Front Office is Methodical as Free Agency Begins


[Editor Note: Phillip Blair chimes in on the recent GM signings. As usual Phillip brings a wonderful perception to the activity in Jaguar land.]

In a previous article, I noted that General Manager Gene Smith “has made every effort to put highly talented football players who are leaders of men on the field.” Now it seems Smith is continuing to do so as the team has signed two former pro bowlers to contracts over the weekend.

Don’t get it twisted. Smith is a frugal G.M., but he understands the importance of the team being successful in the near future. Owner Wayne Weaver has no doubt sat in Smith’s office (or vice versa) and the two have surely discussed what the organization’s outlook is and how to build on that outlook going forward. Smith understands the importance of and has spoken adamantly about signing high quality players to the team. He shows interest only in those who will pose zero distraction for the rest of the team and who will do great things in the community. It’s all about establishing a standard and implementing with personnel who epitomize that standard.

Smith did such by landing contracts with former wide receiver and special teams star for the San Diego Chargers, Kassim Osgood, and DE formerly of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Kampman. Both characterize the types of players Smith has sought out since his tenure began, and it would seem each of the recent additions have reason for playing with a sizeable chip on his respective shoulder.

Osgood became a special team’s star for the San Diego Chargers, receiving pro bowl selections in the 2006, 2007, and 2009 seasons. The undrafted receiver worked to carve a niche for himself but saw his playing time dissipate as a wide-out. Osgood stayed motivated in his role on special teams, yet he still holds aspirations of becoming a feared and respected wide-receiver. The Jacksonville Jaguars will give him every opportunity. If Osgood works hard and pans out as a productive threat opposite of rising WR Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguar fans will no doubt lose their minds with excitement.

Smith’s other free agent acquisition, DE Aaron Kampman, has already been tried and tested. He has produced on the field, and his statistics in recent years are impressive. I’ll let you “google” those. Sure, his season was cut short in 2009 due to injury, but the word is the DE will be ready to go full-throttle by training camp. I am confident the two-time pro bowler will instantly upgrade the pass rush and bring the most out of third year player Derrick Harvey. Just imagine Derrick Harvey running Peyton Manning straight into Kampman’s shoulder pads. Now imagine Kampman chasing Manning into Harvey’s crushing tackle from the other side. Lovely thoughts and I can’t stop daydreaming about the different scenarios as the 2010 season kicks off with two sexy signings by the front office.

It’s okay to smile Mr. Weaver. You deserve a good smile. Your fans have been wearing one all weekend.

– Phillip Blair

[Terry’s take: Chris Motensen recently twittered this :

"Jaguars landing Kampman reminds me of something owner Wayne Weaver disgustedly told me over the phone after season: “We only had 16 sacks!”"

I guess when the owner is upset the employees respond!  Let’s get those tickets, the season has begun!