"Then, the gut-punch equalizer. All the United States had to do to kill off the final 30 seconds of the game was boot the ball into the corner..."
This has nothing to do with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the United States were just 30 seconds away from securing their spot in the knockout rounds of the 2014 World Cup, and then Michael Bradley was dispossessed in the midfield by one of Portugal's strikers, right on to the foot of Christiano Ronaldo who hit a perfect cross to setup the equalizing header. Just like that, it went from a win to a disappointing draw.
That game on Sunday night went through the full range of sports emotions. Initial gut punch and anger with the silly goal that Nani punched in off an error. The shock and overwhelming joy when Jermaine Jones bent in a 30-yard shot out of nowhere into the back of the net to sheer jubilation when Clint Dempsey scored a crotch-goal down to the expletives we all undoubtedly yelled when the equalizer hit the back of the net.
Also, I'm pretty much a Jermaine Jones-stan now. He'd always been a solid midfield destroyer and I liked how he played, but he's been the best midfielder for the US so far, to everyone's surprise.
"I just want him to get better. Whatever the problem is, get it addressed. I'm more concerned about him as a person."
- Jaguars WR Mike Brown on suspended WR Justin Blackmon
There has been much information on the Justin Blackmon front, as it's all been speculation, vague ominous talk and reading the tea leaves. Gene Frenette, to his credit for all the grief we give him, did a great job piercing the veil a bit on the Blackmon issue. He was not able to get specifics, but he was able to shed some light on the situation.
It's not just us that don't know much about Blackmon's situation, it's seemingly everyone, even his inner circle. His parents declined to speak about their son's issues but as far as we know, Blackmon is in rehab and trying to get his life back on the right track.
"I tried reaching out a few times," Cecil Shorts III told Gene Frenette. "If he responds, he responds. That doesn't matter, as long as he knows that I care. From what I've heard within the last week, he's checked into a rehab and is doing all right. That's the extent of what I know."
"This team is better than last year."
By all accounts from the people viewing Jacksonville Jaguars OTAs and mini-camps is that the team clearly looks better than last offseason, and they should. While it is underwear practice and most people should look good, actually looking good when you're supposed to has been an issue for the Jaguars in the past.
The Jaguars defense should look significantly better this season with the additions of Chris Clemons and Red Bryant to the front and by most accounts, all's good so far.