Minicamp is this weekend, and with it comes the high-water mark of the dead zone. After minicamp closes on Saturday, it's just three OTA's till the meetings end, the coaches take some time off, and all eyes fall toward the end of July.
Minicamp is more intense than OTA's, but still not the real contact of training camp. Avoiding injury is the number one concern, obviously, but for the Jaguars representing the more crowded spots of the roster it's also their first shot at establishing momentum toward securing the roster spot. Life on the margins is hard in the NFL, and with the hard cap of eighty players, there is very little room for error in securing reps that mean anything.
The playbook develops a little bit more as will some of the defensive scheming, but it's still largely a passing camp, and the focus will be on the skill position players to a large extent. I'm of the belief that it's better to study the running game on film rather than risk injury in June.
There is a good chance that the minicamp is a media circus due to the lateness of the event on the NFL calendar and the hype surrounding the Jaguars this year.
For those of you in Jacksonville, here are the dates and times of the public practices:
If anyone goes and would like to take notes and publish them here, please feel free to let me know. I'd be happy to host your photos and commentary!
Players to Watch:
Matt Jones: There are conflicting reports coming out of Jacksonville. Some are implying that Jones is "dogging it" in practice and having some of the worst performances they've seen out of an NFL receiver. Other observers are noting that Jones is making plays and working hard. It's impossible to judge effort from our vantage point, but he's someone to watch. I would love to get an accurate tally of how many reps he gets and with which quarterback.
Speaking of Quarterbacks...
Cleo Lemon v. Todd Bouman: The last thing you want to hear describing your eight-million dollar backup quarterback is "underwhelming", that's actually some of the kinder things I've heard about Lemon's performance so far this offseason. Other choice words include "unremarkable", "disappointment", and "struggling". The Jaguars won 2 out of 3 games on the road with Quinn Gray last season. The team must have someone they can count on to hand off left and hand off right in the worst case situation of a Garrard injury. It's early, but watch this battle closely.
Monday: Exclusive Chat with DT Theo Horrocks by Clodknocker!
Tuesday: OTA Wrap-up's, Roster breakdown "Defensive Line"
Wednesday: Better Know a Player: (Mystery Guest)
Thursday: Final "pre-camp" breakdown
Friday: Constant updates, with some live coverage!