For the right amount of money, your name could be on the stadium. On May 11-13, the Jaguars conducted their annual mini camp, the first opportunity of the year for the Jaguars to practice with the entire team, including their recent draft picks.
Unlike most teams who conduct their practices and training camps at a remote location, the Jaguars conduct all of their practices at fields adjacent to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium downtown.
Much of the attention this year will be devoted to the passing game, which ended the 2006 season ranked 24th in the league out of 32 teams, and spoiled a great year turned in by the running game, which finished the year ranked second.
In attendance was 81 of the 82 players on their active roster (Defensive End Bobby McCray has been frustrated with his contract situation and has not attended the Jaguars off-season workouts and practices), including 18 rookies.
The Jaguars conducted two practices that lasted about two hours each, one at 10:30 AM and the other at 4:15 PM, giving fans an opportunity to grab a bite to eat at Burrito Gallery (CB Rashean Mathis' favorite lunch destination) and check out downtown.
As a team, the Jaguars players burned 500,000 gallons of gas driving to practice - and that was just leaving their driveways.
Not without controversy, Byron Leftwich is back atop the Jaguars quarterback depth chart. Standing next to him is now backup David Garrard.
Back for his second season is sensational Running Back Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew finished his rookie campaign with the third highest all purpose yards total among all players in NFL history with 2,237 (941 on the ground, 436 through the air, and 860 during returns).
Jaguars Pro Bowler Rashean Mathis was one of six players to not practice due to various injuries (In Mathis' case, it was a sore quadricep). The 5th year cornerback from Jacksonville's Englewood High School spent part of Saturday afternoon catching passes from the Jaguars Quarterbacks and is expected to be full speed by the start of training camp in July.
It's not often that NFL teams use a draft pick on kickers or punters, but that's just what the Jaguars did in the fourth round of this year's NFL draft. Over the offseason, the Jaguars drafted Adam Podlesh from Maryland, and released eight year veteran Chris Hanson, following a season in which the Jaguars had the league's worst punting average.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio overseeing the practice.
Not everyone wants Leftwich out of Jacksonville. The Jaguars starting quarterback ended the practice session Saturday afternoon signing autographs for fans.
Unlike most teams who host their practices at remote locations, the Jaguars do everything at their facility downtown, which gives the players the opportunity to interact with the local fans. Long Snapper Joe Zelenka doesn't miss the opportunity to "interact".
In an attempt to help their struggling passing game, the Jaguars drafted Wide Receiver Mike Walker out of Central Florida. Both the fans and the media thought Walker was very impressive in his first pro practice.
Over the next couple months, the Jaguars will conduct their Organized Team Activities (OTAs), which are closed to the public. The fans' next opportunity to see the Jaguars up close is Saturday, July 28th, when the Jaguars begin training camp. Most practices for the first two weeks of camp are expected to be open to the public. Admission is free.