By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
You could hear the banter in the stands: “How many games could the Jaguars win?”
And if that wasn’t being discussed, men were laughing at the prospects of last season, the things they wanted to see changed and the hope that Blaine Gabbert can get his act together.
Even though the regular season had not begun and this was only a mini camp for draft picks and rookies, there was an excitement at EverBank Field’s practice facility that was contagious.
In a good way.
Bradley was all smiles, talking to the fans, chatting with the media and in a town that is larger than life when it comes to Gators, Bulldogs and Seminoles, you had a feel about this being a college atmosphere with a professional look.
Here, that works. Here, that is exactly what this franchise needs. Here, the newness will “will” this “Rah Rah” team to a few more wins.
The infectious nature was ever apparent on Sunday. The sun was out after two miserable days of practice. You saw Bradley moving from row to row of players, coaching them up, making them feel like they were part of something new, something real, something exciting.
And the conversations continued.
“I like that he talks to these players,” said an elderly man in the stands. “We sure as heck did not get that last year.”
It is hard to sometimes separate the “fan” and he “reporter” when it comes to this team. We are taught to be unbiased, formulate an opinion and stick to it. But, I have to be honest, when I got on the field Sunday (I was soaked Saturday and did not feel the energy within myself), I caught the fever just like everyone else. I was attentive to what was going on. I was watching everything as a fan would watching a regular season game. I was caught in the idea that yes, this might be a team that can double its win total from last year.
All of this from a bit of college and high school intensity.
And for a coach that seems to really like being the leader of this franchise, it just plain works.
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