Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen still remembers the day he hoped his phone wouldn’t ring. It was the day of the 2009 final cuts, and Allen, an undrafted rookie free agent, had made a strong bid for a roster spot, but he said he had no idea what the Jaguars were thinking. "My family was in town along with my fiancée at the time, who is now my wife," Allen said. "We just kind of hung out together. We just tried to kill time. I kept the phone on and fortunately it never rang. That was a day you didn’t want your phone to ring."
The Jaguars are counting on an upgraded receiving corps to help quarterback Blaine Gabbert improve their passing offense this season. In the first two days of practice, Gabbert did his part, and coach Mike Mularkey said, "I thought he’s thrown the ball very well." The receivers have struggled and could wear out the vocal cords of receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, who’s been lecturing them.
To Jeremy Mincey, the reality of NFL defense is simple. There is good and there is great, and while the Jaguars were very good defensively most of last season, Mincey said it’s just as true that too often they were not great. "You can be a good defense if you don’t force turnovers, but you can’t be a great defense," Mincey, the Jaguars’ defensive end, said. "A great defense scores touchdowns. A great defense creates turnovers and gives the offense opportunities."
If the Jaguars’ defense looks efficient early, Mel Tucker figures that’s as it should be. Tucker, the Jaguars’ assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, said Saturday the defense is about 90 percent installed, and that the unit should benefit from an entire offseason and from frontline players having played together last season. "We’re in review mode in terms of our package," Tucker said. "The things that we’ve worked on these past couple days and things that we’ll work on up until the first preseason game will be all review for our guys, so it’s not a matter of knowing what to do, it’s a matter of now how to do it."