JACKSONVILLE – Here’s What We Learned from Thursday’s Season-Ticket Holder Fan Forum at EverBank Field…
1.The Jaguars want
2.Caldwell has done his homework. Caldwell’s not namingnames, but he said before the forum Thursday he has a strong feel for who he considers the top players available in the May 8-10 NFL Draft. “We have a good idea who our Top 5 guys might be,” he said.
3.As far as free agency … A lot can change in five weeks, but Caldwell said Thursday he likes the offensive and defensive linemen currently scheduled to hit free agency. Potential free agents can re-sign with their own teams, and many will, and teams will franchise players before the free-agency period begins March 11. But as it stands now, Caldwell said he likes players in the offensive and defensive line group. “Both of those are pretty solid,” Caldwell said.
4.Denard Robinson will have a role. Caldwell on Thursday addressed running back Denard Robinson, who struggled with ball-security issues as a rookie last season – but who Caldwell said still very much fits into the Jaguars’ future. "We're really optimistic about D-Rob,” he said of the 2013 fifth-round draft selection. Caldwell said while Robinson is currently about 205 pounds he would like him around 215-to-220 “so he can finish runs.”
5.Gus Bradley can “win the room.” The Jaguars’ head coach is a dynamic speaker. He inspires confidence and excitement. This isn’t exactly news, but watch the archive of the forum on this site. It’s worth the time.
6.A young core is starting to form … The 2013 draft class was a particular area of focus at the forum, with Caldwell referring to ’13 first-round left tackle Luke Joeckel and second-round safety Johnathan Cyprien as “cornerstones.” He also lauded third-round corner Dwayne Gratz, fourth-round wide receiver Sanders, Robinson, sixth-round safety
7.Impact was made outside the draft class. Caldwell also spent time Thursday discussing young players who fit into the future. Rookie free-agent linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, rookie free-agent defensive end Abry Jones and linebacker John Lotulelei – acquired off waivers from Seattle – got particular attention.
8.The Jaguars really like
9. ... And Demetrius McCray, too. McCray played sparingly as a rookie, but Bradley and Caldwell each mentioned his potential and athleticism throughout the fan-forum series. “Even though he didn’t play as much, he has a really high upside,” Bradley said.
10. There’s a veteran core, too. Caldwell and Bradley spent the first season familiarizing themselves with the roster, and they mentioned areas and players about whom they felt good Thursday at the forum. Among the veterans mentioned: middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, offensive tackle Austin Pasztor, linebacker Geno Hayes, tight end Marcedes Lewis, cornerback
11.Pasztor is the starting right tackle. The first-year veteran moved into the starting lineup at right tackle last season. As Caldwell and Bradley see it, he earned the chance to be there again next season.
12.Quarterback remains a focus … Caldwell had this to say about the possibility of a quarterback at No. 3 overall in the draft: “If a quarterback presents itself to take, then we’re going to take him. But we can’t sacrifice the future to reach for someone who may not be there. We hope through this process maybe one presents itself. I don’t know that that’s going to be with the third pick or in the sixth round. We just have to do what’s right for this franchise—not just for next year, but for eight, nine, 10 years down the road.
13.Whoever the quarterback is, he must throw. Caldwell had this to say about what he wants from a quarterback: “The No. 1 thing a quarterback has to do is throw win with his arm. There are so many games in the NFL that you can’t predict how it’s going to start. You have to have a guy who can come back and win a game. In the last two minutes, you have to be able to throw. I don’t know if that will ever be replaced by athleticism.”
14.The London trip will be long. Bradley said the Jaguars likely will play a road game this season the week before the November 9 game against Dallas at Wembley Stadium in London. Likely opponents for that week would be Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia.
15.The Senior Bowl helped. Caldwell said a major benefit of the Jaguars coaching the Senior Bowl will be seen at the February 19-25 NFL Scouting Combine. Because the team already interviewed players at the Senior Bowl, Caldwell said the team will uses its 60 allotted combine interviews on juniors and other players with whom the staff is less familiar. Caldwell said while the team could interview highly-rated quarterbacks at the combine, those interviews also could take place at private workouts and/or Pro Days as the draft approach.
16.The Jaguars will be wise in free agency. Caldwell said the Jaguars will participate in free agent, but said their approach will continue to be prudent. “Our mindset always has been to spend, but spend wisely,” Caldwell said. “We’ll get some free agents. We’ll fill some holes. Ideally, we’ll get some guys who can start right away so our 10 draft picks don’t have to come in and start right away. It’s not the one who spends the most who wins the most.”
17.The Henne effort will begin soon. Caldwell said re-signing quarterback Chad Henne before the start of free agency remains a focus. “We’ll reach out to him relatively soon,” he said.
18. MJD’s return remains a possibility.