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Much is being made about the new tone surrounding the Jaguars. They claim to have put last year's injury-riddled 5-11 in the past as they have made some significant roster alterations under a new general manager and installed a new strength program. Coach Jack Del Rio has repeatedly talked about a new vibe.
Linebacker Clint Ingram has bought in, and told me Wednesday afternoon that the program of new strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson and his assistant, Jason George, is a big piece of it all.
"It's like night and day from the workouts we were doing to the workouts we're doing now. Some of them, towards the end, it's not 'OK, you can go ahead and sit down if you want to.' You have to go ahead and push through it. And I feel during the games, it's mental toughness. Your body is saying, 'Oh, I can't do it.' But you can still do it if you just make yourself do it. Being able to push yourself through those situations and keep on going and fight through it, that's how it is in the fourth quarter, that's how it is on long drives, that's how it is on third down when you need to get off the field and your body is like, 'Oh, man, let me go sit on the bench now' or 'I've got this little bump on my knee, let me go get a Band-Aid on.' You can surpass that.
"Mind control is a real big thing that guys really don't know, how much your mind control had on your body and everything you do. And this program is helping with the mind control big time. Maybe guys don't notice it so much, but I know that's one of the things, I can tell that they are thinking of just with the way they are pushing us. Maybe we'll think we're through and they'll be like, 'OK, we've got one more.' That's just like we just got off the field and all of a sudden the offense fumbles the ball. We've got to go right back. I can just see how certain things will be sudden change. Maybe they won't say it, maybe they don't even know they are doing it, but that's what I think it is."
Look for more from Ingram and Justin Durant in Thursday's AFC South blog column on Jacksonville's linebackers.