Nate Wayne may have had a premonition when he walked into Alltel Stadium for media day during the week of the Super Bowl.
"I thought, what if I was walking into this stadium for work every day?" Wayne said.
He knew it was possible the Eagles would release him, which they did a few weeks later. Wayne's salary got a little pricey for the Eagles' tastes. So, here he is, walking into Alltel Stadium for work every day and Wayne couldn't be happier.
"I came here to compete and play. I want to show everyone my tank is full," Wayne said.
Jacksonville is the fourth stop in a distinguished but low-profile NFL career that began in Denver, moved on to Green Bay, then advanced to Philadelphia and a trip to Jacksonville for Super Bowl XXXIX. Now Wayne would like to have the same experience with the Jaguars that he had with the Eagles; win a job and help take the team to the big game.
"The guys want to win. They're hungry," he said of his new teammates. "I sense the same thing (as in Philadelphia). I sense it on the field. Nobody is griping about being here. I pulled in this morning at 6:50 and the parking lot was nearly full."
Wayne was working behind Daryl Smith at strongside linebacker as the Jaguars concluded their fifth OTA practice on Wednesday. Wayne played weakside linebacker with the Eagles.
"He's a very mature player. We're moving him around right now because he can play a lot of positions for us," new linebackers coach Brian VanGorder said of Wayne. "It's always open competition in my eyes. The best players are going to play."
Wayne isn't focusing on any one position but he clearly didn't sign with the Jaguars to be a special teams player. He wants to win a starting job, and more.
"I want to put on a good show, make plays and eventually get a long-term deal. You'll see me running around. You'll say, 'this guy doesn't run like a 30-year-old.' I'm going to take it one step at a time. I'm going to go out and compete and everything will take care of itself," Wayne said.