In February 2011, Andre Branch made the 45-mile drive from Richmond to visit his paternal grandfather, Orlandus, in Hampton, Va., not knowing it'd be their last one-on-one time together. The Jaguars' rookie defensive end was taken aback when Orlandus, who passed away a month later, looked his grandson in the eye and said: "Do you want to be good or great?" At first, Andre wasn't sure how to take the question. "I didn't know exactly what he was talking about," Branch said. It didn't dawn on the second-round draft pick what his grandfather meant until Orlandus told him that a lot of players around him had the same or less athleticism, but they were more productive.
For days after the shocking news of Junior Seau’s death, Uche Nwaneri grew pensive. Here was a man who made a living in the same profession the Jaguars right guard does, a man who did it well and played for 20 years. His body held up, but after he left the game, his mind didn’t. Nwaneri thought about the nature of his position, where his helmet clanks against those of defensive linemen on nearly every play. Tiny accidents happen inside his helmet, ones he knows could damage his brain long-term. That football can harm the human brain isn’t new information.