Andre Branch said without question getting drafted was a bigger deal, but signing a contract and getting NFL money? That’s not bad, either. Branch, a defensive end from Clemson and the Jaguars’ second-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, on Tuesday became the first player from the team’s six-player ’12 draft class to sign with the team. "It’s just a dream come true," Branch said Wednesday. "It’s one less thing I have to worry about. Now, I can just focus on football. Words can’t even explain."
Since he was a little kid growing up in a Dallas suburb, Uche Nwaneri has been fixated by all kinds of art. He and his oldest brother, K.C., were always trying to draw comic-book characters. So it's a natural fit for the Jaguars' starting guard that he cultivated a desire for tattoos as he grew into adulthood. "I've always been into art, abstract things," Nwaneri said after the Jaguars' Wednesday organized team activity practice. "I always wanted to have tattoos."
When the Jaguars' Marcedes Lewis found himself without a vehicle recently for a couple of weeks, he hitched a ride to organized team activities with fellow tight end Zach Miller. It's a natural companionship given not only their position, but what the 2012 season is about for both of them: redemption. Lewis and Miller are as anxious as anyone to put the nightmare of last season behind them. Their lack of production, for completely different reasons, was one of many factors why the Jaguars' offense finished last in the NFL in total yards, passing yards and first downs. Though much of the blame was pinned on the struggles of rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert, his biggest physical targets feel regret for not contributing more to the offense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have made some moves geared toward enhancing marketing and ticket sales. Jaguars owner Shad Khan has collaborated with team President Mark Lamping in the past few weeks to hire three top executives in hopes of increasing attendance at EverBank Field and enhance corporate partnerships during Jaguars games. Hussain Naqi has been named senior vice president for fan experience, Scott Massey is the senior vice president of partnerships and Chad Johnson was pegged for vice president of sales.