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Jaguars OTAs: Geno Hayes has to win his starting job

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USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed veteran linebacker Geno Hayes in the 2013 NFL offseason, leading many to assume that Hayes would step into a starting role with the team. As the head coach and general manager have preached competition at every position, starting isn't a guarantee for Hayes.

"The outside linebacker spot Hayes is working at is a completely wide-open derby entering training camp," writes Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union.

The fact that some of the positions on defense are wide open, in terms of who could start, shouldn't be a big surprise going forward. Even though Hayes was signed as a free agent, many thought the Jaguars would also draft a linebacker at some point in the 2013 NFL Draft, but they never did.

The team did sign some promising undrafted free agents however in LaRoy Reynolds or Jeremiah Green, plus the team still has second-year linebacker Julian Stanford who earned some starts last season for the Jaguars.

Hayes is familiar with both head coach Gus Bradley and defensive coordinator Bob Babich however, playing under both during his tenures with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and last season with the Chicago Bears.

It's going to be a bit different, despite the familiarity however.

"It's a lot different because it's a different atmosphere," Hayes told Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union. "[Bradley] is now the head coach and Bob [Babich] is now the defensive coordinator, and the terminology is different coming from Seattle and Chicago and then adding things here in Jacksonville."

The outside linebacker position will be an interesting one to watch going forward in training camp and the preseason.

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