Jags OL is ready for 2003

With a new season and new coach, the Jaguars are looking to get off to a better start in 2003, especially the offensive line. Last season, the offensive line was hampered with injuries and Jacksonville was forced to play inexperienced players. This year the Jags' appear to be healthy and more experienced across the line.


With a new season and new coach, the Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to get off to a better start in 2003, especially the offensive line. Last season, the offensive line was hampered with injuries and forced to play inexperienced players. This year the Jags' appear to be healthy and more experienced across the line.

Last season the offensive line took a hit when left tackle Maurice Williams broke his leg in the fifth game and Zach Wiegert missed the last nine games with more knee problems. Because of injuries and the lack of quality play out of backup Todd Fordham ,rookie offensive tackle Mike Pearson was forced to step up to plate and start.

With the possibility of Wiegert leaving the Jags, Pearson, who checks in at 6-foot-7 and weighs 303 pounds, is spending this off-season preparing for the starting job. Pearson is spending this off-season focusing on trying to get stronger in his lower trunk, which was considered a drawback for him last season when he was suddenly thrown into a starting role.

Offensive tackle Maurice Williams had successful surgery on his broken leg at midseason and was off crutches in early December. The only issue for him now is conditioning. The 6-foot-5 and 304 pound second-year pro out of Michigan started jogging in mid-January and he will soon be getting into sprints on a regular basis. He's expected to be 100 percent ready by the first mini-camp in late April.

Quarterback Mark Brunell has a positive outlook for the line and he expects a much improved overall offense.

"I look at the jump Maurice Williams made from his first to second year," said QB Mark Brunell. "Mo went from being just a decent rookie to, in my opinion, the games he did play last year, and a real force. I look for the same improvement in (Mike) Pearson."

---Dave Peters JagsInsiders.Com

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