As we all know by now, the Jacksonville Jaguars were forced to cancel their final two OTA days next week by the NFLPA. No one knows if the NFL just happened to catch the Jaguars on video tape or if there is a "deep throat" among the team who ratted them out.
Is it a big deal?
Not really, according to head coach Jack Del Rio.
"Unfortunately it’s been decided by the (NFL) PA and the Management Council that we were somehow going beyond the limits that they had established for us, and while I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment of what we’ve been doing we are going to respect that decision and therefore everything will be canceled next week; no OTAs and no workouts," Jack Del Rio told reporters.
Del Rio may not agree, but the hammer has come down so to speak. As I said before, no one knows yet if there was a deep throat among the Jaguars. Veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis is the team's NFLPA representative as well as back-up left tackle Jordan Black. "I found out this morning. I thought it was pretty interesting because I came in this morning and I had people telling me what’s going on, and I’m like, ‘wait I’m a player rep, why don’t I know about this?’ It’s just one of those things that happens," Black told the media. As I mentioned, no one knows who the deep throat is, not even the player rep on the team, "I have absolutely no idea. From what I hear it’s some anonymous thing."
In reality, it's not that big a deal the team lost the final two practices. By all accounts the Jaguars have had a good set of OTA's and obviously they were pretty intense. If you follow any of the players on Twitter, you'll also see them mention how intense and tough (in a good way) the practice was. "In various years we’ve cut it down a little short. The bottom line is we got our installation in, we had a real productive spring and we’ll adjust and eliminate next week and then pick back up the following week and go forward," head coach Jack Del Rio said after practice. In past years they have cut it down, and I didn't expect this year to be any different, especially with the heat. In reality the Jaguars only lost a single practice, in the past the final day would be cancelled in favor of a "team building exercise". The team would do something along the lines of a team bowling event or a movie.
Maybe they'll go see The A-Team.
This isn't a new thing around the league either. Already this year the Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, and now the Detroit Lions have had OTA's taken away for being "too intense", whatever that means. It's not even a new thing to some of the players on the roster, like veteran safety Sean Considine, who agrees with Jordan Black that there hasn't really been too much complaining about anything other than the heat outside. Considine was asked if there was any complaining in the locker room about the intensity; "No, not at all. I think what happens is it gets a little bit hot, and that can have an affect on guys. When you’re out on the field for two hours, I think that’s the rule that might have come up. Who knows, maybe we went two hours and 15 minutes one day, or whatever."
"It’s going to happen because people are getting after each other and people want a spot. There’s always going to be some people upset after practice and there’s going to be some people happy. For every player that’s happy, that means that there is going to be one that’s upset. It’s ok to be mad. It’s ok to be emotional. That’s what happens. It’s the game of football," Jordan Black said in regard to it being bothersome about a player reporting the practice.
One thing's for sure though... if there was a rat it wasn't a rookie. It had to be a veteran who feels like he's fighting for his job, maybe try and shut the OTA's down a bit early.
Or it was Peyton "McGaha" Manning.