Ace Sanders Returns, Michael Bennett Signs and Other Jacksonville Jaguars Notes
All the media in Jacksonville and across the NFL has done is talk about the three wide receivers the Jacksonville Jaguars have on their current roster – make that five if you include rookie Rashad Greene in the mix.
Four young talents, four targets for quarterback Blake Bortles to throw to. Add tight end Julius Thomas to the pairing and suddenly there are five reasons to believe the Jaguars could be infinitely better on offense in 2015.
While so much has been made about the talent that now rests in the passing offense, it seems as though we all have forgotten Ace Sanders is still on the roster.
Who? He is? Really? With all that has been made of the offense this offseason, the additions on the offensive line, the quarterback camp in California that Bortles held, Sanders’ name has been absent from any conversation of the NFL season and the possibility of remaining on the team’s roster another season, his third in a Jaguars uniform.
It might be easy to forget about Sanders after a lackluster second year, but he wants the Jaguars and the league to know he is fighting to stay on the team and more importantly, looking to contribute more this season.
In Michael DiRocco’s report on ESPN.com following the Jaguars rookie minicamp, he talked about how head coach Gus Bradley spoke about Sanders and how he has impressed the team since the veterans have come back for voluntary workouts.
Sanders might be taking things a bit more seriously this season since his job as a punt returner and as a fifth or sixth receiver might be in jeopardy. Whatever the case, Sander is a player the team will watch closely in OTAs and training camp.
Can the diminutive third-year player put it all together this season and show the same impressive play that saw him catch 51 passes in his rookie season? That remains to be seen.
MICHAEL BENNETT SIGNS WITH THE TEAM
Via Jaguars.com, Michael Bennett, a defensive tackle from Ohio State University, signed his rookie contract with the Jaguars shortly after noon Friday at EverBank Field, becoming the fifth rookie in four days to sign with the team.
The Jaguars have signed five of the eight rookies selected in the 2015 NFL Draft.
“I can say I’m officially an NFL football player, and I’m in the right place for it,” Bennett said Friday. “I still have a lot to do and a lot to grow with. I’m happier than I can remember, and I’m in the right place, so I’m just excited for the future. …
“Now, it’s time to prove yourself on the field.”
Bennett (6-feet-2, 293 pounds), a sixth-round selection and the No. 180 selection in the draft, joined first-round defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., fourth-round safety James Sample, seventh-round wide receiver Neal Sterling and seventh-round tight end Ben Koyack as selections signing with the Jaguars this week.
Bennett figures to see time inside the Jaguars tackle rotation especially since both Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks are coming back from injuries from last season. The team also expects to use Jared Odrick on the inside as well as one of the defensive ends this season.
The Jaguars did make a few roster moves after rookie minicamp, signing five players to the active roster.
According to Jaguars.com, Defensive tackle Richard Ash, defensive end Cap Capi, wide receiver/punt returner Kasey Closs, free safety Desmond Cooper and offensive lineman Jack Rummells were all signed to the club’s 90-man roster. The Jaguars waived tight end Marcel Jensen, safety Jeremy Deering, kicker Derek Dimke and wide receiver Tommy Streeter.
Ash, 6-3, 314, played three seasons at Michigan before transferring to Western Michigan in 2014. He registered 42 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss as a senior. Ash played in 14 games during his time with the Wolverines. He attended Pahokee High School in Florida.
Capi, 6-3, 249, was a two-year letterman at Akron where he played in 24 games and registered 70 tackles (43 solo), seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He sat out the 2012 season after transferring from Colorado State where he played his first two seasons. Capi earned first-team all-conference accolades as a sophomore, leading the Mountain West Conference with 10 sacks. He added seven forced fumbles and 11.5 tackles for loss. His 10 sacks were the fifth-most in school history for a season. He attended Ocoee High School in Florida.
Closs, 6-3, 205, played at Portland State where he caught 42 passes for 538 yards and four touchdowns as a senior. He posted 63 receptions for 1,167 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. He played two seasons at Saddleback Junior College. Closs lettered in football and basketball at Oswego High School where he played wide receiver and defensive back.
Cooper, 6-2, 214, attended The Bolles School in Jacksonville where he finished his career with a 49-2 overall record. He began his collegiate career at Wake Forest before transferring to UNC-Charlotte for his final two seasons. Cooper was part of the school’s inaugural football team in 2013 and he totaled 47 tackles in his first season.
Rummells, 6-5, 300, was a four-year letterman at Northern Iowa where he played in 46 games. He started his last two seasons at left tackle. Rummells attended West Branch High School in Iowa and participated in the 2010 Shrine Bowl. His cousin, Dave Rummells, played on the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.