As of Monday, the wait is over.
It’s over for Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey, and for the rest of the Jaguars’ coaching staff, because after more than two months planning and preparing, the members of the staff on Monday can begin doing what they have wanted to since early January.
They can meet with players, and when they meet, they can talk about football.
Under the rules of the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association, coaches this off-season have yet to be allowed to coach players, or to talk football with them. Players also haven’t been allowed to practice at teams’ facilities.
Beginning Monday, that changes for Mularkey and the Jaguars, and although it changes on a limited basis, Mularkey said anticipation is high.
“We may be over-prepared,” Mularkey said during the NFL Owners Meetings in Palm Beach last week. “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone through these camp schedules to make sure we’re right. I want them to see how detailed we are, but also we’re not going to cross the line with any of the rules.
“There are a lot of things we have to be aware of, making sure the timeframe with the players – when and where you do things – is done correct.”
Under the rules of the CBA, Jaguars strength and conditioning coach Tom Myslinski and the strength coaches can put players through conditioning four days a week beginning Monday. All teams with new head coaches can begin that work Monday, while the rest of the NFL must wait until April 16.
The Jaguars’ non-strength coaches can meet with players in a classroom setting for the next two weeks, and players may work with footballs on their own, something they have not been previously been permitted to do this off-season.
Jaguars coaches can begin on-field coaching April 17, the first day of a three-day voluntary veteran mini-camp that Mularkey is calling a veteran orientation.
The Jaguars’ rookie mini-camp will be held May 4-6, with a mandatory minicamp for all players June 12-14. The team will hold 10 organized team activities between the rookie mini-camp and the mandatory mini-camp.
“I know all of the coaches are itching to get them in here and get started, especially with a new offense coming in,” Mularkey said. “It’s important to get in front of those guys. Whether you can get on the field with them or not you can manage to talk about it.
“It’s been difficult to meet a lot of these guys. They’ve made an effort to come down there and talk to me, and I really can’t even talk football with them. They want to talk about it as much as I want to talk about it. It is frustrating that you’re in that position and you have to wait until April until you can actually do what you were hired to do.”