Jaguars Blog

In this edition of the Jaguars blog, JagNation explores the prospect of the Jaguars getting all of their draft picks in on time, how the ticketing crisis is not just a problem in Jacksonville, and how the Jaguars may be the surprise team in the NFL. We also explore the option of acquiring Terrell Owens.

Rookies in the Fold

In recent years the Jaguars have been one of the last teams to get all of their draft picks signed and into camp. They appear to have shown a bit more urgency during the summer of 2010 as they've already inked fifth-round draft picks defensive ends Larry Hart and Austen Lane to contracts. The Jaguars are of the belief that they don't want 21 to 23 year old's running around with nothing to do and hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in their pockets.

Defensive end Larry Hart gets it.

"I understand where they're coming from," Hart said. "When you have young guys with that much money you never know how they're going to react."

We expect the other rookies to be signed within the next week.

Ticket Crisis Not Just In Jacksonville

The Jaguars ticket and blackout issues seem to make them and their fans the national punching bags for publications. It turns out that the Jaguars are not alone. Teams such as Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Oakland are having major problems selling tickets and each of those teams face potential blackouts.

Just because the Jaguars aren't the only team with this issue, doesn't absolve the team and its fans from the problem. For the security of the franchise in Jacksonville, fans must step up and buy tickets. After group sales, they will need to sell just under 6,000 seats to avoid blackouts, but avoiding the television blackout shouldn't be the goal. True sellouts should be the aspirations of a fledgling franchise that is trying to secure itself in North Florida.

Hayward's Release Is a Good Thing

Reggie Hayward was released from the Jaguars last week in an effort to clear roster space for the unsigned draft picks. The former Denver Broncos defensive end was on his way to a very promising career in Jacksonville as he signed as a free agent prior to the 2005 season. Hayward registered 8.5 sacks in his first season with the Jags, and helped the team to a 12-4 regular season record.

Hayward and the Jaguars fortunes changed on opening day of the 2006 season when he ruptured his Achilles against the Dallas Cowboys and his career was never the same. In his final four seasons with the team, Hayward combined for just 44 tackles and eight sacks.

The writing was on the wall for Hayward when the Jaguars used their first and second-round draft picks in 2008 on his defensive end position (Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves). This April they loaded up on the defensive line as they used their first four draft selections to select Tyson Alualu, D'Anthony Smith, Larry Hart and Austen Lane. The team further solidified the position by signing free agent defensive end Aaron Kampman.

"You have to make space for new arrivals," Hayward said. "It wasn't a surprise. You want to be a part of it, but you understand the ins and outs of the business."

Although Reggie Hayward was a fine locker room guy and solid off the field, it's a good thing for the team that he isn't on the roster. This was a move that shows the team has confidence in their young players and it also helps Hayward by giving him an extra month or two to find another NFL opportunity if that's what he chooses to do.

"I could probably fill a void somewhere, but if I want to pack it in and call it quits, I don't think anybody would blame me because of all the setbacks I've had," Hayward said. "I may have some football left. I'm straddling the fence."

Quick Start is A Must

Few people are picking the Jaguars to participate in the postseason this year and there are plenty of good reasons to overlook a team that's finish in last place in one of the toughest divisions in football two years in a row. Still, the Jaguars have a great opportunity to get some positive momentum rolling early with their schedule.

Jacksonville is one of the best home field advantages early in the season due to the heat and humidity, and the league schedule-makers did the Jaguars a big favor by granting the team three of its first four games at home.

Jacksonville has very winnable home games as they open with Denver, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Tennessee at the friendly confines of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Mix in road trips to San Diego, Buffalo and Kansas City and the team could potentially have a 5-2 or 6-1 start. If that doesn't sell tickets, I don't know what will.

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