Once this cat-and-mouse game Branden Albert is playing with the Jaguars gets resolved, and it appears to be moving in that direction, the best part will be seeing actual competition unfold at left tackle with second-round draft pick Cam Robinson.
Unless Albert decides to take the unlikely step of skipping the June mandatory mini-camp or holding out to start training camp, all this absenteeism during voluntary OTAs is just silly posturing. Albert has no leverage and the Jaguars know it, which is why they won’t be sweetening his contract they inherited via a trade with the Miami Dolphins.
The mantra of front-office czar Tom Coughlin and coach Doug Marrone is players (a.k.a. non-quarterbacks) must earn starting jobs. The veteran Albert will have to show them he’s a better option at left tackle than the rookie Robinson, and then Marrone will figure out whether to make the runner-up compete for a starting job at left guard or right tackle. Anything else is window dressing.
Albert’s mini-drama is an amusing sidebar for springtime OTAs, but everything ratchets up at training camp. Then we’ll see if the veteran left tackle is good enough to send the Jaguars’ future left tackle to another position… .
Here’s an incentive for Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette: the Jaguars are the only NFL team in the last decade to not have a first-round pick who made a Pro Bowl with Jacksonville, though safety Reggie Nelson did make one with the Cincinnati Bengals… .
Some social media stories that gain traction in mainstream media are legitimate. But the attention given to a photo of a naked fisherman lying on top of a shark in a boat, whose face resembles Florida football coach Jim McElwain, went way overboard.
It’s a prime example of how far off course our TMZ/Deadspin-infatuated culture tends to stray. Anyone with good eyesight knows the man was too big to be McElwain. Shame on all media who kept this non-story alive for the sake of website clicks and taking unfair advantage of McElwain’s status as a public figure… .
Speaking of McElwain, he has a dilemma now that star receiver Antonio Callaway has been cited for marijuana possession. It’s not uncommon for McElwain to suspend players for a season opener against Cupcake U to teach them a lesson about following team rules. We’ll see if putting Callaway in street clothes for Week 1 against Michigan is viewed a little differently… .
No matter how you feel about Colin Kaepernick, the fact ex-Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has a contract with the Arizona Cardinals and Kaepernick is still available defies common sense… .
Condolences to the family of Marcus “Neckbone” Thompson, a four-sport athlete at Forrest High and former ace pitcher at Jacksonville University, who passed away in Boston last week at age 53 from a heart attack.
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