Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

THE EDUCATION OF CECIL SHORTS; He Turned Heads during Training Camp, but Jaguars Rookie Receiver Has Yet to Catch a Pass

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

THE EDUCATION OF CECIL SHORTS; He Turned Heads during Training Camp, but Jaguars Rookie Receiver Has Yet to Catch a Pass

Article excerpt

Byline: Tania Ganguli

Cecil Shorts crossed the aisle in search for some advice recently.

He didn't just seek out receivers and tight ends who could help his transition to the NFL. The Jaguars rookie receiver talked to defensive players, too. He asked cornerback Rashean Mathis how he could make it in the NFL as long as the nine-year veteran had. He asked linebacker Clint Session what Session's former teammates, such as former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison and current Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, did to distinguish themselves.

"Just asking guys and just trying to learn," Shorts said. "Nobody wants to be here and just be another guy. You want to eventually be great and good. That's something I want to be in my heart, is be a great receiver."

Shorts hasn't been much of a part of the Jaguars offense yet, but the Jaguars are expecting him to grow into that role. He's only been targeted four times in four games and hasn't caught a pass yet. Shorts showed promise during training camp. Now he's working to fix the parts of his game that will lead naturally to his being a bigger part of the offense.

"He's got some things he's learning on the run right now," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "I think he'll be better as we continue. ...

"He's working hard, he's a conscientious kid and we're going to need him to develop. He's a guy that we're counting on to develop and his development obviously will help the group be stronger."

Shorts didn't come to Jacksonville heralded by anyone but the Jaguars staff. The Jaguars noticed him while he was in college at Division III Mount Union.

Shorts was invited to the All-Star East West Shrine game in Orlando, but suffered an injury that kept him out. Jaguars general manager Gene Smith and director of player personnel Terry McDonough were quietly glad, knowing there would be less chance for other teams to see a player on whom they had their eye. …

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