Fred Taylor excited about new hires, direction of organization
Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, a member of the Pride of the Jaguars, is attending the 2013 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week while signing autographs and meeting fans as part of a GMC fan experience event.
Taylor said that he is impressed with the background and the approach of Jaguars general manager David Caldwell.
"Having had a chance to meet Dave, he seems like a straightforward guy," Taylor said. "He comes from a pretty good fabric, the guys he's been around, the guys he's learned under. They've been successful in the things they were doing in Atlanta the past couple of years. I think some of that success should blow this way."
Taylor also said that Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley's energy should carry over from his past.
"Gus seems like he's a fiery guy – he has some pep in his step," Taylor said. "He coached Derrick Brooks, a good friend of mine down in Tampa. And having a chance to kind of do my research, Google him, Wikipedia, talking to Derrick, talking to some of his former staff mates from back in Seattle, he's the real deal, man. A pretty straightforward guy."
As for Bradley's style being popular in the locker room, Taylor said that the approach should breed a different atmosphere from before.
"He's a guy that's black and white – it is what it is, there are no grey areas," Taylor said. "I'll be willing to bet that most of the guys come in with a renewed and refreshed sense of urgency that we've got to get this done. We've got to make an impression on the coach and got to make an impression on Dave, the GM."
"I look for the guys to play a little bit harder this year," Taylor added.
Bradley says defense will mix principles
Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley spoke to the media gathered at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday morning and tried to explain what the defensive scheme he and defensive coordinator Bob Babich have developed might include.
"You see a lot of teams that might be 3-4, then on third down they show some 4-3 principles," Bradley said. "On first and second down we'll have some 4-3 and 3-4 principles. An example might be the run game. Some offenses say 'here's our run game attack for 4-3 teams, here's what we're going to do as a run game for 3-4 teams.' When they see us do both, then the game shrinks down a little bit."
Bradley added that by mixing principles, the looks the offenses give could narrow.
"The philosophy behind it defensively is that it pares it down," Bradley said. "It becomes easier for us as far as style of runs that you see."
Peter King says Jags "have to give Blaine Gabbert every chance to be the guy"
Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King said Saturday that the biggest need for the Jaguars is consistently strong play from a quarterback, whoever that person is.
But he did say said it should start with Blaine Gabbert.
"Obviously they're going to enter this thing thinking that they're going to move heaven and earth to try to make Blaine Gabbert a player," King said. "I think that is the best option for them in the beginning. Then if not, draft somebody middle rounds, bring them in and compete and have a free for all."
"At the start I think they have to give Blaine Gabbert every chance to be the guy."
King also visited with Gus Bradley following the head coach's media session at Lucas Oil Stadium and said that his positive message could go a long way for the Jaguars organization.
"I've always thought that if he's not going to be a football coach, he's going to write a book about the power of positive thinking," King said. "He's going to be one of these guys, at least in my mind, if anybody has a chance to turn around a team that's had flagging fortunes for a while, it's Gus Bradley."
King said that one of Bradley's strengths is his ability to develop young players into talented veterans.
"He loves, with a capital 'L,' developing players – That's his life," King said. "If you've got a little league, you've got 12 teams, you've all drafted players and then all of a sudden there are a bunch of late kids who signed up who aren't very good, Gus says, 'That's the team I want.' He's that kind of guy."
"He doesn't want to lose, but he's a teacher at heart."
Manti Te'o meets media circus in Indianapolis
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o spoke to a packed room of reporters on Saturday afternoon, nearly two and a half hours after the originally scheduled time, and answered questions about the "fake girlfriend" issue, his status in the draft and what lies ahead.
"I cared for somebody, and that's what I was taught to do from an early age," Te'o said. "When somebody needs help, you help them out. Unfortunately, that didn't end up the way I thought it would."
Te'o ended his 15 minute press conference with a prepared statement thanking his supporters.
"In closing, I'd like to thank everybody for being here," Te'o said. "It's been a hard but tremendous ride for me and my family and the University of Notre Dame. I'd like to thank my parents, my family, my friends, the University of Notre Dame and everybody who supports me. I couldn't do it without all of you. Hopefully after this I answered the things I needed to answer and we can move on with football."
Quote of the day, part one*
"It's great. The other day was the first time that I saw the punters and kickers do heights and weights. I sat there kind of shaking my head thinking 'I've never done this before.'"
—Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley when asked about his first combine as a head coach
Quote of the day, part two
"The new logo is fierce. The eyes, they look a little meaner. This cat looks like he's a little faster than the other one was because the ears are like he's running in the wind. I heard there's been a lot of talk about the logo, but it's nice. It's not cute or anything."
– Pride of the Jaguars member Fred Taylor when asked his thoughts of the new Jaguars logo