Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Faces Change but the Goal Remains Same

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Faces Change but the Goal Remains Same

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

It didn't really hit Fred Taylor until he stood up at his locker after a Jaguars minicamp practice session. He glanced around the room and a lot of what had been familiar to him was gone.

"The only time you think about it is when you have a break," said Taylor. "I'm so focused on what I have to do with my assignments that I really don't get a chance to look over [on the field] and see what faces are there. I see the numbers, that's all.

"But when you get to the locker room and look around, that's when you notice it's different."

What the fifth-year running back saw in plain view was the changing face of the Jaguars, the biggest metamorphosis of this franchise since Tom Coughlin took a jackhammer to his depth chart after the 1995 expansion season.

As Taylor's eyes shifted to his right, toward a locker where Tony Boselli had been a fixture, the guy standing there was rookie David Garrard, a draft pick the team hopes can win the backup quarterback job.

Making a visual left turn around the locker room, Taylor saw a real-life version of The Replacements.

Gone was Gary Walker, better known as G-Funk, and in his old locker was Pittsburgh Steelers free agent receiver Bobby Shaw.

Almost directly across the room, where Keenan McCardell once stored his belongings, that was now the domain of a recognizable teammate, Todd Fordham.

Over in the back corner, Renaldo Wynn was out and safety James Watkins, a 2001 training camp cut, was in.

When Taylor's eyes finished making a complete circle, they stopped at the locker right next to his own. It was a microcosm of what the salary cap-challenged Jaguars were forced to do this offseason -- saying goodbye to productive veterans and bringing in younger, unproven talent. …

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