step."
*Tucker also discussed new Head Coach Mike Mularkey, hired in January as the Jaguars' full-time head coach. "He's a guy who wants to win," Tucker said. "He's not going to talk about it, but he's going to do it every day. When I get to work, his car is the first one there and the last one to leave. As an assistant coach, you're looking for a guy you believe in. We're going to run through a wall for him."
*Posluszny, who underwent shoulder surgery in early January after sustaining an injury in the regular-season finale against Indianapolis, said while he has not been cleared for full contact he expects to be ready when training camp opens in late July. "The shoulder's doing well," he said. "It's getting back to full strength. I'm not able to fully participate in OTAs (organized team activities), but in training camp I'll be 100 percent and ready to go."
*Tucker said from a defensive coordinator's perspective, he likes what he has seen from rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon. "I really like Justin," Tucker said. "He has really soft hands and is not afraid to go attack the football." The Jaguars selected Blackmon from Oklahoma State with the No. 5 overall selection in the April 2012 NFL Draft.
*Cullen addressed two other rookies – defensive end Andre Branch and defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton. He said each player worked well in practice this week and had his best practice of the week Thursday. He said Pendleton has exceptional quickness for someone his size and he said Branch has exceeded his expectations thus far. Branch was a second-round choice from Clemson and Pendleton was a seventh-round selection from Ashland.
*Posluszny discussed the difference between this off-season and last off-season, when the NFL locked out players during the offseason because of a labor dispute. *It's a lot better," he said. "Last time this year, a lot of us – me included – didn't know who we were going to play for. This situation, it's a lot better situation. We're with our teammates and it's a lot better for us, clearly."
*Posluszny also said the defense should benefit from Mularkey's decision to retain three key defensive coaches from last year's staff – Tucker, Cullen and linebackers coach Mark Duffner. "That was huge," Posluszny said. "That was great for us. We felt like last year we started to build a solid foundation on defense, and we feel we're only going to improve on that. It was great to see all those guys come back."
*Cullen updated the rally on the status of four defensive linemen – tackle Terrance Knighton, end Austen Lane, tackle Tyson Alualu and end Aaron Kampman. He said Knighton is "way ahead of schedule" and has been cleared to work out at the team's facility, while Lane is practicing full after finishing last season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Alualu underwent knee surgery in January and is on schedule to be full strength by training camp while Kampman "is on schedule and doing things in terms of running" during OTAs.
About Team Teal:Team Teal is a long-term initiative to reconnect the Jacksonville Jaguars with the Jacksonville community and surrounding areas. Team Teal members – both individual and companies – can earn points in return for helping introduce new ticket owners that make them eligible to win special rewards and prizes. Additionally, as season ticket owners, Team Teal members are eligible to receive cash rebates with the Jaguars new "Refer A Fan" program. For more information about Team Teal, visit myteamteal.com, www.facebook.com/myteamteal or www.twitter.com/myteamteal. For questions about the Team Teal Rally, contact Kandi Begue at (904) 633-6342.