Jaguars Appear Motivated and Ready

A year ago at this time, the Jacksonville Jaguars were America's darlings, as many media outlets picked them to be a Super Bowl sleeper. As they embarked upon camp, the team was ultra-confident as they notched their first playoff win in eight years, and nearly knocked off a then unbeaten in their house.

The team appeared ready to take the next step toward an AFC title as they added some high-priced veterans that were supposed to take them over the top.

The Jags immediately found out that championships are not won in the press clippings, as a seemingly unmotivated team was no longer overlooked as got all of their opponents best shots.

"I think we had that mindset that everybody was going to lay down because of the season we had the year before, and I think we got off track a little bit," Jaguars cornerback and kick return man Brian Witherspoon told CB Sports Radio on ESPN 1420.

This summer, the team returns after a 5-11 season with virtually no expectations as they are once again the forgotten small market team from north Florida.

"I appreciate all the down talk so we can use it," Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew told ESPN's First Take.

Jones-Drew is well aware that it takes more than just talk and perceived motivation to win on Sunday's.

"This year we've really dedicated ourselves to getting healthier, getting stronger and getting ready for a great 2009 season," Jones-Drew said.

So how will the Jags be better on offense when they jettisoned nearly all of last season's receiving corps and arguably the best player in franchise history in Fred Taylor? The team hopes some of it will be addition by subtraction as the team had quite a few "me-first" types and money became more important than winning.

"Everything has been going great," Witherspoon said about this year's version of the Jaguars. "We are practicing, having fun, challenging each other and it's more competitive and it's fun at the same time. Things are looking a whole lot better than last year."

The Jaguars are saying all the right things and all the inflated ego's from their 2007 success have been completely erased due to the struggles of 2008. The road to becoming a championship type of team begins as the team reports for camp this weekend, and this time, the Jaguars appear to grounded and properly motivated.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive and host of the CB Sports Radio Show on ESPN 1420, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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