Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Branden Albert has been in contact with the team. What can come from the whole “holdout”?
According to several reports including one from the Jacksonville Jaguars team site’s John Oesher, Doug Marrone says Branden Albert contacted him this week. Albert communicated that he will be present at the team’s mandatory mini-camp next week.
Thus ends the sole off season “holdout” on this 2017 Jaguars roster. Not with a bang, just a whimper.
Look, we get it – the off season is long and football-heads like me need something to fixate on. Still, the increasing coverage voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTAs) draw is just ridiculous. By admission of many coaches and general managers around the NFL, OTAs are not an accurate way to gauge the overall quality of a roster. These are simple underwear practices. Achieving peak physical shape and learning basic technique are the goals, not practicing any real football. It’s unlikely many longtime NFL veterans get much out of OTA attendance. It’s more likely they go for the free state-of-the-art workout facilities.
Oh, yeah – the practices are also voluntary.
Branden Albert missing these voluntary sessions will not have a significant impact on the season. Now that we know with near-certainty that he will practice with the team once the work is mandatory it should be a closed case.
There are those who say it’s important to bond with a new team and learn the new system. Realistically for someone as tenured as Albert, training camp will offer plenty of time for that. An experienced veteran with All-Pro honors already knows the major benefits of OTAs, basic technique and physical maintenance.
Remember the Jack Del Rio era. Running Back Maurice Jones-Drew, the face of the franchise opted to skip OTAs in favor of training out in South Florida. This was reported without incident from fans, and there were no daily trackers as to when he would report for voluntary activities.
So, what’s the key difference between Jones-Drew missing voluntary workouts earlier and Branden Albert missing them now? Coverage.
Coverage of OTAs is a rising phenomenon. While it’s great to see our favorite team back out on the field and we love fresh commentary on various offseason additions and changes, chances of gleaning anything of substance from the practices on the field are limited at best.
Still, the beast must be fed. The NFL is certainly not immune to the 24-hour news cycle. Thusly, much to the chagrin of myself and many level-headed football fans, we will continue to blow stories like Albert missing voluntary work out of proportion.
More from Black and Teal
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Bold trade proposal has Jacksonville Jaguars shipping LT Cam Robinson
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”
I hope you enjoyed OTA coverage. Go ahead and let yourself feel good that Blake Bortles looks to be in the best shape of his life. You should certainly enjoy the press conference demeanor of Doug Marrone. Definitely smile warmly at the thought of Paul Posluszny and Myles Jack’s upcoming buddy-cop flick. Just please don’t blow participation in voluntary meetings out of proportion.
Branden Albert will most likely be the 2017 Jaguars starting left tackle come week one of the regular season hopefully bolstering an offensive line with question marks. He will either return to his Pro Bowl form, suffer a complete physical collapse due to age and injury, or, most likely, perform somewhere in the middle.10 voluntary practices with no pads were never going to change that.
What do you think? Will Branden Albert’s absence during the voluntary period blow over with little incident? Let me know in the comments below!