This could become the most important month of LaBrandon Toefield's football career. The preseason? Yeah, the preseason, because Toefield's likely to get a lot of playing time and, based on what Toefield has shown of himself in the first week of training camp, he might be poised to attract a team in need of a running back.
Toefield only gained 14 yards on seven carries in Friday night's scrimmage, but it was how he gained those yards. He flattened second-round draft pick Justin Durant on one of those runs, and Toefield ran between the tackles with Greg Jones-like power.
"That was by accident," Toefield said. "He just ran into me."
Toefield has that kind of power. He wasn't considered to be a power back when he was drafted by the Jaguars in 2003, but he was 229 pounds back then. He reported to camp this summer at 245, with new size and power in his lower body. The heat and grind of the first week has him down to 235 now, but there's no denying his physique.
"He's complete, in terms of running, catching and pass-blocking," Jaguars college scouting director Gene Smith said of Toefield. "His ability to set and follow blocks; he's got quick feet. He's got outstanding instincts and vision."
Want a guy who can carry the load, share the load or convert third-and-one? Toefield's your guy. Want a guy with that kind of power and natural running ability who can also catch the ball in the flat and turn his hips upfield? Toefield is your guy.
Toefield's problem is the Jaguars are loaded with running backs who can also do those things. Finding a role with the Jaguars will be difficult.
"Once we get into the season and those guys get rolling, it's hard to take them out. We have great backs here. I wouldn't take them out," Toefield said.
All Toefield can do is keep playing and keep hoping that one day he'll get his chance to be more than a depth player.
"I can't play frustrated. I just go out there and act like I'm the happiest man in the world," Toefield said.
Does he have the ability to be another team's feature back?
"Oh, yeah. There's no doubt in my mind. Whether it's third down, giving somebody a break, I'm ready to do it. If it's to be the guy, I'm ready," Toefield said. "I wish I was the guy, but right now I have to play the cards I was dealt."
Meanwhile, the teal team scored a dramatic victory over the white team in Saturday's mock game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Quarterback David Garrard threw a game-winning touchdown to wide receiver Ernest Wilford on the final play of the game. Wilford made a diving adjustment to the deep pass, then got his feet down in bounds in the right-front corner of the end zone as Wilford's body carried out of bounds.
Referee Jeff Triplette did a "mock" review, then quickly ruled touchdown.
Wide receiver Charles Sharon returned to practice on Saturday. Another wide receiver, Jimmy Farris, continued his late-week charge by making two impressive catches, both of which were leaping, twisting efforts.
The Jaguars are off on Sunday and will return to practice on Monday morning.