JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- New Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson has begun shaping his new staff. The first casualty is running backs coach Terry Richardson, whom the team fired on Tuesday.

Richardson spent the past two seasons with the Jaguars as a member of coach Gus Bradley's original staff. The Jaguars averaged 78.8 yards per game rushing and 3.3 yards per carry in 2013 but that number increased to 102.1 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry in 2014. Those were his first two years in the NFL.

Richardson spent the 2011-12 seasons as the University of Miami running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. He worked with offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch with the Hurricanes and followed him to Jacksonville when Bradley hired Fisch to be the Jaguars' offensive coordinator. Fisch was fired on Dec. 30.

Prior to Miami, Richardson spent 12 seasons as the running backs coach at Connecticut.

Bradley hired Olson and offensive line coach Doug Marrone last week. Bradley said he and Olson were to meet this week to discuss the rest of the staff. More staff changes are expected, though receivers coach Jerry Sullivan is expected to remain.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks was the Jacksonville Jaguars’ best and most consistent player in 2014.

 He’s also their only representative on the All-AFC South team announced today. The team was selected by the NFL Nation reporters covering the division: Myself, Paul Kuharsky (Tennessee Titans), Mike Wells (Indianapolis Colts), and Tania Ganguli (Houston Texans).

The Colts had 10 players on the team, followed by the Texans (nine) and the Titans (three). The left guard spot was left vacant because there weren’t any players deserving of the honor, but every other spot was filled.

Marks was an easy choice to make the team because he had a career year. He led the team with 8.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and 16 QB hurries to go along with 44 tackles and a fumble recovery before suffering a torn ACL in his right knee in the season finale against Houston.

Marks’ sack total was second in the NFL among interior linemen to Buffalo’s Marcell Dareus (10). Marks’ 15 tackles for loss was third among defensive tackles (Ndamukong Suh had 23 and Aaron Donald had 16) and three more than Dareus.

The 27-year-old former Auburn standout also was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl.

Marks’ most significant moment came in the Jaguars’ 21-13 victory over Tennessee in a nationally-televised Thursday night game. He sacked quarterback Charlie Whitehurst on the final play of the game, which triggered a $600,000 bonus in his contract. When he signed a four-year contract extension at the end of the 2013 season, one of the performance bonuses was $600,000 for reaching 8.0 sacks.

Here were the other Jaguars players that appeared on the All-AFC South ballot:

RB Denard Robinson: He was the Jaguars’ leading rusher (582 yards, 4.3 per carry, four TDs) despite missing the last three games with a foot sprain.

WR Allen Robinson: One of the Jaguars’ two second-round picks, he played in 10 games (seven starts) before missing the rest of the season with stress fracture in his foot.

WR Allen Hurns: The undrafted rookie finished second on team in catches (51) and led the team in receiving yards (677) and TDs (six).

C Luke Bowanko: The sixth-round pick ended up starting 14 games and was the Jaguars’ second-best offensive lineman.

G Brandon Linder: The third-round pick was the team’s most consistent offensive lineman. He started 15 games.

DE Chris Clemons: He was second on team with 8.0 sacks and third in QB hurries (10). He led the team with four forced fumbles.

LB Telvin Smith: The team’s fifth-round pick finished second in tackles (99) and had two sacks, four pass breakups, nine tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He played in every game and started eight.

CB Demetrius McCray: He was the Jags’ most consistent corner all season, finishing with 47 tackles and three pass breakups.

SS Johnathan Cyprien: He led team with 111 tackles and had four pass breakups and five tackles for loss.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Reading the coverage of the Jacksonville Jaguars ...

Former sports agent Joel Corry writes about the seven NFL teams with the most money to spend in free agency. The Jaguars top the list with an estimated $61.58 million in cap room. Corry writes that he expects the Jaguars to be aggressive, and said it wouldn't be a surprise if the Jaguars went after a couple Seattle players: cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Malcolm Smith.

Safety Devin McCourty would be a player the Jaguars likely would pursue in free agency but he might not be available, writes the Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran. The New England Patriots might use the franchise tag on McCourty.

Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity appears ready to approve multi-million dollar deals to help several of the state's high profile professional sports teams -- including the Jaguars -- but state officials say they won't not decide which team deserves the money, writes The Associated Press.

Former Jaguars defensive coordinator and interim head coach Mel Tucker has joined Nick Saban's staff at Alabama as a defensive backs coach, writes SI.com's Thayer Evans.

SI.com's Chris Burke recaps the best and worst from Senior Bowl week.
Take a listen to this week's NFL Nation TV podcast as the crew breaks down the latest in "deflategate" and the lead-up to Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Host Paul Gutierrez (San Francisco 49ers reporter) and co-hosts Coley Harvey (Cincinnati Bengals reporter) and Mike Wells (Indianapolis Colts reporter) are joined by two other NFL Nation reporters to discuss the big game.

Kevin Seifert (NFL Nation writer) takes us behind the multi-step process that goes into the pregame checking of football inflation, and the impetus behind the league allowing quarterbacks to play with their own footballs. He also chats briefly about the Super Bowl's head referee, Bill Vinovich, and what we might be able to expect from his mixed crew.

Jeff Legwold (Denver Broncos reporter) shares his thoughts on covering the Super Bowl after having been in the press box of each championship game since Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta in 1994.

Be sure to watch NFL Nation TV live on ESPN.com this Friday at 1 p.m./10 a.m. PT as we catch up with Legwold and ESPN Insider's Mike Sando, who will fill us in on the Hall of Fame selection process that will occur this weekend.

Also, be sure to give the show's podcast a listen following each taping.

Listen to this week's podcast here.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said he hoped to hear something from the NFL regarding suspended receiver Justin Blackmon's status for the 2015 season before the NFL draft begins on April 30.

If that is to be the case, the Jaguars need Blackmon to apply for reinstatement sometime within the next five weeks. According to the NFL’s substance abuse policy, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to make a decision within 60 days of a completed application for reinstatement.

Since so many have asked, however, here is the procedure for reinstatement for players that have violated Stage 3 of the substance abuse program:

Blackmon
Blackmon
First thing to know: According to the substance-abuse policy, Goodell has the sole discretion to determine if and when a player will be allowed to return. Whether a player adheres to his treatment plan during his suspension is a significant consideration, and a player must meet certain requirements determined by the substance-abuse policy’s medical director as well as other requirements.

Here are the requirements outlined in the substance abuse policy:
  • A player must formally apply in writing no sooner than 60 days before the one-year anniversary day of the letter he received from the NFL notifying him he was suspended. In Blackmon’s case, he was suspended on Nov. 1, 2013.
  • In the player’s application he must include information about his treatment, abstinence from substance abuse throughout the entire suspension, involvement in any substance-abuse related incidences, and arrest and/or convictions for any criminal activity (including substance-abuse related offenses).

Blackmon had checked himself into a treatment facility in September in an effort to deal with substance-abuse issues. That came roughly two months after his third arrest involving alcohol or marijuana, which happened on July 23, 2014 in Edmond, Oklahoma, after police stopped Blackmon for a traffic violation, found marijuana in his car, and charged him with possession of marijuana.

He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor marijuana possession on Nov. 20, 2014. The charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct if Blackmon does not commit any crimes over the six months from the date he entered the plea agreement.

Within 45 days of receiving the application, the player is interviewed by the program’s medical director and medical advisor. They will then make a recommendation to Goodell.
  • The player has to submit medical release forms to allow Goodell’s staff and the NFLPA Executive Director’s staff to review the player’s substance abuse history. That includes attendance at any counseling, 12-step programs, or other programs plus medical findings and treatment recommendations.
  • The player has to submit to urine testing by an NFL representative at a frequency determined by the program’s medical advisor.
  • The player then has to meet with Goodell or his representatives and agree to comply with any conditions imposed by Goodell for reinstatement.
  • If a player is reinstated, he remains in Stage 3 for the rest of his NFL career and submits to continued testing and treatment. Any violations will lead to indefinite banishment. However, if a player has not had any positive tests in the 24 months after his reinstatement, he can be discharged from Stage 3.
Join us today at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT, for a special ESPN NFL Nation TV Super Bowl Week Spreecast as episode No. 41 will review Deflategate and look ahead to what the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots can expect heading into Super Bowl XLIX.

Host Paul Gutierrez (San Francisco 49ers reporter) and co-hosts Coley Harvey (Cincinnati Bengals reporter) and Mike Wells (Indianapolis Colts reporter) will be joined by EPSN NFL Insider Kevin Seifert and Jeff Legwold (Denver Broncos reporter).

Seifert, who has covered the world of NFL officiating with aplomb, will break down the process of inflating and inspecting footballs and how officials are involved in the process. He’ll also give us a scouting report on the officials assigned for Sunday.

Legwold, who covered the Broncos in last year’s Super Bowl, will then give us a day-by-day breakdown of the week and how teams attempt to stay focused with so many outside distractions.

Also, the crew will discuss the Pro Football Focus project that examined how many above-average players each NFL team was from contending for this year’s Super Bowl.

Viewers are encouraged to log in and ask the panelists questions as well as contribute in the chat feature.

NFL Nation TV will have a second show this week on Friday at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Reading the coverage of the Jacksonville Jaguars ...

Teammates are planning to attend a passing camp held by quarterback Blake Bortles on the West Coast, writes the Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran.

Chris Polian, the Jaguars' director of pro scouting, recently had a second interview with the Philadelphia Eagles regarding their vacant personnel executive position, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette writes that talent, not the person calling plays, is the real key to the Jaguars' improvement.

Jacksonville Jaguars mailbag

January, 24, 2015
Jan 24
8:00
AM ET
Got questions about the Jacksonville Jaguars? I’ll try to answer a representative selection of them every Saturday. Submit your questions via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco.

@ESPNdirocco: That’s really hard to say because there’s so much that Justin Blackmon has to do to get reinstated and there’s no guarantee that he won’t face further discipline for his July arrest. However, I do believe that if he does get reinstated and plays football again it will be with the Jaguars.

@ESPNdirocco: That depends on new offensive coordinator Greg Olson. He and coach Gus Bradley are scheduled to meet this week to evaluate the players and staff. I’m sure there will be some changes but there’s nothing at this point to indicate that quarterback coach Frank Scelfo won’t be retained.

@ESPNdirocco: Well, considering how poorly the offense performed last season he might get excited with a couple of first downs. I do get your joke, however. For those who don’t know, Olson was on coach Mike Mularkey’s staff here in 2012. Mularkey had a policy in which he donated money to charity every time a player scored a touchdown and handed the ball to an official without any kind of celebration.

@ESPNdirocco: You need to add two more conditions: Blake Bortles progresses and gets significantly better and the Jaguars add some key free agents, such as a veteran receiver and a pass-catching tight end. If they do that in addition to drafting well in 2015, then making the playoffs would be a reasonable expectation in the fourth year of the Bradley/GM David Caldwell tenure.

@ESPNdirocco: It’s hard to know which free agents will be available, but if safety Devin McCourty, tight end Julius Thomas, or receivers Randall Cobb and Demaryius Thomas hit the open market I’d expect the Jaguars to pursue them. So will most other teams.

@ESPNdirocco: Let’s assume that the Jaguars add a veteran receiver, a couple offensive linemen, a free safety, and a pass-catching tight end in free agency. I’d take Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory with the No. 3 pick and then I’d take the highest-rated outside linebacker or offensive lineman available in the second round.

@ESPNdirocco: Instead of listing a bunch of names (and since I don't have that much space) it'd be easier to refer you to the Senior Bowl wrap-up that I did on Friday morning.

@ESPNdirocco: I do expect more staff changes, though guessing who might be going is useless because OC Greg Olson is meeting with Gus Bradley this week to evaluate the staff. I don’t see Kirby Wilson coming.

@ESPNdirocco: Yes. Chad Henne is under contract for another year and the Jaguars are happy with the way he performed in that role in 2014.



@ESPNdirocco: I’m waiting for one of my loyal readers to offer me the use of their beach house or mountain retreat.
Each day for the next two weeks we'll review how each Jacksonville Jaguars position group performed in 2014 and take an early look at 2015. Today we wrap up the series with the safeties.

Safety

Breakdown of starts: Johnathan Cyprien (15), Josh Evans (14), Winston Guy (3).

Evans
Cyprien
Recap: This position was a mess early in the season, especially at free safety. The secondary gave up 25 pass plays of 20 or more yards through the first four games, the most in the NFL, because of missed assignments and blown coverages. Guy, who started the first three games of the season, was the biggest violator. The Jaguars cut Guy on Sept. 29 and Evans took over as the starter at free safety. The team cut down on the number of big passing plays allowed (36 over the final 12 games). In the Jaguars' defense Cyprien plays in the box and ended up leading the team with 111 tackles, but he didn't make many big plays. He didn't force a turnover and had just four pass breakups and five tackles for loss. Evans struggled at times in tackling but became more consistent in that area as the season progressed. His problem is the same as Cyprien's: few big plays. He was third on the team with 90 tackles and had two fumble recoveries, but he had just two pass breakups and two tackles for loss.

Looking ahead to 2015

Players under contract: Cyprien, Evans, Craig Loston.

The skinny: One of the top priorities for Gus Bradley's defensive scheme to be successful is having a free safety who's athletic and fast enough to cover the entire field. Whether it's in free agency or the draft, the Jaguars have to address that position this offseason for the defense to continue to develop. Evans has been OK but he's more suited to play strong safety behind Cyprien.
In this series, I'm counting down 10 plays that shaped the Jacksonville Jaguars' season.

Play No. 1: Blake Bortles' debut

Situation: First-and-10 from the Jacksonville 20-yard line with 15:00 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Score: Indianapolis leading 30-0.

My take: After a lackluster first half in which the offense gained just 55 yards, generated just two first downs, and scored zero points, coach Gus Bradley benched veteran quarterback Chad Henne and handed the job to Blake Bortles -- and not only for the second half of what turned out to be a 44-17 loss to Indianapolis at EverBank Field. Bortles' first snap was an overthrown pass to Cecil Shorts, but he went on to complete 14 of 24 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.

Season impact: The Jaguars' plan for Bortles was for him to sit and develop and then step onto the field as the team's starting quarterback in 2015. But the offense was non-functional after the first half of the season opener and Bradley had no choice. Once he made the choice, however, there was no going back and he was turning the team over to the third overall pick. The Jaguars committed themselves to riding it out with Bortles for the rest of the season, no matter how ugly it got. And it did get ugly. Bortles threw 11 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions, including four that were returned for touchdowns. Still, the move was beneficial because Bortles is 14 games ahead of schedule in his development had he not gotten on the field.

Quote from Bradley: "He's going to go through some learning on the field. Hopefully for us that learning curve means more good than bad. The challenge for us with him is just keep getting better. I think Blake really understands that's what's it all about."
MOBILE, Ala. -- Reading the coverage of the Jacksonville Jaguars ...

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. re-graded the entire 2014 draft Insider. The Jaguars earned an A in the days after the draft. Find out what grade Kiper gives them now.

WJXT TV-4 sports director Sam Kouvaris and Cole Pepper talk about the Jaguars' hire of Greg Olson and Doug Marrone in their latest podcast.

Beadles
The judge in the dispute over ownership of the Edgewood Bakery issued an opinion overwhelmingly in favor of Stache Investments and Jaguars owner Shad Khan in a preliminary hearing, writes the Florida Times-Union's Drew Dixon.

The T-U's Ryan O'Halloran writes that the switch to football could pay off for former Miami (Ohio) cornerback Quinten Rollins. He has had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl and could find himself a first- or second-round pick in the upcoming draft, which isn't bad for a guy who played college football for only one year.

Former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell, who is now an ESPN analyst, said he doesn't believe what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said to say about his involvement with the deflated footballs in last weekend's AFC Championship Game.

Left guard Zane Beadles has purchased a $2.4 million townhouse in Newport Beach, California, writes Neal J. Leitereg of the Los Angeles Times.

AL.com's Mark Inabinett writes that defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks -- who went to Vigor High School in Prichard, Alabama, (just outside of Mobile) -- has been a tremendous asset for the Jaguars.

Senior Bowl wrap-up

January, 23, 2015
Jan 23
8:00
AM ET
video
MOBILE, Ala. -- Because of all the Jacksonville Jaguars news on Tuesday and Wednesday, I wasn’t able to write much about what was happening on the field at the Senior Bowl.

So here, on my final day in Alabama, are 10 observations from practices. Most involve South team players because that’s the team the Jaguars’ staff is coaching.

TE catches Middleton's eye

Jaguars tight end coach Ron Middleton created a bit of a stir in the Ladd-Peebles Stadium stands during Wednesday’s practice because of his loud, booming voice. Middleton could be heard yelling "You’re my hero!" and "Yeah! Yeah!" as he was raved about tight end Clive Walford.

The former Miami player made a couple nice inside moves on defensive backs Jaquiski Tartt (Samford) and Anthony Jefferson (UCLA) to get open on seam and corner routes. He also made a diving catch and was able to consistently get open.

"Slick made some plays today," Middleton told me after practice. "First of all, I like his attitude. He’s asking questions. He’s into it mentally. He busts his butt every time he’s been out there and the main thing is he made some plays today so that always makes you like them a lot."

Walford caught 121 passes for 1,753 yards and 14 touchdowns in four years at Miami, including 44 for 676 yards and 7 TDs in 2014. Middleton said Walford has good size (6-feet-4, 254 pounds), very good hands, and "runs good enough" and projects as an inline tight end in the NFL. He’d need to be faster to be used as a move tight end.

Middleton said Walford still has some technique issues that have to fixed, including as a blocker.

"But you can see the willingness and if you’ve got one that’ll bite, then he’s got a chance," Middleton said. " … if he’ll stick his face in the fan he’s got a chance to be a good blocker. We can work on the technique and things; it’s just the attitude of it."

QBs struggled

Teams looking for a quarterback probably didn’t get much out of this week because none of them look very good. In fact, after watching Blake Sims throw for several days I’m starting to wonder how Alabama won the SEC and made the College Football Playoff.

Sims had a particularly bad day on Wednesday and underthrew several passes in drills against no rush. He did have a nice deep ball to Josh Harper (Fresno State) but that was the only pass that stood out in a positive way.

Bryce Petty, playing for the North team, hasn’t exactly torn it up, either, as he adjusts from the up-tempo spread to taking snaps under center. He threw two interceptions on Wednesday including one in which he threw a screen pass right at outside linebacker Nate Orchard (Utah).
The top two quarterbacks in the draft aren’t here because they’re underclassmen and the player most consider No. 3 (UCLA’s Brett Hundley) declined the invitation to play.

Now, some shorter observations ...

It’s hard not to be intrigued by mammoth offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje (6-7, 360), but if he’s going to play at the next level it’s not going to be on the outside. The former TCU standout doesn’t move very well at all. He was continually beaten in pass rush drills early in the week before suffering a hip flexor injury that will keep him out of the game.

Three other South offensive linemen that had solid weeks were guard Arie Kouandjio (Alabama), guard Tre’ Jackson (Florida State), and tackle Daryl Williams (Oklahoma). The Jaguars are expected to add a right tackle and another veteran lineman or two in free agency, but taking a lineman later in the draft is a possibility, too. These are three guys to watch.

North running back Ameer Abdullah looked good carrying the ball, which he did a lot at Nebraska (4,438 yards and 36 touchdowns in four seasons) but he struggled in pass protection drills. He’s not too small (5-9, 195) but he was physically overmatched against some of the linebackers. He may never be a great pass-blocker but he can certainly improve. If he doesn’t, he’s not going to play much in his first few seasons except as maybe a third-down back.

South defensive tackle Danny Shelton (Washington) may be the best player participating in the game. He’s been hard to handle all week. He’s built like a run-plugger (6-2, 332) but he’s got quick feet and looks like he could be productive as an interior pass-rusher.

South running back David Johnson reminds me a bit of Lorenzo Taliaferro, who played in last year’s game. He’s a big back (6-2, 229) from a smaller school (Northern Iowa) that is holding his own against higher-quality competition than he normally faces. Taliaferro (6-0, 226) played at Coastal Carolina and was drafted in the fourth round by Baltimore.

The most exciting player on the field for either team may be South receiver Tyler Lockett (Kansas State). He’s more of a slot receiver because of his size (5-10, 181) but he’s got good quickness and hands. The Jaguars coaching staff had him run several end-arounds to take advantage of his speed and open-field ability. He more than held his own in one-on-one battles with bigger corners. He out-fought 6-1, 205-pound Nick Marshall (Auburn) to catch a fade pass in the end zone.

Did Miami really finish 6-5? That’s hard to believe after the week the four Hurricanes players have had. Linebacker Denzel Perryman, receiver Phillip Dorsett, corner Ladarius Gunter, and Walford have all been impressive. Dorsett isn’t big either (5-9, 183) but he has consistently gotten open in team drills and has really good hands. Perryman has had some issues in pass coverage but has been very good against the run in drills.

Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (Clemson) is undersized at 6-1, 288 pounds, but he makes up for it in athleticism and quickness. He was very productive with the Tigers, recording 156 tackles (21 for loss), 3.5 sacks, 26 quarterback pressures, two caused fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in his final two seasons. He showed off his strength, too, by tossing aside 6-5, 308-pound offensive tackle La’el Collins in one pass blocking drill.
[+] EnlargeJamaal Charles
AP Photo/Charlie RiedelKansas City fans will have to wake up pretty early to watch the Chiefs play the Lions in London.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs will have what is probably their first early morning (Central time) kickoff for the Nov. 1 game against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in London. The NFL announced a 2:30 p.m. local time kickoff for the game, which translates to 8:30 a.m. in Kansas City.

All three NFL games in London next season, including an Oct. 4 matchup between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins and an Oct. 25 game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, will start at 8:30 a.m. CT (9:30 ET).

The NFL started a London game at 8:30 a.m. CT for the first time last season when the Lions played against the Atlanta Falcons. Otherwise, the games have started at the traditional early TV window beginning at noon CT.


(Read full post)


Each day for the next two weeks, we’ll review how each position group performed in 2014 and take an early look at 2015. Today we’ll examine the cornerbacks. On Friday the series will wrap up with the safeties.

Cornerback

Breakdown of starts: Dwayne Gratz (13), Demetrius McCray (12), Alan Ball (7), Will Blackmon (4), Sherrod Martin (2), Aaron Colvin (1)

Colvin
McCray
Recap: For much of the season, coach Gus Bradley talked about being pleased with the tightness of the coverage on the outside, but wanted to see the cornerbacks compete more, meaning he wanted to see them break up more passes. The cornerbacks combined for 17 of the team’s 49 pass breakups, led by Gratz’s nine. McCray and Ball, who started the first seven games and then missed the rest of the season with a biceps tear, had three each and Colvin had two. The corners only picked off two passes, one each by Gratz and Ball. Gratz struggled early in the season and got taken out the starting lineup at left cornerback. However, he was back as the starter at right cornerback for the final nine games after Ball went on IR. The biggest surprise of the season was how well McCray played. Though the 2013 seventh-round draft pick didn’t make many plays on the ball, he did well in coverage. For example, he helped hold Antonio Brown, the league’s leading receiver in catches (122) and yards (1,698), to five catches for 84 yards. Colvin finally got on the field for the final six games after recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in January and he made an immediate impact, returning a fumble for a touchdown against the New York Giants in his second game.

Looking ahead to 2015

Players under contract: Blackmon, Gratz, Colvin, McCray, Tommie Campbell, Jeremy Harris, Rashaad Reynolds, Peyton Thompson, Deion Belue

The skinny: Colvin and McCray project to be the starters, with Gratz as the nickelback. Blackmon had been the team’s nickelback before suffering a fractured finger and missing the final nine games, so his roster spot could be in jeopardy, though he’s a valuable asset in the meeting room and locker room and it would be good to have a veteran presence (he’ll be in his ninth season) at the position. The Jaguars like Reynolds, but he’s going to have an uphill battle to find playing time. The rest will have to stick as special-teamers.

SPONSORED HEADLINES