Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP; Brackens Not in Rush Eased into Camp, Veteran End Faces Fight to Win Job

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP; Brackens Not in Rush Eased into Camp, Veteran End Faces Fight to Win Job

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO, The Times-Union

When defensive end Tony Brackens was giving tips to rookie Jorge Cordova on the sidelines during a practice session this week, members of the NFL Films crew were busy capturing the scene.

If the filmmakers who are making a documentary of the Jaguars' training camp want to film Brackens early in camp, they usually have to look for him on the sidelines because he's being eased into the training camp regimen.

"As we get going, we'll increase his reps. Ideally, we'd like to look at him in [preseason] game situations and see if he can help us sack the quarterback," coach Jack Del Rio said.

The key word in that sentence was "if."

After eight years of wear and tear on his knees, Brackens' ability to rush the passer remains in question despite his six sacks last year.

"That's what we're going to determine. That's what we need to find out in this training camp. That's what we have to assess and as a player, he has to dig down and find out what's left in him," Del Rio said.

In effect, at age 29, Brackens is fighting for a roster spot.

"There are no guarantees either way," Del Rio said. "Tony understands that. We're looking for people to help us harass the quarterback. If he can be what we think he can be, then he'll have a spot. Everybody understands that.

"Is he going to have the knees he had when he came out of college? No. There's wear and tear so it's not realistic to wait for him to be the Tony Brackens of five years ago," Del Rio said.

Brackens, who declined an interview request Monday, said when he re-signed with the team in June, "It's not like I have to go out and prove myself right now, because they already know what I can do. . . .

"I think I still have about three or four more good years in me. I would like to retire here. That would be great."

When Brackens arrived at camp Friday, he said, "I feel better going into this camp than I did going into last year, both from a physical and mental standpoint."

Brackens missed the first four games of the 2001 season with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee and the last 11 of the 2002 season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the offseason. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.