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Smith not panicking


Jimmy Smith understands the concern, but he doesn't advocate panic.

"It would be good to get another seasoned veteran," Smith said of the Jaguars' perceived need at wide receiver. "The more you can get the better. We have a bunch of young guys with limited experience. They're going to be good players. If they bring someone in, good; if not, good. We're going forward."

Expectations have been that the Jaguars will sign a wide receiver from a list of available pass-catchers that includes J.J. Stokes, Oronde Gadsden and Antonio Freeman. Yes, the Jaguars have immediate need at the position.

But there has been a very definite improvement at the position in recent practices. In the battle for the number two wide receiver spot behind Smith, journeyman veteran Kevin Lockett has surged to the front and the Jaguars hold out hope Jimmy Redmond and Micah Ross will make the same gains. Then there's Donald Hayes, who has been slowed by a mini-camp knee sprain.

"He's been steady the whole camp," head coach Jack Del Rio said of Lockett following practice this morning. "He's doing a nice job. I've been concerned about some of the drops at the position, but (Lockett) hasn't been part of the drops."

Lockett has made three significant catches over the last two days. He's shot his stock up and is the leading candidate to be the number two man.

"He's the most experienced guy. He knows what it takes," Smith said of Lockett. "But we still need to get a third guy."

Ah, yes, the elusive third receiver. The Jaguars have been trying to find that third guy seemingly forever. Might Redmond or Ross be that number three receiver?

"He made the team (last year) on special teams," Smith said of Redmond, a speed-first player who reminds Smith of himself and his route to the NFL. "Now, he's coming on. The good thing is the coaching staff is giving him a chance. He just has to learn the position. You have to find the holes and sit down. Keenan (McCardell) is the best in the league at that."

Ross is a size guy. At 6-2, 219, Ross will emerge when he learns to use his size to his fullest advantage.

"I see flashes of Willie Jackson. He's a big frame who can use his body. He's come a long way. The preseason will tell the tale," Smith said of Ross.

And what about Smith, whose reception totals declined last year in an offense that fell in most categories?

"I want to get back to the way things were in 1999, when we were just throwing the ball up and down the field. This offense is designed to get the ball into the playmakers' hands," Smith said.

Do they have enough playmakers in the passing game? It would seem to be the major question confronting the Jaguars as spring becomes summer.

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