Jags kick off offseason strength program

The Jaguars began their offseason strength and conditioning program on Monday. After the first session, defensive linemen Terrance Knighton and Aaron Kampman met with the media. Here are partial transcripts, courtesy of the Jaguars.

KnightonKnightonTerrance Knighton

On what he can learn this offseason: “Just getting better, just staying real humble and still watching Big Hen (John Henderson) and Reggie (Hayward) and (Aaron) Kampman’s here now, and just watching the veterans and just taking everything they’ve learned and just growing and not getting big headed and looking toward the future and taking it day by day.”

With the addition of Aaron Kampman and you having one year of experience, have things changed confidence-wise and depth-wise? “We had a great day today in the weight room. We met a little bit. You could tell the confidence was a little high. If we just put the right pieces together we could be a really good D-line and that’s what we plan on doing.”

What does Kampman do for the team and the rest of the D-line? “Well from what I’ve noticed from the previous team he played for he was a heck of a player and a Pro Bowl guy. I watched him a lot because I’m a big football guy but I’m pretty sure it’ll help Big Hen and (Derrick) Harvey on the other side. It should make things a lot easier for everybody.”

How good does it feel to have Reggie Hayward back? “It’s real good. It hurt to see him end the season how he did last year but he’ll get back into things and having a lot of depth in the D-line is good and you never know who will be out there. The first team could play good and the second team could come in and do the same exact thing. But Reggie brings the excitement to the D-line. He’s the comedian of the group but we get our work done first and it’s good to have a lot of veterans in the room.”

How further along is the team this year the start of the offseason compared to last year? “We’re just building day by day. Me personally I just take it slow. I still feel like a rookie because no rookies have come in yet so until they get here then things will change but I’m still watching everybody’s moves and just learning everything and watching guys all around the league and just trying to make myself a better player.”

On being set as a 4-3 defense. Is that a plus? “Definitely it is. We just had our first meeting today as a D-line and Coach Cullen told us straight up this is what we’re going to do and this is what we’re going to be doing so we don’t have to go back and forth and one week learn different techniques. It’s ‘this is what we’re going to do and be good at it.’ It’ll be easier to grow each week and not coming in on Monday or Tuesday not knowing what we’re going to do so it makes it a lot easier.”

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Anything different about this offseason conditioning program? “The one thing I really appreciate is the collective way we go about our work. Coach (Luke) Richesson will say ‘Go!’ and you’ve got 20 seconds. We’re all working together and then he blows (whistle), it’s dead. I think that can really be a helpful thing as far as building synergy and camaraderie because we’re all working together, you’re competing, it helps with mental toughness, all those things. So I find that to be a positive.”

How are you getting adjusted? “Real well. The biggest thing when you’re talking about adjustment is how you’re family is doing. So my wife and three boys are loving it and they were at the beach this past weekend and it was nice. We didn’t get a chance to do that in Wisconsin. So that was nice. They’re adjusting to schools. My wife is finding some friends. That’s what makes it somewhat settling in.”

How are your knees responding to the conditioning here? “Great. I’m doing everything everyone else is doing. I do my applications in terms of if we’re going to squat 400 pounds, I’m not going to squat 400 pounds right now, there’s no need to do that but everything else you couldn’t tell.”

On the Jaguars getting back to a 4-3 defense: “I think there are two ways you can approach football. One is you can scheme people. You could have a lot of tricks in the bag and a lot of defenses and a lot of things, or you can say hey, we’re going to line up and we’re going to beat them fundamentally and be aggressive. I’ve been in that school of thought for a long time and that kind of seems like what we’re going to be this year. Not that we’re not going to blitz and do some things to screw people up but you have to consistently do the fundamentals the right way and I think that’s what we’re going to be about this year. You can have a lot of success with that as long as you understand what’s required of you.”