Justin Blackmon Jersey

Was former Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon a bust in the traditional sense of the word? I’m slightly too young to have a great memory of the 90s teams, but in my eyes, Blackmon is in the conversation for most talented wide receiver to wear a Jaguars uniform. Obviously, off-the-field issues derailed his career, but MAN that guy could play.

There’s no clear, tried-and-true “sense” of the word bust – at least not one I like. I rarely use the word because too many people casually call players “busts” when in fact the players just didn’t live up to their draft statuses. Many Jaguars observers and fans call players such as former Jaguars defensive ends Dante Fowler Jr. and Tyson Alualu “busts.” The reality is both are good NFL players who committed the “offense” of being drafted early in Round 1. I don’t know what you would call Blackmon, but if you define bust as a Top 10 draft selection who gave the team virtually nothing and whose off-field negatives dramatically outweighed his on-field positions then … yes, he was certainly a bust. As far as the conversation for the most talented wide receiver in Jaguars history, Blackmon belongs in it. His hands and sense for the ball were as good as I’ve ever seen. But he doesn’t belong at the same level as Jimmy Smith, who for several seasons in the late 1990s and early 2000s was the NFL’s second-best wide receiver behind only Jerry Rice – the best player ever to play the position. Blackmon would have been good. I doubt he would have reached Smith’s level because few have reached that level.

You keep saying you’ll know more about certain positions after OTAs. Does that apply to quarterback, too? Will we know if Foles is The Man or just a guy before training camp?

We indeed should know more about the Jaguars’ quarterback position after organized team activities, which begin Tuesday at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex outside TIAA Bank Field. I anticipate having a much better idea about backup quarterback, because we’ll see Alex McGough and Gardner Minshew practicing with this team for the first time. I expect some feedback about those two players – and, of course, Tanner Lee – by the time minicamp breaks in mid-June. I don’t realistically know how much we’ll learn about new starting quarterback Nick Foles. I would expect him to look the part in terms of accuracy, arm strength, command of offense; his experience and resume suggest that will be the case. I would expect a lot of optimistic talk from players and coaches – and I would expect the normal cautious optimism from Head Coach Doug Marrone, who isn’t exactly given to giddy offseason praise. How it all will play out come the regular season obviously is the more important question. So much changes in the fall compared to the spring and summer that whether Foles is The Man or a guy will be a question until September.

Brandon Linder Jersey

Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder (65) communicates with guards A.J. Cann (60) and Andrew Norwell (68) against the Dallas Cowboys in an NFL game Sunday, October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Tx. (Rick Wilson via AP)

ACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When healthy Brandon Linder is the Jaguars best offensive lineman. Staying on the field has been an issue. Linder has missed 26 games during his five seasons in Jacksonville.

On paper the Jaguars were set up to play their stated identity of being a physical, smash-mouth football team. The key to be able to do that is having a dominant offensive line.

A right knee injury limited Linder to only nine games in 2018. He joined Cam Robinson on injured reserve in mid Nov. Left guard Andrew Norwell and right tackle Jermey Parnell also ended their seasons on injured reserve.

Health is the key for Linder and several of the Jaguars offensive players. One thing to keep an eye on is will the Jaguars keep Linder at center or move him back to right guard.

A.J. Cann, who has started at right guard the last four seasons, is a free agent. Linder previously played right guard before being moved to center. That gives the Jaguars some flexibility if they were to choose to purse a center or right guard in free agency or the NFL Draft.

Josh Lambo Jersey

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 02: Josh Lambo #4 of the Jacksonville Jaguars kicks a field goal during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field on December 2, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Jaguars have a lot of decisions to make this off-season and looking for a kicker can be taken off the to do list. On Wednesday the team announced it re-signed kicker Josh Lambo to a contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reported on twitter.

“I’m not quite sure it has set in yet. This whole NFL journey has been a little wild and very unexpected. Now that I’ve gotten to the point where I can sign an extension with this club, it’s really special, and it’s a great day for myself and [my wife] Megan and our dogs and our whole family.”

The 28-year-old fan favorite has played well in Jacksonville appearing in 23 games for the Jaguars. He has appeared in a total of 55 games since the Jaguars being signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted rookie on May 12, 2015. After his 32 game stint with the Chargers he came to Jacksonville and made an impact. He has made 38 of 41 field goals and his 92.7 field goal percentage is the highest in franchise history among player with ten or more field goal attempts. He set a Jacksonville franchise record for consecutive made field goals converting 24 straight from November 19, 2017 to November 11, 2018. For his career, Lambo has made 90 of 105 field goals (85.7 pct.) and 111 of 122 PATs (91.0 pct.).

Lambo is coming off a groin injury that kept him sidelined at the end of last season. He addressed his rehabilitation on Wednesday.

“Everything has been good so far. Rehab is on track. We are going to be stronger than I have been the past four seasons, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Lambo, a dog lover, supports local pet charities in Jacksonville. By winning a closest to the pin contest last summer he won a $6,000 donation to the Fur Sisters a no-kill dog shelter. So, it was fitting he and his wife included his pets for this special event.

“It’s kind of a statement for what my life is. Obviously, my wife is here and my dogs because I wanted them here. It is a big day for me, so it’s a big day for them. I think we are all going to go home and get some treats tonight.”

The Jaguars will kick off 2019 with a season long celebration of its 25th season.

Barry Church Jersey

Image result for Barry Church

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran safety Barry Church on Friday afternoon, one week after he was a healthy scratch against Tennessee.

Church’s release was a bit of a surprise even though he had lost his starting job, though the move allows him to possibly land with another team to finish out the season. It was one of several moves the Jaguars made on Friday afternoon. They also activated offensive tackle Josh Wells from injured reserve, promoted defensive lineman Lyndon Johnson from the practice squad, placed offensive lineman Josh Walker on injured reserve with an ankle injury, and waived tight end Niles Paul from injured reserve.

Church signed a four-year, $21.6 million contract with $12 million guaranteed in March 2017 and hadn’t missed a game with the Jaguars until last Thursday. He lost his starting job in Week 13 to rookie Ronnie Harrison because of mistakes in coverage, and the Jaguars made him inactive for their Week 14 game at Tennessee, which the Jaguars lost 30-9.

Church had 38 tackles, two pass breakups and one interception this season. He had a career-high four interceptions and eight pass breakups to go along with 72 tackles in his first season with the Jaguars.

Church spent the first seven seasons of his career with Dallas. He originally signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Toledo.

A.J. Bouye Jersey

tashaun-gipson-spoke-jaguars-a-j-bouye-playing-texans

Tashuan Gipson is excited about playing for the five-time AFC South champions. Part of what stoked his excitement was talking with a former Jacksonville Jaguars teammate of his, and a former Texan, in cornerback A.J. Bouye.

“He told me about the city, he told me about — obviously, he’s been gone for three years, so things have changed a little bit — but he gave me some advice about the coaches and the culture here in Texas,” said Gipson. “That was really helpful. It’s always helpful to have a guy here who I look at like a brother in Aaron Colvin.”

Bouye played with the Texans from 2013-16. Having his best season with the team in 2016 with 16 passes defended, the former undrafted free agent from Central Florida inked a five-year $67.5 million dollar contract with the Jaguars.

Said Gipson: “A.J. is one of my closest friends. He was excited for me. Obviously, sad, mix emotions because me, him, [cornerbacks] Aaron Colvin, Jalen (Ramsey), we built a bond. Those guys will be invited to my wedding. Those guys are truly lifelong friends.”

Getting advice from Bouye and now Texan cornerback and former Jaguar Aaron Colvin, Gipson appreciated the advice given to him by former teammates but more importantly friends.

Calais Campbell Jersey

Calais Campbell was smiling on Tuesday when he talked to the media. The veteran defensive end said coming back to TIAA Bank Field and beginning the Jaguars voluntary workout program was something he was excited about. Putting in work, preparing for 2019. Most of all, like others on the team, the beginning of the three phases of the program meant putting the 2018 season behind him.

The Jaguars want to erase memories of what was supposed to be a “super” season for this franchise, but became more of a nightmare. Now, with new faces on offense and changes to the roster on defense, Campbell, who is in his third season with the team, will focus on playing football and enjoying the time he has on the field and with his teammates.

“I’m very excited. It seems like every year I get more and more excited to come into the offseason program, the spring ball,” Campbell said. “I guess as you get closer, get a little older, you try to appreciate these moments. It’s a good opportunity to kind of build that chemistry and develop the mentality we are going to have for this year.”

Quarterback Nick Foles told the media on Tuesday he called Campbell after signing his free-agent deal with the team to talk about playing football in Jacksonville. The two veterans will be counted on to help guide this locker room back toward the goal of the playoffs and beyond. Both players spoke admirably of each other, which should help foster continuity with transition this offseason.

“I met him a few times, talked to him. I have always respected him. I played against him years ago. It’s funny – time flies. I’ve seen his development. He has really developed into a quality player – Super Bowl MVP. But he is just a really good guy,” Campbell said.

“He has a strong confidence about himself. He is very poised. He has a presence. You see him in the locker room, he brings a presence with him. That is a good sign. Since we signed him and I have talked to him a few more times – I’m really impressed with the guy, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do together.”

Campbell has enjoyed two of the best seasons of his NFL career here in Jacksonville after signing as a free agent in 2017. As he gets older, he appears to get better. Having Yannick Ngakoue on the other side of the defensive line helps.

But there is a belief the Jaguars may still grab a pass rusher as early as Round 1 next week in the NFL Draft. At 32-years-old, Campbell’s career is on the shorter side, but he is not slowing down just yet.

Campbell had 10.5 sacks last season after a 14.5-sack campaign in 2017. He said every season is an opportunity, something he does not take for granted. He said the team needs to refocus on every day instead of looking ahead of itself.

Keelan Cole Jersey

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser and senior correspondent Brian Sexton examine the wide receiver position in this post-2019 NFL Draft look at the Jaguars’ roster…

Projected starters: Dede Westbrook/Chris Conley/Keelan Cole/DJ Chark Jr./Marqise Lee

Others: C.J. Board, Tyre Brady, Raphael Leonard, Dredrick Snelson, Michael Walker, Papi White.

The Jaguars surprised many observers with their offseason approach to this position, with the only high-profile offseason wide-receiver acquisition being the signing of Conley as an unrestricted free agent. Conley became part of an intriguing group – equal parts talent and uncertainty. While Westbrook showed big-time playmaking ability last season, he must continue those strides. While Cole has potential as he showed in a 700-yard rookie season, he must play much better and more consistently than last season. While Chark has first-round potential, he must improve dramatically in his second NFL season to fulfill it. While Conley has big-time athleticism, he must adapt to a new team after slipping in the Chiefs’ receiving rotation last season. While the team loves Lee’s toughness and leadership, he is returning from a major knee injury and hasn’t played a meaningful game since the AFC Championship Game following the 2017 season. The Jaguars believe strongly in this group, which will get a comparatively clean slate with Nick Foles replacing Blake Bortles as the team’s starting quarterback. Expect this to be a major storyline in the first half of next season. This group must answer a lot of questions positively and quickly for the Jaguars to make the necessary strides in the passing game.

John keeps telling me the Jaguars’ brass is good with the team’s receiving corps, and I guess they are because they hardly touched the position this offseason. Lee, Westbrook, Conley, Chark and Cole have enough combined talent to make the offense go, but individually I have questions. Is Lee’s rebuilt knee ready to stand up to the pounding it will take? It was a significant injury, especially for a guy who wins with his speed, but he tells me every time I see him, he will be back and ready to roll in Week One: Lee is a middle-of-the-field, run-after-the-catch, block-through-the-whistle kind of guy. He needs to be on the field if this group is going to reach its potential. Two: Can Chark play the role of the No. 1 receiver? The first time I laid eyes on Chark it was clear he is what a No. 1 receiver is supposed to look like: tall, long arms, huge hands, a broad frame and electrifying “you-can’t-possibly-stop-this” speed. The word was he was coming on strong in practice until the quad injury in late October and the drop in the end zone in London. Three: Who is Keelan Cole? The third-year wideout was a sensation as an undrafted rookie in 2017 and entirely unaccounted for in 2018 outside of a highlight reel, one-handed catch against New England in September. Is he the guy who rose above his small-school experience and looked like a star during 2017’s playoff run or the guy who wouldn’t talk to the media in London after another key drop that cost the Jaguars bigtime? It’s time to decide. There are enough playmakers in this group for Foles to work with. Perhaps with a higher level of performance from the quarterback, someone among this group will rise to the level of being “the man.”

Marcell Dareus Jersey

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 10:   Marcell Dareus #99 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up on the field prior to the start of their game against the Seattle Seahawks at EverBank Field on December 10, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus no longer faces a civil suit for an alleged sexual assault after a judge dismissed the case, according to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco.

A woman identified as Jane Doe filed a civil suit against Dareus on Dec. 12, 2017, and said the NFL player assaulted her at a Lutz, Florida, apartment in January 2017 and gave her a sexually transmitted disease.

DiRocco shared details of the complaint:

“The woman said a man gave her a drink that tasted strange and, after taking a sip, she asked for another, which she said did not taste strange. The woman alleges that Dareus at one point grabbed her breast and attempted to put his hand between her legs.

“In the complaint, the woman said she ‘blacked out’ at some point, and the last thing she remembered before blacking out was being led down a hallway to a bedroom. She said she later woke up and noticed she was partially clothed and Dareus was asleep in the bed next to her.”

She was seeking $15,000 in damages.

According to DiRocco, court documents show that Hillsborough (Florida) County circuit court judge Paul L. Huey dismissed the complaint with prejudice on Feb. 11, preventing the matter from returning to court.

Dareus, 29, was also accused of assault in July 2018. A woman identified as Jane Doe filed a civil suit against Dareus and said he had sex with her while she was unconscious in April 2018 in Houston Texas. She also said he gave her a sexually transmitted disease. She is seeking $15,000 in damages.

Duval County circuit court judge Tyrie Boyer dismissed the case on March 14, but an amended complaint was filed on April 2. Dareus and his attorneys were given 20 days to respond to that complaint.

Dontavius Russell Jersey

The NFL Draft starts tomorrow night with the first round before Friday night’s second and third rounds air on ESPN. We’ve been looking at some of the guys that’ll be in the mix to be selected and make pro rosters, and now after two wide receivers, we head back to the defensive side of the ball.

When you mention Dontavius Russell, he may not get the highest pub, but there’s certainly a muscle in Jake Fromm’s back that spasms with pain.

A four-year starter at Auburn, Russell became the consistent quiet cog in Rodney Garner’s defensive front. He played in 50 games during his time on the Plains, including 12 as a freshman, before turning into one of the key pieces on the line. With guys around him like Montravius Adams, Derrick Brown, Jeff Holland, Marlon Davidson, and Nick Coe, he was never going to be the flashiest guy on the field. He wasn’t going to be the one making sack after sack and blowing plays up. Russell’s job was to occupy blockers, stuff the holes, and allow everyone else to make plays. He was fantastic at that, and it may end up giving him the best chance to be the first Auburn player off the board.

Anybody that watched Auburn’s defensive line this year knew Russell, but they wouldn’t see him make many plays that show up in the stat sheet. Like Cole Cubelic said in the video above, he wasn’t going to stand out that way, but he was going to allow everyone else to stand out that way.

His size is great, and at 6’3, 319 pounds, he’s got some room to grow horizontally to help fill more of a gap on a professional defensive line. That’s exactly what the analysts think when you look at his draft profile, which gives him a “better-than-average chance to make NFL roster” , but does have suggestions for improvement.

They think that Russell’s biggest bugaboo is his natural inclination to play too upright. Off the snap, he’ll often pop up instead of hitting down low to get leverage, and that’ll neutralize him immediately against a season NFL guard. In addition, there are a couple of small fixes, like inconsistency with hand usage, and a tendency to go hot and cold when it comes to moving through blocks.

However, it’s impossible not to like his size. You can’t teach that, and he’s got room to grow. He’s also a guy that can cause havoc with one victory along the line. We all saw it plenty of times where the running back had to bounce outside because there were bodies strewn across the ground in front of him due to Russell blowing the interior apart. He wouldn’t make the tackle in that situation, but he was the root of the cause for someone else to finish the play.

Gardner Minshew Jersey

In a conference call with Jacksonville media, the QB was asked if he was dismayed that he fell into the third day of the draft – where most had him projected to go anyway.

Minshew responded: “No, man. When I was a little kid, if you’d told me I was getting picked in the NFL draft, I don’t care if it’s the first pick or the last pick. I’m getting picked. That’s such a blessing.”

The QB watched the draft at home in Brandon with a small group of friends and family members, wearing his signature jorts as he played cornhole and spike ball in the backyard between picks, according to longtime friend Houston Smith.

Jacksonville’s sixth-round pick arrived at approximately 12:30 p.m. Pacific time. Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell phoned Minshew, asking the QB if he was “ready to move back East?” Minshew replied, “Hell, yeah, let’s do it.”

The pick was announced in appropriate Florida fashion – from a pool at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, by former Jaguars player Damon Jones, the organization’s first tight end to be drafted, and a Jacksonville super fan. Swimsuit-clad Jaguar cheerleaders hollered in the background as the pick was made.

“You made a great impression on us at the combine, and you’ve had a helluva year and bring that energy and preparation to us as vying for a backup quarterback spot,” Caldwell said. “Can you do that?”

“I’ve got you, absolutely,” Minshew said. “Yes, sir.”

Minshew said he had a positive experience in his formal interview with the Jaguars, who many consider to be iffy at the QB position. Jacksonville recently signed Nick Foles to a four-year contract that makes him the Jaguars’ presumptive starter. Minshew, in all likeliness, will vie for backup reps with sixth-year player Cody Kessler, third-year player Tanner Lee and second-year player Alex McGough.

He told reporters he’s eager to dive into the team’s playbook.

“I’m so fired up, that’s one of the first things I told them is, ‘When can I get my hands on that?’ ” Minshew said. “That’s one of the biggest things I’m looking forward to, learning, getting ready and trying to leave that rookie minicamp as best as I can, and then going into OTAs and training camp, being on my P’s and Q’s and not being like a rookie.”

Minshew becomes the 11th Cougar quarterback to be selected in the draft and the second in as many years to come off the board in the sixth round, after Luke Falk was picked by the Tennessee Titans in 2018. Falk was since claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins, meaning both former WSU QBs in the pros will be playing in Florida.

Minshew was the second Cougar to be selected in the 2019 draft, coming off the board two days after his left tackle, Andre Dillard, was picked in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin called Minshew a “gym rat” who looked like he’d been at WSU “forever” while touting his “competitiveness.”

“He’s very smart, he’s very sharp, he loves the game, he loves the study part of the game,” Coughlin said. “He’ll be a great guy in the classroom with the coaches. He’ll suck all that information up.”

Minshew will have to adapt to taking snaps under center, a contrast to the shotgun snaps he took in Mike Leach’s offense and throughout his career, playing in different variations of the Air Raid.

Coughlin suggested that there would be a learning curve, but Minshew has the mental capacity and work ethic to succeed in a pro style offense.

“Does he have to learn some things? Yeah,” Coughlin said. “Because he’s going to be up under the center, he’s not going to stand back there in the shotgun the whole time. But if you were to tell me you don’t think the guy can throw a play-action pass from the tackle box, I don’t believe that. I think he can do that.”

In his lone season at WSU, Minshew led the nation in passing yards per game (397.6) while completing better than 70 percent of his throws for a Pac-12 single-season record 4,779 yards and 38 touchdown passes. His fifth-place Heisman finish was complemented by winning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Minshew, no stranger to the Sunshine State, completed much of his predraft training in Boca Raton, Florida, with well-known QB coach Ken Mastrole. His WSU coach, Leach, has a vacation home in Key West, Florida.

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone jokingly told Minshew, “Next time (Leach) is in Key West, he’s going to buy all the drinks.”