Jags Aren't Practicing Together
Many teams around the league are getting together to perform "non-organized practices" to try and improve team chemistry and get a leg up when play actually begins.
The Jaguars are not one of those teams.
With many of the team's star players living in California and the team having a lame-duck quarterback in David Garrard, it's difficult to get enough guys together to make any kind of difference.
Our take: A strong presence at quarterback would have enough respect of the team to where they would alter their offseason plans to work out. Rookie Blaine Gabbert doesn't have enough knowledge of the playbook and the players to do so and the writing is clearly on the wall for David Garrard.
It's unclear how much running routes at half-speed will actually help a team, and getting burgers and milkshakes after seeing the Hangover 2 isn't going to assist all that much with blocking Dwight Freeney or covering Andre Johnson.
Although it hasn't happened yet (probably), what happens when one of these players cuts wrong on a poorly manicured field and tears his ACL? The Jaguars aren't missing all that much by not working out as a team.
No Pay Cuts for Employees
Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver has not followed suit of many teams in the NFL as he hasn't cut any salaries of team employees up to this point. Where several teams are "offering" their employees mandatory furloughs and out-right salary cuts, Wayne Weaver and the Jaguars have stayed true to their employees, despite being off last year's pace in ticket sales.
Our take: Although it may be something of a facade, Wayne Weaver is showing the fans that his franchise has stability by not slashing pay. Classy move by a classy owner.
NFL is ahead of Last Year's Ticket Pace- Source: Pro Football Talk
In a Pro Football talk story, NBC Sports (PFT) writer Mike Florio comments that the NFL is actually ahead of last season's pace in terms of season ticket sales. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/31/nfl-somehowahead-of-last-years-season-ticket-pace/
Here's an excerpt:
Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that owners received the surprisingly positive information last week at the quarterly meetings in Indianapolis. The increase arose in part from an accelerated launch to the sales effort, given the looming lockout. In other words, "Let's get the money now from the folks who don't realize there may not be football this year."
Our take: The Jaguars are one of the teams that is lagging behind the pace as football is a tough sell when there's no rock-solid plans for a season. If and when the lockout ends, Jacksonville needs to step up and get all of the home games on the schedule viewable on television to avoid a major setback after last season's heroic efforts.
Jones-Drew is Number 7- Source: ESPN
ESPN released their Power Rankings of the Top 10 non-quarterback offensive players in the NFL and Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew came in seventh. http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/24273/power-rankings-top-10-nfl-offensive-players
Our take: Taking into account Jones-Drew's knee issues from last season, that is a solid ranking. If Maurice can stay healthy in 2011 (assuming there's a season), he will be an MVP candidate as long as the Jaguars are playoff contenders.
Gene Smith is High on Miller- Source: Jaguars.com
Jaguars general manager Gene Smith believes that backup tight end Zach Miller can be a legitimate weapon on the football field.
"If Zach Miller was with another team, he'd be doing what Dallas Clark does with the Colts," said Smith. "... He's 6-4, 248 and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. He's a tremendous athlete in terms of ball skills, and that combination really helps our receiving group."
Our take: Miller has flashed in spots, but the hard evidence shows a two-year history of nagging injuries with 21 career receptions. At this point, maybe Brody Eldridge is a better comparison than Dallas Clark.
Charlie Bernstein is the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie