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Senior Bowl '16: David Caldwell speaks


FAIRHOPE, Ala. – This makes the whole offseason a lot easier.

That's one advantage General Manager David Caldwell sees in having the Jaguars' coaching staff coach the 2016 Reese's Senior Bowl, and it's not the only one.

"All around, it's a huge benefit for us," Caldwell said shortly before the first South practice at Fairhope High School Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's Senior Bowl.

"It gives us a jump start on the process. It helps us knock out 110 interviews, and there are 55 guys on our team [the South] we don't have to go work out in the spring. We don't have to interview them at the combine, and we don't have to do any additional work unless something pops up between now and the draft.

"It saves us a lot of time on players who aren't here."

The Jaguars are coaching the Senior Bowl for a third consecutive season. They drafted cornerback Aaron Colvin, linebacker Telvin Smith and defensive end Chris Smith after coaching them in 2013 on the South team, and also drafted guard Brandon Linder after he played for the North team that year.

Caldwell said being around the players for a week not only helps the Jaguars decide players that might be a fit, but also players the team may not want to draft.

"It helps us not make mistakes on some of the guys we draft, and it helps us on guys we do pick and feel really good about," Caldwell said.

Also around the Senior Bowl:

*Former Jaguars offensive tackle Todd Fordham is working with the South team offensive line this week.  "I'd like to get into coaching if the right opportunity came along," Fordham said. "I enjoy it, love the game and love coaching kids. It's been a lot of fun, and I love the fundamental part of it." Fordham, who played 10 seasons with the Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers from 1997-2006, said Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley offered the chance to coach this week because offensive line coach Doug Marrone is having surgery. Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli worked with the line in a similar capacity at the Senior Bowl last year. "To have a guy like Todd, someone of his caliber, is great," Bradley said. "Last year when we had Tony Boselli, you saw a lot of guys gravitate toward him. This year's no different with Todd." …

*Caldwell on Tuesday expanded on an idea new defensive coordinator Todd Wash mentioned this past Friday – that Leo defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. could move around on the defensive line next season rather than always lining up on the end of the line of scrimmage. "He can be an every-down, defensive-end Leo for us," Caldwell said. "If he turns out to be a very good player for us they [opponents] can negate him [if he always lines up on the end]. We want to give him the best chance to succeed. That may mean moving him around. He has a pretty versatile skill set.'' …

*Caldwell said the plan remains for Wash to coach the defensive line. He was promoted to defensive coordinator last week after spending three seasons as the defensive line coach. He also served as defensive line coach/run-game coordinator last season. "Right now, it's going to be Todd Wash," Caldwell said. "We're going to take it as it comes. If something presents itself, we won't be opposed to it, but it would have to be the right fit." …

*Caldwell addressed the promotion of Mark Ellenz from eastern regional scout to director of college scouting: "Mark is extremely detailed. He's a great administrator and he's a really astute talent evaluator. He has a really good feel for value of players throughout the draft. He's really tied into all the little details that may get overlooked at times." Ellenz was originally hired by the Jaguars in May 2013 and replaced Kyle O'Brien in as director of college scouting last Friday. …

*Caldwell said the expectation is safety James Sample will be ready for the beginning of the offseason program in mid-April. He said guard Brandon Linder could be ready for the offseason program and definitely will be ready for training camp. Sample sustained a season-ending shoulder injury last season and Linder sustained a season-ending labrum injury. …

*Caldwell also said he expects defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks to return to a high level next season after knee and triceps injuries limited him to four games in 2015. Marks, the Jaguars' sacks leader in 2014, missed the first five games of 2015 rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained in the 2014 regular-season finale and missed the final seven games after sustaining a torn triceps. "Both are isolated injuries," Caldwell said. "He should be fine, and we look forward to having a big year out of him." …

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