JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It is back to work for the Jacksonville Jaguars who Wednesday began their offseason conditioning program. Tuesday players checked in and got tested by the coaching staff but Wednesday they actually put on the cleats and got to work.
Players throughout the building were excited to get back and get the 2014 campaign underway.
“It’s definitely good to be back,” quarterback Chad Henne said. “New start, excited, and Gus [Bradley], his team meeting was same old Gus. So it’s great to be back.”
It is a new beginning for the 2014 Jaguars however for head coach Gus Bradley while the way they approach the message might change here and there, the overall message stays the same. That message is to be the best you can be.
“I think the same principles that we talked about [last year] are in place,” Bradley said. “I think sometimes, you know you go into another year and you say ‘ok now lets change the message’. Well if it’s strong it shouldn’t have to change. So we kept it consistent. The message is the same and I thought it was really well received.”
Well received indeed.
There was definitely a feel around the building Wednesday afternoon that said the team was ready to get back to work and excited to improve, something that Bradley again has preached since the first day on the job.
Defensive end Ryan Davis was the poster child for that message in 2013. Davis didn’t see the field until Week 11 last year. However, he made the most of his opportunity, becoming a staple in the Jags’ Lightning package while also making win-clinching plays in both of the team’s wins over Houston in 2013.
For Davis, who spent his time off going back to school and working out at Bethune-Cookman, the start of the 2014 season is a chance to build off what he accomplished last season.
“I’m glad to be back,” Davis said. “I’m just happy to see all the guys back to doing what we love. I’m just excited for phase one right now and a chance to get better.”
Henne also has reason to be excited. This time last year he was in a competition with now former Jag Blaine Gabbert for the starting quarterback job. This year, not only is Chad considered the starting quarterback going into the season, but it is also the first time for him as a Jaguar that he’ll be heading into a season with the same head coach, offensive coordinator, and maybe most importantly, the same offensive system as the year before.
“Me being here for my third year now, I can really step into that [leadership] role knowing going into the season that I am the guy. So it will be a different situation for myself this year especially.”
While the offseason conditioning program is voluntary, Bradley said that most of the players under contract were in the building Wednesday and those who are not are expected to join the team by the end of the week.