Jaguars open minicamp to new coach Bradley’s beat
New coach Gus Bradley’s first practice with the Jacksonville
Jaguars came amid music: some rock, some rap and even a few pop
songs blaring from sideline speakers.
It set the tempo – literally.
The high-paced, two-hour practice Tuesday kicked off a three-day
voluntary minicamp for veterans. The Jaguars barely took a break
during the session, which was designed to give new coaches some
extra work with their teams before next week’s NFL draft.
But the thing that stood out, especially to the 77 players and
20 coaches on the field, was the score.
”We just believe that it really elevates the performance,”
Bradley said. ”It’s not just to have music out there. We found out
that music, without going into too much detail, how many beats
there are in a song and things like that elevates everybody’s
”We’re trying to compete. … We’ve got to do everything we can
to get practice at the highest level, the highest level. And if
that means play some music at the same time, we’re going to do
Players raved about Bradley’s technique, which he learned while
working under Seattle coach Pete Carroll.
”Going into my eighth year, I’ve never been a part of anything
like this,” tight end Marcedes Lewis said. ”First day of
minicamp, they’re throwing everything at us: blitz period, hurry-up
offense, two-minute drill, the whole kitchen sink at you the first
day. … Everybody came out here with the right attitude and we got
The Jaguars went through similar practice tweaks last year.
They spent much of the 2012 offseason adjusting to former coach
Mike Mularkey and his staff, learning new schemes, new terminology
and a whole new way of doing things.
So this was even more change for those veterans who survived
Jacksonville’s offseason facelift.
And even though Mularkey’s practices also were up-tempo, players
remember them more for having to keep helmets in a straight line
during stretches and for an offense that was more complicated than
it needed to be.
”We’ve got a clean slate,” Lewis said. ”Everything that
happened last year is a blur now. All we can control is our future
and right now. Everybody that’s in here, we understand that.
”Everybody’s talking about the coaches and how great they are.
It’s one thing to be able to coach great, but it’s another thing to
be great people coaching. These are great people that actually care
about you. We feel that. We thrive off that. And the energy has
been great since Day 1 and we’re going to continue to feed off that
and get better every day.”
Coming off the worst season in franchise history, the Jaguars
have plenty of room for improvement. The offense ranked near the
bottom of the league for the second consecutive season while the
defense was 30th.
Jacksonville finished 2-14, leading to the firing of general
manager Gene Smith and Mularkey.
Owner Shad Khan tasked Bradley and new GM Dave Caldwell with
rebuilding the franchise through the draft, which resulted with the
team parting ways with about two dozen veterans and several
”It’s the start of a new era – again,” guard Uche Nwaneri
said. ”At the same time, it’s an opportunity for guys to come out
here and get to learn their coaches, get to learn the system and
get comfortable with their surroundings and their
Nwaneri (knee) was one of nine players who sat out Tuesday’s
practice. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), defensive end
Jeremy Mincey (ear infection), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee),
guard Jason Spitz (foot), fullback Montell Owens (knee), running
back Jordan Todman (knee), tight end Matt Veldman (knee) and
receiver Jerrell Jackson (groin) also missed the workout.
Defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith strained his left calf during
The practice wasn’t seamless as quarterback Blaine Gabbert,
learning his third offense in as many seasons, struggled in team
The playlist, though, got nearly as much attention.
”It’s hard to have high anxiety and compete,” said Bradley,
who hopes to keep steady pressure on his players in every practice.
”It’s almost physically impossible. It’s extremely difficult, so
anything we can do to alleviate anxiety. You say, `Oh Gus, it’s
soft.’ We’re not talking about soft. That wasn’t soft what we just
did out there.
”We allowed them to play fast so they could put full
concentration into their assignments and the execution and their
effort. Those three principles – hard, fast and together – and the
music helps do that.”