Editorial Note: I found this on the Orlando Sentinel website and it was written by Kyle Hightower (no idea who he is) on their blog page... Find it here. I hope he keeps these up! If anyone wants to do their own write-ups attach them as fan posts and we'll put it on the front page!
The Jags apparently had a special guest speaker prior to saturday's evening session, Dan Reeves. He's a very emotional man and is widely respected throughout the league. I would have loved to hear what he had to say to our boys.
The write-up also mentions that at least one fan wasn't happy with Matt still being on the team. We expected this and frankly, I'm surprised it wasn't worse. He did make at least one amazing catch which brought the fans to their feet. Hopefully that will become a trend this training camp.
The Jacksonville Jaguars 2008 training camp officially got underway this morning with the first of two Saturday workouts. Here are a few quick notes…
TAKING IT LIGHT
Coach Jack Del Rio went short for the first session, keeping his squad on the field for just an hour and 20 minutes.
The Jags started camp working with just about 75 bodies, hamstringed by having five players (WR Jerry Porter, DB Chad Nkang, TE George Wrighster, DE Jeremy Mincey and WR Reggie Williams) on the Physically Unable to Perform List.
Every NFL team is also hampered by the end of NFL Europe, which allowed teams to float around seven player exemptions. The Jags started camp prior to the 2007 season with 87 players. Normally, the first player cut of camp trims the roster down to 75.
Del Rio said afterward that the roster size will call for some adjustments this training camp and said it factored into the length of time he would hold the first four practices of camp.
For the only time during camp the Jags are going full squad practices on back-to-back days. For the rest of camp there will be special teams-only sessions to mixed in.
“Numbers are down, so we’re gonna work smarter,” Del Rio said. “When you take 12 guys out of practice you have to adjust some things and we will.
Del Rio was clear, however, to note that the smaller numbers won’t mean they will load up the remaining bodies with reps.
WALKER GETTING BACK ON TRACK
With the development of the receiving corps a point of emphasis for the Jags this training camp, former UCF standout Mike Walker appears to be on track to have his shot to compete for a starting spot.
Walker sat out all of his 2007 rookie season after having arthroscopic left knee injury in October, but has been active since the latter sessions of organized team activities last month.
He sat out Saturday’s morning workout, doing some like agility drills on his own, but worked out with the team during the evening session. Coach Jack Del Rio said the plan right now is to integrate Walker back in slowly.
“Mike’s really been cleared for everything,” Del Rio said. “We’re just doing what we think is the wise thing in limiting the exposure. We’re giving him one-a-day rather than two-a-day [practices]. And spending the rest of the time keeping his body strong and healthy.”
While Walker is on his way back to going full speed, the Jags started camp with five players: WR Jerry Porter (hamstring), DB Chad Nkang (wrist), TE George Wrighster (knee), DE Jeremy Mincey (wrist) and WR Reggie Williams (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list
MISSING IN ACTION
With the exception of first round defensive end selection Derrick Harvey, all of the Jags players under contract reported to camp on Friday.
However, there were a few noticeable absences on Saturday for other reasons.
Veteran running back Fred Taylor was excused as he travelled to attend the funeral of Baltimore Ravens’ cornerback Samari Rolle’s father. Both Rolle (Florida State) and Taylor (Florida) were members of the 1998 NFL draft class.
Also missing was Porter, who team officials said was offsite receiving treatment on his injured hamstring.
CHEERS AND JEERS FOR JONES
Receiver Matt Jones got dose of both cheers and at least one noticeable jeer during Saturday’s morning session.
First, Jones got the crowd of a few hundred revved up after making a leaping, sideline grab between a pair of defenders.
But just a few minutes later while the receivers were doing a drill near one of the outside fences, a voice hidden behind one of the outside the fences repeatedly took swipes at Jones yelling several times: “Matt Jones is a coke head.”
The remark stemmed from the four-year vet being arrested July 10 in Fayetteville, Ark. – his former hometown – after police said he was inside a car cutting cocaine with a credit card.
Jones' arraignment on a charge of felony possession of a controlled substance is set for Aug. 11, two days after Jacksonville's preseason opener against Atlanta. He arrived at camp Friday and made a public apology to the team and Jags’ fans for his off field troubles.
REEVES SPEAKS TO TEAM
Del Rio had a special speaker in the locker room prior to Saturday’s evening session in the form of former NFL head coach Dan Reeves.
A 22-year coaching vet, Reeves most recent head coaching jaunt ended in 2003 with the Atlanta Falcons. He’s also had stints with Dallas, Denver and New York Giants.
Reeves currently does NFL games for Westwood One radio network, serving as a color analyst.