After being challenged at the beginning of the offseason to not only be a better pas catcher this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars but a leader for the younger players in the receiving corps, Cecil Shorts has not had the type of training camp befitting those kinds of expectations. Injuries have prevented him from being on the playing field and working on his timing and his consistency with both Chad Henne and Blake Bortles.
The Jaguars are now hoping, in the team’s third preseason game against Detroit, Shorts gets more time on the field and shows more leadership on the sideline and in the locker-room. The only problem is Calvin Johnson may finally make an appearance on the field in Detroit, which to the natives is a heck of a lot more interesting. Still, it will be Shorts first time in the preseason for more than a series or two, so the Jaguars faithful are hoping for success on their end, regardless of who is playing on the other side.
For a team sorely lacking in experienced receivers, the sight of Shorts participating in practice this week is indeed welcome.
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said he anticipates Sh
orts will get "15 plays or so" with the first-team offense against the Lions. Both Chad Henne and rookie Blake Bortles will work at least a quarter each with the anticipated regular-season starters, although their respective stints at quarterback could depend on the length of their drives.
After getting a total of only 17 snaps in the opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Henne ran 26 plays in the first quarter alone last week at Chicago as the offense produced two field goals and a touchdown. Shorts didn't make the trip but was delighted with what he saw on television back home.
"We're moving the ball," he said. "We're pushing it. We're making plays outside the receivers and running the ball better. Chad and Blake are on point with their throws, on point with their reads. And the offensive line is doing a great job. Now, we've got a lot of work to do to get to where we're trying to get. But it's definitely a great start."
JAGUARS WORTH $965 MILLION (FROM ESPN.COM)
The Jacksonville Jaguars may have won only six games over the past two seasons, but they’re worth nearly $200 million more than the $770 million Shad Khan plunked down to purchase the franchise back in November 2011.
According to the Forbes NFL Team Value list that was released Wednesday, the Jaguars are worth $965 million. While that’s an increase of $195 million -- no doubt helped by the stadium renovations and stadium naming rights contract extension with EverBank -- that still ranks 29th among NFL teams.
Still, a 25 percent increase in value in less than three years is a pretty significant jump.
The Dallas Cowboys top the list at $3.2 billion. The three teams worth less than the Jaguars are Detroit ($960 million), Buffalo ($935 million), and St. Louis ($930 million).
The Jaguars are the only team in the AFC South valued at less than $1 billion. Houston ranks fifth at $1.85 billion, Indianapolis is 12th at $1.4 billion, and Tennessee is 19th at $1.16 billion.