JACKSONVILLE – From his view, Maurice Jones-Drew said a couple of things at Jaguars organized team activities are clear:
1. Denard Robinson is fast.
2. The Jaguars are, too.
“There’s so much speed out there, it’s amazing,” Jones-Drew said Monday after the first of 10 organized team activities scheduled at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields in May and June.
Jones-Drew, the Jaguars’ three-time Pro Bowl running back, said that makes this an exciting time to be around the Jaguars, and he also said he’ll be heavily involved come training camp.
Jones-Drew, the NFL’s leading rusher in 2012, missed 10 games last season with a foot injury, rushing for 414 yards on 86 carries and finishing the season on injured reserve. He underwent surgery in December, and said Monday he expects to be ready to train fully in June, a month and a half before training camp begins in late July.
“I’ll be training before training camp,” he said.
Jones-Drew, who has been in Jacksonville since before the team’s voluntary offseason program began, attended practice Monday. He said he ran three-quarter speed for about 30 yards Monday, and is working toward being able to work every day.
“That’s just part of the process,” he said.
Jones-Drew said he is impressed with the speed of not only Robinson, a quarterback at Michigan who is expected to play a reserve running back role, but of the entire Jaguars’ roster.
“It’s good to see we have more talent,” he said. “We have an opportunity to do some great things this year.”
VIEW FROM THE OZONE
Wide receiver Justin Blackmon spoke to the media Monday for the first time since the Jaguars announced he will be suspended for the first four games of the 2013 regular season. It was an important day for Blackmon, and at the same time, it wasn’t. Blackmon needed to speak to the media – and by extension, the fans. He needed to say the necessary things. He needed to say that he must make better decisions and that he’s going to lean on his support group. He also needed to apologize. Blackmon needed to say those things, and the Jaguars need the things to be true, because they need the second-year wide receiver to continue developing as he did last season. But at the same time, what’s most important for Blackmon isn’t what he says, but what he does now. It’s understandable if fans pay little attention to what Blackmon said Monday, and it’s understandable if people are skeptical. Blackmon said same things last June as he said on Monday. Jaguars Head Coach Bradley has said publicly that he trusts Blackmon and Blackmon made it clear Monday he values that support. He spoke admirably of a lot of the things that Bradley is preaching – about getting better every day, and focusing on just that. Now, though, Blackmon must do more than talk. He must justify Bradley’s trust. If he does, and if he makes the better decisions he knows he must make, he can be part of the Jaguars’ future. If not, then what he said Monday won’t matter much at all.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’m definitely glad I came back. I love doing this. This is what I love doing and I’m glad to be back here working with the guys and enjoying myself.”
--- Jaguars 14-year veteran center Brad Meester
The Jaguars will hold the second of 10 organized team activities practices at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields Tuesday at 11:25 p.m. The practices are closed to the public.
AROUND THE JAGUARS
*Cornerback Marcus Trufant practiced for the first time since joining the Jaguars as a free agent last week. The 11-year veteran who spent his first 10 seasons with Seattle is wearing No. 36.
*Guard Uche Nwaneri (knee) and fullback/running back Montell Owens (knee) each practiced Monday after being held out of the mid-April minicamp.
*Rookie quarterback Matt Scott practiced on a limited basis Monday after sustaining an ankle injury in the team’s May 3-5 rookie minicamp. Rookie quarterback Jordan Rodgers, who sustained a groin injury in minicamp, did not attend practice Monday. Rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders also did not practice Monday after sustaining a groin injury at minicamp.
*Jones-Drew was among several veterans attending practice and working on the side Monday, with others including defensive end Jason Babin, tight end Matt Veldman and defensive tackle Roy Miller.
*Defensive end Austen Lane did not attend practice, nor did wide receiver Cole McKenzie, linebacker Jeremiah Green and running back De’Leon Eskridge. Lane is attending the NFL’s new “Sports Journalism & Communications Boot Camp” this week at Bowling Green State University, whole McKenzie, Green and Eskridge are finishing school.
Photo Gallery of Day 1 of OTAs