JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Instead of hitting the practice fields for OTA number 9, the entire Jaguars team visited with children at local hospitals on Thursday morning.
"When Gus told us what we were doing today instead of practice, there was a sense of excitement from the guys," said wide receiver Allen Robinson. "With us having such a young team, whenever we can give back, we try to take advantage of that. So, being able to talk to these kids and give them some encouragement and hear their stories, they are inspiring to us as well."
Robinson went on to say that he isn't the biggest fan of hospitals in general, but understands that even a short interaction with a patient can make their day and his as well.
"I think that's what so special about it. With us, we are very blessed and fortunate to be in the position that we are in so whenever we can put smiles on other peoples faces, that really brings a smile to our face."
Second year wide receiver Rashad Greene was all smiles after visiting 5-year old Elizabeth at Wolfsons Childrens Hospital, even after she gave the former Seminole a "Go Gators!" after shaking his hand. With a 2-year old son at home, Greene said this visit was extra special for him.
"It definitely hits home," Greene said. "I'm trying to imagine what those parents are going through. With my son being the same age as some of these kids, it's just a blessing that my son came out healthy. I just pray for those families that their children heal and be able to continue to grow and enjoy life."
This is most definitely not the first visit that the Jaguars have had at Wolfsons and other hospitals. Ever since Gus Bradley took over as the Jaguars head coach four years ago, he has preached a "connection to the following." Getting out in the community and visiting the people who cheer for them every week isn't just lip service, it is part of the culture of being a part of the Jaguars now.
"It's really a connection," said Rashad Greene. "Getting to know people on a different level outside of football, that personal connection is real."
Allen Robinson also said that the connection that they have with the city and the people is important to him as well.
"It's something that Coach Bradley was really adamant about coming to the Jaguars. For us, we try to embrace that and do as much in the community as possible."
The Jaguars are back on the field for their final OTA of the offseason on Friday before returning for mini-camp next week.