Luke Akerstrom ran down the field holding a football with his right arm, with the crowd cheering. The farther he went, the wider his smile became. Someone who didn’t know the 6-year-old’s story might have wondered why his gait seemed a little bit awkward. But to everyone there at that field it was a beautiful sight. It was Luke running, a year after his family and doctors weren’t sure when or if that would happen again.
In response to our item from earlier today regarding the ability of teams to carry over cap space from year to year simply by submitting a piece of paper signed by the owner indicating a desire to do so, some of you have suggested that teams will refrain from doing so because it would drive up their minimum cash spending requirement. Per a league source with knowledge of the dynamics of the CBA, it won’t.
Earlier this week, The Hof pointed out the similarities of the early criticism about Eli Manning and Blaine Gabbert. It’s really quite brilliant, you should read it. While a lot of the credit goes to the wonderful reporting, research, and humility of the great Vic Ketchman, a big thanks to Hof for finding the diamond in the rough over at Packers.com.
The way I see it, there are a few approaches the Jaguars can take with the wide receiving corps they have from last year. They can A) Keep Mike Thomas, add some young blood through the draft, and patch some holes in free agency; B) Clean house and start from scratch, targeting free agent receivers and high quality college prospects; or C) Bring in a pair of top tier, old free agent types who are well respected and draft 3-4 potential wide receivers in the draft.
7. An off-season reset. We’ll use this Magnificent Seven – the first of the 2012 NFL off-season – as something of an off-season primer. For the Jaguars, this a direction-altering off-season, and when you’re making changes on that scale, sometimes it’s good to catch your breath and figure out just where you are. That’s what we’ll try to do here, beginning with a quick thought on the coaching staff. New Head Coach Mike Mularkey made his final hire this week: offensive line assistant Ron Prince, a move that brought the total number of assistants to 21. It’s a veteran, experienced staff, and many around the league will tell you it’s a group of qualified professionals who will set the tone for an organization.
The coaching staff that Mularkey assembled includes several familiar faces on the defensive side of the ball. One of the first decisions Mularkey made was to retain defensive coordinator Mel Tucker along with defensive line coach Joe Cullen and linebackers coach Mark Duffner. The defensive staff that worked with the Jaguars in 2011 was very instrumental in turning around a unit that ranked towards the bottom of the league in 2010.