There is no doubt, for me at least, that the most interesting tidbit to come out of Jaguars mini-camp were the comments of head coach Doug Marrone regarding his lack of communication with presumptive left tackle Branden Albert. It is rare for a coach to answer a question that honestly about something that there really isn’t any need to answer at all. Especially when you consider how little information there is to share.
The Jaguars traded for Branden Albert. Branden Albert said he expects his contract to be reworked. The Jaguars have made it their very public stance that they won’t rework that contract. Neither side has been in communication with the other, outside of the shots fired by the Jaguars representatives towards Albert.
Marrone hasn’t spoken with Albert. He didn’t have to say that. He could have said, “I’m only going to talk about the players that are here.” We have all seen coaches and executives handle these kinds of situations that way before, but he didn’t. Instead, Marrone answered in a very blunt, honest fashion. He said he hasn’t talked to him. He said that it makes him more frustrated than angry. Frustrated that he just doesn’t know what Albert is thinking and can’t give Tom Coughlin or Dave Caldwell any more information than that, and the he can’t speak FOR Albert because he simply hasn’t spoke TO Albert.
I am surprised that Albert hasn’t been in communication with the team, but I really don’t care that he isn’t here for the voluntary portion of the offseason. Albert has been around the league long enough (going into his 10th season) and has played the game at a high enough level (2 Pro Bowl selections with his last coming in 2015) to know how to get himself ready for the season. You can check out Albert’s Instagram page here to see him working out in his spare time right now. If he doesn’t show up on June 13th for the first mandatory portion of the offseason the conversation will drastically change, but for now it is a bit of a non story.
Albert is almost certainly one of the Jaguars five best offensive lineman when he gets here and is therefore a likely starter whenever that times comes. The building of chemistry during this time of year is blown out of proportion, in my opinion, especially considering how little and what kind of work players can actually do on field with coaches.
The discussion about a possible battle for the left tackle spot between Cam Robinson and Branden Albert is something I will entertain more when Albert reports to the team which I fully expect to be when the mandatory portion of the offseason begins. After all, there aren’t any other places where Albert is going to get paid nine million dollars this year. I think that, ultimately, will get Albert eager to put on a Jaguars uniform.