Too Much Hitting for Jags

The Jaguars have complained for years now that they don't get respect and attention equivalent with the NFL's other clubs.

The team has not been a popular choice to appear on the prestigious TV timeslots Monday night, Sunday night or in any of the top-billed Sunday afternoon games. When it comes to Pro Bowl choices, the Jaguars have wondered who their lone representative will be.

These days, the Jaguars are making national headlines' even if it is for the wrong reason.

The Jaguars joined Detroit, Oakland and Baltimore on the NFL's "we caught you" list when they were informed the NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association resolved a complaint by the Players Association against the Jaguars for violating the rules concerning the intensity and tempo of drills conducted on the team's OTA days.

As a result of their actions, the Jaguars were forced to forfeit the final two days of their offseason program which would have been held next Monday and Tuesday. Jaguars' players are not permitted to be at the facility on those days but will be paid for the two sessions. That's not the significant point of the ruling.

The coaching staff is accused of going beyond the limit of allowable practice tempo and intensity. None of the Jaguars' practice sessions exceeded the normal two-hour practice limit so that doesn't seem to be the concern. But what has taken place at some of the practices was a concern to someone. No one has taken credit for turning the Jaguars in, nor is that likely to be made public.

Player rep Rashean Mathis could have been the player who turned the team in, but if he did, it likely first came from another player as Mathis has been a no-show at all of the OTAs, not taking part because he wants the Jaguars to redo his contract that still has another two years remaining on it. Assistant player rep Jordan Black said he knew nothing about the complaint, that no player had come to him and complained that the practices were too intense, too physical or too long.

In fact, Black feels the practices have been fine.

"I think they were fantastic. As far as the work that we're doing, this is a team that's hungry. This is a team that wants to fight every play and that's awesome," he said. "We're doing everything we possibly can to win a Super Bowl. People say that practices are too intense? We don't think that. We think that we're doing all the right things to get ourselves into championship contention."

But safety Sean Considine admits that the secondary has been smacking people around a little bit in the passing drills.

"Yeah, that's the kind of attitude we have. It's hard to build that attitude this time of the year when there are rules that say no hitting and there's only a certain amount of time we're supposed to be on the field," said Considine who was with Philadelphia when the Eagles were also nailed for excessive play in their OTAs several years ago. "I understand as a player in our union of why those rules are in effect.

"At the same time with the group of guys we've put together here and the team we're trying to build and the attitude we're trying to have around here, this is going to be a group of guys that are going to push those rules to the maximum. We did that and we went a little bit over."

"The group of guys in Philadelphia is very similar to the group of guys we have here. We're willing to push the envelope. That's coming from the players. There are certain rules set up, and if we're pushing the envelope we're going to be coming close to breaking those rules. That's coming from the players and the coaches. I think we've got a bunch of guys here that are willing to work hard and trying to work hard and get better every day. If we pushed the envelope a little bit too far, then we did and we're going to suffer those consequences."

Whether it's the coaching staff pushing the players too far or the players taking it upon themselves to exceed what's allowed in OTAs, it remains to be seen if this type of attitude will carry over into the 2010 season. Jack Del Rio defenses from previous NFL stops in Baltimore and Carolina had a certain nastiness and aura about them that distinguished them from others.


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