While the first day of OTAs were centered around Justin Blackmon and the comments made regarding his suspension, the Jacksonville Jaguars have done a good job of concentrating on what is the most important thing to its organization -- building a winning franchise.
The OTAs have proven to be spirited, as head coach Gus Bradley has commented on the competition at every position and every unit on this team.
The Jaguars must find three new starters in the secondary, a replacement for Blackmon over the first four games and determine who will start behind center when the season opens against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The safety position seems to be one less to worry about for Bradley as Dwight Lowery has taken Johnathan Cyrpien, the second round pick from FIU, under his wing and is teaching him about playing in the NFL versus the competition he faced in college.
I have heard on local radio and on sports reports here in Jacksonville, that Cyprien is like a sponge, trying to absorb everything Lowery and defensive backs coach, DeWayne Walker is teaching him.
The Jaguars will need Cyrpien and possibly third-round pick Dwayne Gratz to learn on the fly as they may be starting in the secondary.
The team will get to see more of Denard Robinson in camp. Robinson was present for the first day of rookie camp, but traveled back to Michigan to graduate. If Robinson can be anything like Kordell Stewart or other “alternative” scoring threats for this team, the Jaguars will have a weapon many teams will not know how to prepare for. Look for Robinson to contribute most as a runner, but he could play in the slot as a receiver and he still has an arm he can use on trick plays.
The Jaguars claimed Brandon Deaderick off waivers from New England. Could Deaderick give this franchise another pass rusher to work into the rotation? A seventh-round pick in 2010, Deaderick did play in 34 games, started 14 of them and had 51 tackles and five sacks. The Jaguars had 20 sacks as a team last year.
The coaching staff is also watching the battle between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne with a close eye. Both could be the starter on this team. After listening to Bradley, the team has no clear cut leader in the clubhouse, but it would not surprise me if the team put Gabbert behind center at the start of the season. The Jaguars invested the 10th pick in the 2010 draft to acquire him and he still is a work in progress.
Matt Scott is now the third quarterback on the roster. Jordan Rodgers had sports hernia surgery this week.