DREAM COME TRUE
Branch, a defensive end from Clemson and the Jaguars’ second-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, on Tuesday became the first player from the team’s six-player ’12 draft class to sign with the team.
“It’s just a dream come true,” Branch said Wednesday. “It’s one less thing I have to worry about. Now, I can just focus on football. Words can’t even explain.”
Branch said there was no huge post-signing celebration. He said he called his mother, and while they talked for a while, he said he hasn’t yet decided what he will buy her with his contract money.
“We’ll see,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t want to put that out there yet.”
And as for how ready he will be for training camp, the Jaguars’ fourth-year defensive tackle said on that issue he is absolutely certain.
“I’ll be 100 percent,” he said.
Knighton on Wednesday spoke to the media following the team’s eighth day of Jaguars organized team activities, and as has been the case throughout the off-season program, a primary topic was his recovery from the emergency eye surgery he underwent in early April.
Each time Knighton has spoken publicly on the matter he said he is improving, and Wednesday was no different. He said his vision gets better by the day, and with each bi-weekly visit to the eye doctor his prognosis is more positive.
He said he may get the last of the 14 stitches in his left eye out next week.
“Once that’s out coaches can’t hold me back anymore, so I’ll be ready to go,” Knighton said.
Knighton joked last week that he was asking Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey every day to let him practice, but on a serious note Wednesday he said he’s doing as much productive work as possible each day in OTAs.
“I’m not letting them hold me back much,” Knighton said. “The only thing I really can’t do is practice. Each week, I try sliding myself in some drills. They won’t let me, but it’s a process and I don’t want to rush it.”
WHAT DT C.J. MOSLEY SAYS
“It’s good to be back out there with the guys, to have that continuity going. It’s a fun time to be out there running around, doing what we’re supposed to do. It’s a fun time, and it’s exciting for us to be back together.”
WHAT BRANCH SAYS
“From college to the NFL, everybody’s good. It’s the same thing from high school to college – you feel like everybody’s good. But now everybody is really, really good. I’d say a practice is a college game – that’s the pace.”
WHAT KNIGHTON SAYS
“Whether you’re here or not, you can do defensive line stuff. You can do that walking in the grocery store. Anything you do can relate to defensive line stuff. With us, it’s just working on moves and having a short burst and being in condition.”
WHAT WE SAW
Knighton worked on the side, and while that means he technically wasn’t practicing, the work he was doing Wednesday looked pretty extensive. While the offense and defense went through a team period early in the morning practice, Knighton, defensive end
Credit Mosley for being honest – and for providing one of the funniest moments of 2012 OTAs. Mosley, a defensive tackle who this off-season signed a long-term deal to remain with the team, on Wednesday met with the media for the first time since signing that contract. And while he was asked about the contract, the highlight came when he was asked what it was like to have defensive line coach Joe Cullen yelling at him every day. Mosley smiled and said, “It’s a freaking headache. I’m just going to be honest. It’s a headache. You’ve got a lot going on – him yelling, whistles, the heat. It really doesn’t matter what he’s yelling about, but as soon as he yells it’s like, ‘Oh my God.’ He’s a great coach and he gets us in gear. From what I’ve been told if somebody doesn’t yell at you, he doesn’t care. He yells at everybody. So, hopefully, he likes us all.”
Most of the 90 Jaguars players on the off-season roster will participate in organized team activities practices through Friday. The team’s mandatory mini-camp is scheduled to run June 12-14. Training camp is scheduled to begin in late July.
* Jaguars Head Athletic Trainer Mike Ryan is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the First Coast Sports Injury Symposium 2012 at Jacksonville University Saturday. Ryan in addition to presenting the keynote address will be speaking on various upper extremity injuries along with many well-respected Jacksonville sports medicine specialists. The symposium is sponsored by Brooks Rehabilitation, Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Ryan is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at 11 a.m. For information, please visit this link.