The past is the past, and when Justin Blackmon arrived at EverBank Field Tuesday, he was ready to leave it there. "Obviously, I’m behind," the Jaguars’ rookie first-round selection said following his first practice after signing a four-year contract. "I’m ready to catch up." Just how fast will that happen? As Head Coach Mike Mularkey sees it, that depends on Blackmon.
One down, one to go. That’s the situation as of Tuesday with the Jaguars’ training camp holdouts, and with rookie Justin Blackmon having signed and now practicing with the team, Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith said he remains confident running back Maurice Jones-Drew will play this season. "I’m going to stay optimistic and believe that that’s true," Smith said.
Locker rooms need levity. Eben Britton leading a sing-along provides that. But the third-year right tackle isn’t just comic relief from the sort of tension that can build within and around a football team. And the tone he sets isn’t funny to everyone. "Nasty," he said when asked to classify the scheme change that arrived with a new coach and his offensive staff. "That’s, like, paramount. And I love that." The 2012 Jaguars are counting on a lot from Britton. While they expect more of the solid run blocking that helped Maurice Jones-Drew lead the NFL in rushing last year, they need significantly better pass protection for Blaine Gabbert.