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2010 Mini-Camp Aftermath: Kassim Osgood

During what many thought would be an uneventful free agency period for the Jacksonville Jaguars, they made a somewhat curious move in signing wide receiver and special teams ace Kassim Osgood to a 3-year $6.67 million contract with a $2.2 million signing bonus.  Osgood is renowned around the league for his special teams ability and has made multiple Pro-Bowls.  One of the main reasons he chose Jacksonville however, was because they told him he would have a legit shot at playing wide receiver, something he wasn't able to do often with the San Diego Chargers.

So how's he looked so far?

"I want to be a safety valve for the quarterback," said Osgood. "He's scrambling and I want to be open; be the quarterback’s living video game."

Osgood certainly offers David Garrard a big target with his 6'5" frame and they developed a pretty good repitoire at the Pro-Bowl last February.  How much wide receiver is Kassim Osgood actually going to play, though?

During mini-camp Osgood looked somewhat awkward at wide receiver. He seemed to lumber through his routes, but he was still fast. It was kind of a weird sight. It wasn't anything like Matt Jones, who looked like a giraffe running a route, but it was uncomfortable looking.  It's clear Osgood has a lot of work to do in fine tuning his route running, but he took the coaching he received from wide receivers coach Todd Monken to heart each time and seemed to improve.

Sticking with receiver, Kassim Osgood looks the part with his height and build, but just doesn’t look natural or comfortable. He’s uncertain coming out of breaks and not crisp. He seems to have a high-step built into his gait and he lacks the sort of smoothness you want in a receiver. Sideline talk among informed observers says the verdict is already in: the free-agent addition from San Diego is strictly an excellent special-teamer. - Paul Kuharsky,

I saw the same things's Paul Kuharsky saw in regards to the look of Osgood, but I can't comment on the discussion of Osgood being strictly a special-teamer.  I was on the sidelines with Paul, but I must have been off somewhere else when the discussion took place.  I can't say that that line of thinking is really out of place.  Osgood clearly looks like the 4th receiver out there, at best.

Nothing against Kassim Osgood, because as I mentioned before he is taking what coach Monken is giving him and applying it, but he's clearly behind Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas, Troy Williamson, and Jarett Dillard at this point.  Osgood did catch quite a few passes deep down the field in 11 x 11 drills though, so he does provide a nice down field target.  As I mentioned before, his running style is upright and awkward, but he is very quick for his size.  Osgood should also provide a nice redzone target, given his size. On third downs and redzone is likely where we'll see Osgood make the majority of his plays beyond special teams.

Even if Kassim Osgood makes a minimal contribution on offense but maintains his excellent special teams play, he's still a good signing.  It brings in a player who's Pro-Bowl caliber at his task, does great work in the community, and is very connected with the fanbase already.  His contract really isn't that big, especially when you consider he's arguably the best special teams player in the entire NFL.