Leftwich: "We're Opening it Up"
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Posted Jun 25, 2006


Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich met with the media as the Jaguars recently closed out their veteran camp. Check out what he had to say about the offense, the addition of Maurice Drew, and more!

(on the completion of the offseason on-the-field workouts) 
"It was great. It was beginning to get very hot. As part of the team and organized workouts, it's over. But as far as the receivers, tight ends and running backs, we are still going to be here working. It's not over yet. It's like phase three of this whole offseason process is done. Now it's time to go in and correct the things and mistakes we made in our OTA's and try to fix them before camp starts."

(on the importance of getting away from football before training camp) 
"The two weeks before camp starts no one is doing nothing. That is your way of getting away and understanding that you need to go and rejuvenate yourself 
by getting away from football. Once you're here then it's July. Hopefully, it's a non-stop thing until that first or second week of February. We understand the process. We understand we are a better football team than we were this time last year. We understand how hard we have been working, but we still know we have some work to do."

(on what the team did to get better in the offseason) 
"Everything. We are opening it up. We are allowing guys to make plays like Matt (Jones), Reggie (Williams), and giving those guys the opportunities to 
make plays. It's going to be so good especially when we get twenty-eight (Fred Taylor) in here. It feels good right now to know you have the caliber of 
football player that Fred is in camp, it's going to be a great thing."

(on the Jaguars first two draft picks in 2006, TE Marcedes Lewis and RB/KR Maurice Jones-Drew) 

"They are going to help us out. I have so much confidence in our front office and Shack (James Harris) that he is going to do the right thing to make our football team better. He has always done that and I have only been here three years. You all know how good a football team we have from now and where it was in 2003. They are doing the right thing to give us the best product to put out on the field."

(on if Marcedes Lewis and Maurice Jones-Drew are a different kind of weapon than he had last year) 
"They are different because they are younger, they are newer, they have talent. If they didn't have talent they wouldn't be that high of a draft pick, like Marcedes. It wasn't like we had bad tight ends in the first place. Kyle Brady, (George) Wrighster and those guys did what was asked of them. Maybe more might be asked of Marcedes because he brings a lot to the table, but I still think Kyle Brady, George Wrighster, Todd Yoder and those guys are going to help us out. Don't get me wrong. They will be out there playing at some point. I think they will all be playing and you add a guy like Marcedes to it."

(on finding a replacement for Jimmy Smith and if that guy is on the roster) 
"I know they are on the roster. You can see it on this roster. We still have some work to do. Anytime you lose a guy like Jimmy Smith, he's a Hall of Fame guy. Fortunately for me and fortunately for us, we have talent. It was young talent, but now I think we have talent that is beginning to mature."

(on if the loss of Jimmy Smith is felt as equally off the field as it is on the field) 
"Actually, Jimmy comes over to my house now more than anytime. He's over at my house just about every day. Maybe he was over only three times a week last 
year. Now, it's like six times a week. He misses it. I know he does. He misses us. He misses the relationships and his teammates. It was just a thing where he felt as though he just didn't want to do it anymore. The offseason can do that to you. Jimmy is okay. He is fine. He still checks on it and worries about us so he's still a Jaguar. I will never kick him out. He can have my house if he wants."

(on the confidence in his receiving corps) 
"We will see. I have one hundred percent confidence in my guys that they are going to go out there and continue to make plays. We are asking them to make more plays. It's my job to put the ball in their hands to make more plays. I really believe we will be okay. Do we miss a Hall of Famer (Jimmy Smith)? Yes. He was guaranteed in one-on-one coverage. It was guaranteed that he was going to beat that guy. I don't care who he was going up against. It didn't matter. Jimmy was going to beat that guy. You are going to miss that. At the same time, I think guys like Matt (Jones) can make plays in a different way. They don't have to make them the way Jimmy made them. They can use their size, speed and strength and size to make plays."



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