JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars' 2008 training camp began Friday afternoon, when all 80 players on the team's roster reported between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and had their first meeting at 6 p.m.
Fans who were at the stadium dodging rain and waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite players got a chance to see running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew and company as they reported to camp.
Among the players to arrive was receiver Matt Jones, who made his first appearance in town since being arrested earlier this month.
Jones expressed remorse for putting himself and the Jaguars in a negative light. He was speaking publicly for the first time since his arrest on a felony drug charge in Arkansas.
"I'm embarrassed for Mr. and Mrs. Weaver, coach Del Rio and my teammates and even the fans of Jacksonville. It's not good, but I really can't comment on it right now until all the things are settled in the court," Jones said.
He also apologized to team owner Wayne Weaver, coach Jack Del Rio and some teammates, and said he was committed to making the roster.
Jones was arrested July 10 in Fayetteville, his former college town, after police said he was inside a car cutting up cocaine with a credit card.
Jones had been considered a long shot to make the team -- even before his arrest. Jacksonville signed Jerry Porter to a six-year, $30 million contract in February and traded for former first-round pick Troy Williamson.
Training camp will feature 19 practice sessions over two weeks before the start of the Jaguars' preseason on Aug. 9.
The first practice session will start at 10:15 a.m. Saturday on the practice fields northwest of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Camp is open to the public and media for viewing through Aug. 6. There is no admission charge, and parking will be available in the parking lots surrounding the stadium.
The schedule throughout training camp is subject to change but currently is as follows:
- Friday, July 25: Players report
- Saturday, July 26: Practice at 10:15 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Sunday, July 27: Practice at 10:15 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Monday, July 28: Practice at 11 a.m. (special teams only) and 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 29: Practice at 10:15 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 30: Practice at 1:30 p.m.
- Thursday, July 31: Practice at 11 a.m. (special teams only) and 7:15 p.m.
- Friday, Aug. 1: Practice at 10:15 a.m., scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. inside stadium
- Saturday, Aug. 2: Mock Game at 10:30 a.m. inside stadium
- Sunday, Aug. 3: No practice, no media availability
- Monday, Aug. 4: Practice at 11 a.m. (special teams only) and 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, Aug. 5: Practice at 10:15 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 6: Practice at 1:30 p.m.
ROSTER CUTDOWN DATES:The first mandatory roster reduction will be on Tuesday, Aug. 26, when all NFL teams must reduce their roster to 75 players. The final roster cuts will be on Saturday, Aug. 30, when each team must reduce to 53 active players. Until the mandatory roster cuts, the NFL roster limit for each team is 80 players under contract.
FANS TRAINING CAMP HOT LINE:Fans may call the Jaguars Fans Training Camp hot line for a recorded message that gives the daily practice schedule. The phone number is 904-633-6525. The message will be updated daily -- and as any changes are made to the practice schedule -- through the end of training camp.
FAN GUIDELINES:Training camp practice sessions will be open for viewing by the public from July 26 through Aug. 6. Bleacher seating, which will accommodate approximately 2,250 people, will be provided inside the fence at the practice fields. Restroom facilities and concession stands will also be provided. Concession stands will include food and beverages as well as Jaguars merchandise, including training-camp-specific T-shirts and caps. The Jaguars? 2008 Media Guide and Yearbook will also be available for $10 each.
Fans should park in lots J, M, or N on the west side of the stadium. For fans attending practice sessions, video cameras and computers are strictly prohibited, as well as horns, whistles and other noisemakers. Audio or video recording, broadcasting, live streaming and blogging are also prohibited. Still cameras are allowed.
Fans wishing to get autographs are asked to do so after each practice session, outside the practice field fence as the players return to the locker room. Because of the full schedule during training camp, it is not possible to schedule autograph or photo sessions.
Groups wishing to visit training camp do not need to make special arrangements; they may watch practice from the bleachers.