The Jaguars were quick to put left tackle Branden Albert in the spotlight immediately after he arrived for workouts at EverBank Field on Tuesday.
The former Miami Dolphins left tackle returned to Jacksonville on Monday. During his first day of minicamp, Albert lined up with the third-string offense as he worked to get adjusted to his new surroundings.
Albert had missed all of the offseason program leading up to this week's mandatory minicamp and it showed. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone noted that missing the offseason program typically hurts players when they return from the absence.
Albert spoke to reporters after his first workout with his new team.
“I think for the first day after taking six months off and playing 10 years, just battling with the guys for the first day and being in this heat and the practice tempo, it’s always going to be tough," Albert said. "You’re never going to be perfect on the first day. I think I jumped offsides twice, made a couple of mistakes. I’m not worried about it.”
Albert said he and his advisors were looking to re-work his deal.
The Jaguars never promised to restructure Albert's contract after the team acquired him from Miami. The offensive lineman said the contract crux came after he saw other left tackles receive big long-term deals. Albert is set to make around $8.9 million this season.
“We were trying to get the situation straight," Albert said. "It was something, it was business-wise. It wasn’t personal. Now, it’s over with. Now, I get back to work, be the best football player that I can be and move forward to help the Jacksonville Jaguars organization move on.”
Albert missed all 10 organized team activities workouts and the conditioning program. He said he took the time to recharge his body and mind.
"I got my body right," Albert said. "My body is pretty beat up after the last three years of being in Miami. Mentally, spiritually and physically, the past three years took a toll on me."
Albert said he isn't worried about how his absence will impact his standing as a leader on offense. The veteran emphasized that it's only late-June, meaning that training camp in late-July will be when everything falls into place.
He is very confident that he can play left tackle at a high level after months of rest.
"You have to put it this way, that I’m one of the best experts at playing left tackle in the universe right now," Albert said. "I take that as a privilege and a blessing. It is what it is. Got to move on.”
Albert said he will be at training camp and will not miss time moving forward.
More News and Notes
- Undrafted wide receiver Kenneth Walker returned to Jacksonville following a lengthy delay due to the NFL's graduation rule. Walker was forced to avoid the Jaguars' facility until UCLA's final exams were completed. Marrone has complimented the way Walker has handled the challenge of learning from afar.
Undrafted running back Tim Cook is still awaiting Oregon State's completion of final exams.
Walker and Cook missed all 10 organized team activities, which were completed last week.
- The Jaguars had eight tryout players on hand for minicamp.
Quarterback Justin Holman, fullback Lamar Atkins, tight end Ashton Broyld, cornerback Charles Gaines, punter Peter Mortell, kicker Nick Weiler, wide receiver Garrett Scantling and long snapper Taybor Pepper are all working to earn a spot on the roster heading into training camp.
Marrone said the players have a shot to earn an invite to training camp if they impress this week.
"Be better than the guys that are in front them, honestly," Marrone said about the tryout players' job prospects.
- Wide receiver Dede Westbrook, cornerbacks Aaron Colvin and Doran Grant, tight end Neal Sterling, defensive tackle Stefan Charles and safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church remained sidelined. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey took part in individual drills but missed team reps.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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