--For only the second time in franchise history, Jacksonville has a team president. Mark Lamping, past president of the St. Louis Cardinals and most recently president and CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium (now MetLife Stadium) was named to the position by Jaguars owner Shadid Khan.
Lamping was in charge of the Cardinals for a 15-year period from 1994-2008 in helping lead the Cardinals to two pennants and one World Series (2006) while he was president. He sees some similarities with what he experienced in St. Louis and what awaits him in Jacksonville.
"I find quite a few parallels between when I started with the Cardinals and the challenges that the Jaguars are facing today," he said. I do know from first-hand experience that professional sports teams can flourish in smaller markets but they must be willing to be creative, to be flexible and focus on our strengths."
Lamping will begin his new duties with the Jaguars on Feb. 27.
--Nobody is more excited about beginning to work with players than a newly named head coach. And that includes new Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey. Named to that position in early January, Mularkey will at least have the benefit of offseason drills in April, unlike a year ago when the NFL and union were at odds, with the owners eventually closing the doors to players and thus eliminating the offseason camps.
Like other head coaches with their teams, Mularkey can talk to his players, but he can't discuss any football schemes, plays or do any coaching.
"Our first minicamp will be April 16 and it is going to be called vet orientation camp," Mularkey said. "And that literally will be the first time that we'll have a chance to sit down with our team literally to tell them where they are lining up in the huddle.
"Up until that point, you can't discuss anything in regards to the scheme. It will be literally an orientation of them getting to know us as a staff and us getting to know them as players. It's going to be a slow process, that first one, because we have some other camps that come up after that."
--The Jaguars have endured 5-11 and 8-8 seasons the last two years. While that led to the firing of coach Jack Del Rio, Jaguars fans have continued to support the team despite the two mediocre performances on the field. Part of that reason has been the influence and hard work of a group known as Team Teal and its president and leader, former Jaguars Pro Bowl tackle Tony Boselli.
The group has taken on the job of helping assure the Jaguars are sold out each Sunday. Three years ago during the 2009 season, the Jaguars had nine of 10 home games blacked out, including two preseason games. Since then, Jacksonville hasn't had any blackouts, but ticket sales haven't been easy.
Although every home game the last two years has been televised, there have been a number of empty seats in EverBank Field, an indication that although the game was declared a sellout, fans weren't using the tickets.
Boselli wants to see that changed starting this year.
"We've graduated from just no blackouts," said Boselli who has maintained a residence in Jacksonville since he was the first player ever drafted by the Jaguars in 1995. "I want every seat filled."
In order to encourage current season-ticket holders to bring in new fans, Boselli announced a new sales initiative that would reward fans with $25 for each general bowl referral and $100 for each club seat referral. The announcement came at a Team Teal kickoff rally in the stadium that was attended by about 1,500 fans.
--Not all of the emphasis by the Jaguars' new strength and conditioning staff will be on improving in the weight room this year. There will be more attention given to fitness, with added emphasis on nutrition. And the person who will lead that charge is former Jaguars player Tom Myslinski who was named to head coach Mike Mularkey's staff last month.
"The athletes have to be prepared to play the game. I think fitness is the most important aspect for football," Myslinski said.
Mularkey concurs. He advocates the importance of good nutrition at the team's training table.
"I think nutrition in this day and age is very important in regards to staying healthy," Mularkey said. "Whether they do anything when they leave the building, at least they're going to be provided (with healthy food) when they're in the building and they will be provided with information.
"You'll see the cafeteria will be a little different. You'll see signs (showing) exactly what the food groups are doing and why you're doing them."
The Jaguars are hoping this will lead to a reduction in the number of injuries they had last year. They put an NFL season-high 31 players on injured reserve during the 2011 season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I always felt that if we could find the right person, if he or she was available to bring a new dimension of leadership to the Jaguars in Jacksonville, that I would seriously look at that and give it strong consideration. I think Mark shares the ambition and believes strongly in the great work we can do together in Jacksonville with the Jaguars." - Jaguars owner Shahid Khan about why he hired Mark Lamping as the team's new president.
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