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Bradley says Jags 'not there yet'

The SportsXchange

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley finished his first offseason workouts as a head coach, he said the team made some progress but overall concluded, "We're not there yet."

Jacksonville had 10 days of OTAs where all healthy and able bodies currently on the team's roster were participants in the voluntary workout sessions. During this week's mandatory minicamp, everyone was in attendance except defensive end Jason Babin, who is in rehab after surgery a couple of weeks ago.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew was at each of the three days of workouts but not as a participant as he continues to rehab after foot surgery in December.

After the final session, Bradley said he was pleased with what he saw but that there was still work ahead for a team that went 2-14 a year ago.

"I think the whole body of work that we talked about, what we wanted to get accomplished with the attitude, the mentality coming off from our first minicamp that we had back in April until now and I think we established that," Bradley said.

"We're not there yet. The three most dangerous words in our building are 'we got it' and we ain't ever got it. We know we've got some work to do, but I'm very pleased with how much we've progressed and how far we've come along to this point."

While the rookies will be around for another week, all veterans are now off until the last week in July when the team reports back for training camp. With two of its top players -- wide receiver Justin Blackmon and Jones-Drew -- making headlines away from the playing field during the offseason, Bradley was asked what message he had for his players for the next six weeks while they're on their own.

"One of our rules of our team is to protect the team, and that's both on and off the field," he said. "Make decisions that not only affect yourself but our team. That rule, rule No. 1, is in effect. They understand the message and the importance of it, but it's a good opportunity for them to demonstrate it to us all."

As is often the case in most NFL camps, there was much attention and discussion regarding the team's quarterback situation. Bradley has not indicated who the starter will be between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. He gave both players equal opportunities with the first unit. Earlier in the week, he said a check of the number of reps for each quarterback was nearly identical, 212 to 210.

The Jaguars coach said the team would begin training camp in July without a declared starter at the quarterback position.

"I'd like to see them in pads and go through some training camp. We will feel it and know when it's right," Bradley said when asked for an ideal date to make the announcement of the starter. "I know that's going to be a big topic through all training camp -- when are we going to make that decision? But I love the way it is right now, where the guys are competing.

"As far as leadership, I don't think it should affect their leadership. I don't think that you become a stronger leader now that you're No. 1. I think you can exhibit leadership whether you're working with the ones or the twos if that's your personality.

"My mindset for the quarterback is I want him to be the leader and I want him to compete, to compete play in and play out and demonstrate his belief. It's that simple."

Bradley said they could go into the team's last preseason game without announcing the starter.

"We hope not, but you just let it play out and play it by ear," he added.
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