Del Rio Speaks Out (Part 1 of 3)

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio and talks about a number of issues. In this installment, the coach discusses free agency additions and losses, as well as the possible new role of Mo Williams.


How would you rate the off-season so far?

JDR- I don't know that I'd try and rate it. I think what we do every year is work hard to assess the available talent, work hard to evaluate our own talent, look for opportunities to strengthen ourselves going into each year. From that standpoint, I would say it's been a productive off-season so far. We were able to acquire two veterans on the offensive side. Our losses have been very minimal. Lost a couple of good players. For the most part we've been able to retain our guys, and get our key guys signed up. Right now we are very healthy, and we have a lot of cap room. We have a solid roster that's under contract. At this point, we're basically turning our attention to the draft. When we get back next week we'll put our draft board together.

Are the Jaguars done in free agency?

JDR- You're always monitoring players. Historically, there just aren't as many deals done, leading up to the draft and after the draft. Most teams turn their attention to the draft this time of year.

While we're on free agency, please talk about the loss of Kyle Brady?

JDR- For four years, he was a good blocking tight end, one of the better blocking tight ends in the league, he really did a great job at the point of attack, and was able to block defensive ends. He could be very dominant at the point of attack, he was our player representative, and a good family man, as well as a quality guy. He's the kind of guy you wish luck. Part of free agency is having an opportunity to make a choice, and to play where you'd like to play.

Was it a tough decision to let him go?

JDR- We assign a value with our players, and we work within that structure. Sometimes they decide to either not accept that structure (in this case a pay cut to $1.5 million), or they just have an interest to move on and pursue other interests. That's the right they have in free agency.

Has the role of the blocking tight end become extinct?

JDR- I don't know that they're becoming extinct or anything like that. Nobody has them in fantasy football, nobody charts their numbers. You don't get any kind of asterisk for a great block if the RB runs around their edge. They can be anonymous a little bit. But he's an older player, and we drafted two young players at that position that we think are going to be very good players. We made an attempt to keep him and it wasn't enough to sway him. We wish him the best and move on.

In the first day of free agency, you signed RT Tony Pashos, have you talked to Mo Williams, and is it possible for the team to keep a backup at a $3.5M cap hit?

JDR- I think salary wise, we're well under the salary cap. I don't know that salary wise we couldn't handle having both players on the roster. We don't have to make a decision of one or the other because Khalif is still in his rookie contract, we don't have a ton of money tied up at that position. Some guys have more at cash at that position with one guy than we have with three or four of our guys.

How is it morale-wise, to be demoted to a backup?

JDR- In terms of morale, guys are always being challenged. The biggest thing is that they get in and compete and fight for spots. Anywhere in the league you can find examples of players being challenged and being forced to fight and compete for roles or roster spots.


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