Jeremy Mincey will give it another try. One of these times, he just might make it.
Mincey was on his way to making it last summer. He was playing the best football of his pro football life when, as he was attempting to sack the quarterback in the Jaguars' preseason game against Tampa, Mincey felt a sharp pain in his right thumb. When the play was over and Mincey looked at his thumb, it was clearly pointing in the wrong direction.
Surgery followed. A titanium screw was inserted to mend two broken bones and Mincey's season was over.
"I was feeling like I was finally getting to where I needed to get," Mincey said on Tuesday, after putting himself through a voluntary conditioning session in advance of next Monday's official opening of the Jaguars' offseason conditioning program.
Mincey has been with the Jaguars since 2006, but he's only played in nine games. Last year, it was his right hand. The year before, it was his left wrist.
"I'm still here for a reason. I think they see something in me. I know I can make plays. Just let me play," Mincey says.
He's still here because the Jaguars see potential in him. They see a young, aggressive defensive end that's learning how to play the game.
"I only played one year in high school. Even though I played well in college, I didn't understand it all. I was supposed to be a basketball guy," he said.
He plays on a team that is desperate to find a pass-rush. The Jaguars signed veteran defensive end Aaron Kampman in free agency, but Kampman is in rehab from knee reconstruction and the Jaguars' need at defensive end is still considered to be distinct. Why not Mincey?
"I've already asked that question," he said.
Since last summer, Mincey has put on 20 pounds. He says he's bigger, stronger.
"Not fat, either. I feel good," he said. "I'm naturally getting the weight I've been trying to get for awhile.
Everything happens for a reason. I always think positive.
"I never think negative. I never worry about them bringing in an end. All I do is play hard and let things fall in place. I'm an undeniable guy. I'm going to bring everything I can bring," Mincey added.
He hasn't given up on his goals or his dream.
"My goal is to make the team and have a 10-sack season. I think if I get enough snaps I can do it. I got big plans. The year I took off just fueled the fire. I had time to learn more about myself and see what's important in my life and it came back to football," he said. "That's the goal. Take extra calcium. No bone breaks."