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"Downtime with Dan" June 19th: It's summer vacation time for your Jacksonville Jaguars as they wrap up mini-camp. After a dozen OTA's the Jaguars will be off for a couple of weeks now, the coaches will have a chance to get away as well. Everyone will have a chance to re-fuel and re-charge and get ready for the gruling regular season of the NFL 2014. What does it bring for the Jags? It brings some promise, it brings some hope, and that's what we need around here. Are the Jags going to the Super Bowl 2014? No! But should the Jags be competitive in 2014? Yes! Should the Jags ever have a team score touchdowns on its first four possessions? No! The Jags need a chance to win football games this year going into the 4th quarter. That's what we as fans want and that's what we as fans need.
"Downtime with Dan" June 18th: Well we knew the United States soccer game was going to be watched. We knew a lot of folks would watch it, and a lot did. Upwards of seven million people tuned into ESPN, the most watched soccer game they ever had. The one staggering number to me, surprise to me was that the soccer game outdrew game five of the NBA finals. This wasn't just any NBA finals, this had the best player, the most recognizable player on the planet. Lebron James against a great team, the San Antonio Spurs. This wasn't the Brooklyn Nets taking on the Portland Trail Blazers, okay? That's what is so amazing! Soccer has got momentum, can they keep it? We will find out over these next few weeks.
"Downtime with Dan" June 17th: Alright Team USA, you got me. I asked, I begged, I pleaded, don't blow it against Ghana. Casual soccer fans were going to tune in, people with American pride were gonna watch, and you provided the fireworks, early and late and got the win. You have hooked us all and now you have a chance to do something special. Look, is it going to be tough to win the World Cup? Of course it is! But, what the heck man, let's get out of the group man. Let's get out of the group, let's upset Portugal or Germany. The heck with Martin Kaymer at this point, we got ourselves a W! You got us. We are in, we're all in. You got us for the next two weeks. So, we're going to watch your World Cup and we're going to root root root for the red, white, and blue. I believe, I believe, I believe.
"Downtime with Dan" June 12th: Alright, the Jaguars are going through their off-season camps. You heard Bob Babich talk with us this morning and you hear the optimism, you hear the excitment in their voices. We know they are going to be better, the question is how much better? What can the Jaguars accomplish in 2014? It's a great question. We obviously want them to go to the playoffs every year. This is a rebuild and and we are headed into year two of the Dave Caldwell rebuild. The bottom line is this; folks want the Jags to compete, we want to have a great time on Sunday's and have great game day experiences. That's what they're trying to build, and that's what we want.
"Downtime with Dan" June 10th: There is a reality to professional football that you tend to forget about on the off season, and that reality is called injuries. I hate them, but they are inevitable. They are inevitable for every football team that's why you have to build a roster that's so deep. You know, there are sayings in the NFL "next man up". You know, guy gets hurt and the next man up has to take care of things. Even in the off season, once you get to practices you're reminded of how physical the sport is. Look, I mean you got seven recievers sitting out for the Jags right now, seven! And look, none of those are serious, all of those guys will be ready to go come training camp, but it's just a little reminder that there's always that little thing known as injuries that really can derail a season if things don't go your way. So stay away from that if you can, I don't know how, but do it!
"Downtime with Dan" June 9th: After all the "hoop-la", get it? Surrounding game 1, the Miami Heat did what they had to do, they got a split and are heading back to Miami. Going back to Miami tied at 1 with the San Antonio Spurs. So now it kind of becomes the best of 5. I ask you, for you people rooting against Lebron, or against the heat, or are tired of the heat, just like the Spurs do you think San Antonio can beat Miami 3 out of 5? Or let me rephrase it: do you think they can beat Lebron 3 times in 5 games? I just don't know, I took the feild this year and the Spurs are letting me down. So when I look back I may be wrong about that one. The Miami Heat, maybe not a great team but they have the greatest player in the world winning championships.
"Downtime with Dan" June 6th: Little note on college basketball, head coach of Kentucky will be the overwhelming favorite to win to win a national championship, again, next year thats John Calipari. Calipari has inked a new 7 year deal that is worth 52.5 million guaranteed. 52.5 over 7 years, can someone do the math please, I believe that's a little more than 7 million dollars a year. In fact, it might be 7 and a half. If i'm Billy Donovan i'm going knocking on Jermey Foley's office today. "Hey Jermey, just so you know, the guy who got 7.5 million a year for the next 7 years, I beat him 3 straight times last year." I'm just saying, good ole Florida beat Kentucky.
"Downtime with Dan" June 5th: We haven't been talking about it for 8 or 9 months like we did the other, but there is a significant event coming up tonight in the world of baseball. It's called the Major League Baseball draft. For a lot of young men it's a dream come true, obviously. It's a sport that they've worked at their entire lives and they're going to be first round picks. It's different, look we get that because you don't go right to the big leagues like you do the NFL. But you know, for guys like Sean Reid Foley from Sandlewood High School he will have a decison to make. You know, drafted in the first round perhaps; take the money start your professional career or go to FSU. It's a great dilemma to have, but it's a great moment and a well deserved moment for a lot of these young men who have worked very hard on baseball diamonds around the country.
"Downtime with Dan" June 4th: What an odd couple of days for the hall of famer Dan Marino. If anybody grew up in South Florida Dan Marino was always the man, and Dan is the man. One of the NFL's great QB's of all time. It is strange that his name was on a concussion related law suit and then he withdrew his name. He really has not spoke about it, his people have. They were simply saying that what he wanted to do was to make sure he was protected down the road. I get that, I understand that I think all players should probably want that. Im curious as to why Dan himself hasn't come out to talk much at all about it. I hope he does, I hope he comes out and clears everything up. Dan Marino who withdraws his name from a law suit on concussions says he is not interested in being in that law suit.
"Downtime with Dan" June 3rd: All admit it, you're not going to gain a lot from watching the Jaguars go through these practices. But, there is one thing that is noticeable to me and that is the size of the defensive line. Look, we all can talk about Red Bryant all we want, he's a big man, but all those cats down there on the D-Line have some size and now they have some experience. They look like a lot of guys who are going to be competing for jobs at that position. That is exciting for the franchise because they have to figure out ways to get after the passer and sack the QB. If they do that, they will make that young secondary that much better. Gus Bradley knows defense, he's going to figure it out, they are already experimenting with new positions and such. The bottom line is you have to have a defensive line that is relentless and I think that's one area that the Jaguars are certainly building for 2014.
"Downtime with Dan" June 2nd: The PGA tour! Yesterday at the memorial tournament, Bubba, and the worlds number 1 Adam Scott were in the lead on the back nine. And then I watched the playoff with Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Na. What in the world just happened? Bubba, who has been playing as well as anybody, and Adam Scott who just won and climbed to the worlds number 1, are in the lead! They are supposed to win, aren't they? Not so fast my friends as Lee Corso would say. It ended up being Kevin Na who got in early with a 64 and almost won it, but Matsuyama birdied 18 to get in and then won the playoff. Crazy world on the PGA tour these days.
"Downtime with Dan" May 22nd: Quick now, tell me who Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson, Alberto Callaspo, and Josh Reddick play for? It's the team with the best record in baseball. The team that every year is in contention. The team that seemingly now goes to the playoffs all the time. It's money ball, The Oakland A's. Nobody goes to their games, but you know they take Scott Kazmir off the scrap heap and suddenly he's 5-1, Sonny Gray is pitching lights out. They just find these guys man, they find these guys and they find ways to win. Why can't I have a GM like that for my team? Why can't we all have GM's like that for all of our teams? It's the Oakland A's with the best record in baseball. They still have to win one, but pretty good stuff.
"Downtime with Dan" May 20th: Dear NBA playoffs, I want to go back to round one. We need some stuff happening here, come on guys! I suspect we will get it, it has only been one game on each side, Western conference and Eastern conference. However, so far with Indiana beating Miami handily, there was not a lot of excitment in that game and certainitly last nights game as well. Look, it's the four best teams in the association who are left standing after all is said and done and I still have a suspicion in what would be great theater or drama, we may see San Antonio and The Miami Heat one more time. Yes, I know The Heat are down 1-0, I think they will come back and San Antonio looked good against OKC last night. Along way to go, long series, but in the end a repeat would probably be best for everybody, except if you're from OKC or Indiana.
"Downtime with Dan" May 19th: It's Tom Coughlin Jay Fund weekend and what a job these folks out here do! The numbers are outstanding but there is always more to do. This is the 19th annual Jay Fund and since the beginning it has raised more than 5 million dollars for families who have children fighting cancer. Last year they gave out more than half a million dollars in grants alone in the greater Jacksonville area. This weekend alone they hoped to raise half a million dollars, $500,000. The number that is most important is that every year now 100 children in our area are diagnosed with cancer and their families worlds are turned upside down. That is where the jay Fund really does its work, that is where Tom and everyone should be commended.
"Downtime with Dan" May 15th: As we get ready to celebrate the Tom Coughlin Jay-Fund weekend, I have always said to Coughlin that he has had a hall of fame career but he has meant more to those kids at Wolfson's Children's Hospital than anything else. It is his greatest legacy, the Jay-Fund. He could have packed it in here when he was dismissed from the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, surrounded by all of the great people who assit with the Jay-Fund, Coughlin stayed with it and continued on. This weekend marks the 19th annual Jay-Fund weekend with golf and a dinner that raises millions of dollars for children and their families affected by cancer here on the First Coast. There are so many great charities here on the First Coast but what Tom Coughlin does for Jacksonville will truly always be remembered.
"Downtime with Dan" May 14th: If there is a Mt. Rushmore of any NFL team it's always the owner, the general manager, the head coach and the quarterback. Yesterday we learned why the owner is on Mt. Rushmore, it's the commitment he has to the football team and clearly Shad is continuing to want to make this franchise a viable, thriving, successful franchise right here in Jacksonville, FL. I mean, they may not come through with all their ideas but my gosh every year they've got something new planned. And it's terrific, absolutely terrific. And there's proof out there too, you see the cranes with the video boards being built, that's a reality. So who knows, maybe there will be a roof over our heads someday.
"Downtime with Dan" May 9th: You hear that clock? Tick, tick, tick..Dave Caldwell does, he attached himself to an NFL quarterback now and away we go for better or worse until losing does us part. This is what it's all about, this is the business and this is an exciting time for Jacksonville. Look, whether you like him or don't like him Blake Bortles is our guy now. And it will be interesting to see how he does versus again, the other guys drafted at the quarterback position in the 2014 draft. Will Johnny Football be a hit in Cleveland and sustain? Will Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota? When Derrick Carr gets his destination is he gonna be a second round pick success like an Andy Dalton? It's all gonna pan out over the next few years. That's the fun part of the draft, watching and deciding who's gonna pan out at the position. Hang on Jacksonville, here we go!
"Downtime with Dan" May 8th: Been a part of these Jacksonville Jaguars for a long time, every year, been a part of every single draft. Never, have I not known who they were taking, never have I wondered more anout who might go. And they have the number 3 pick it shouldn't be this hard! But apparently it is. Will it be Sammy Watkins? Will it be Khalil Mack? Will it be Johnny Manziel? I think all three are in play and I think Jadaveon Clowney could possibly be in play if Houston goes Mack and St. Louis goes with an offensive tackle and nobody gets a guy that many considered the best player in the draft. It's going to be a very interesting ride and the most important thing gang is that finally at long last, it's upon us.
"Downtime with Dan" May 7th: You know when the NBA season began I thought the Heat were not going to win the Championship so I took the field and I gotta stand by that but my goodness the East is so weak. Once again it just goes to show you as we watched Miami just toying with Brooklyn last night. The regular season doesn't mean a whole lot, a veteran team with champions understands what the regualr season is about. It's called getting the kinks worked out and getting healthy for your post-season run, and that's what the Miami Heat have done. So I got news for you gang, my only hope is for whoever survives the West. And that's a free-for-all, they're beating eachother to death over there. So the Heat are gonna have a cake walk to the NBA Finals. From there hopefully somebody will be able to stand up from the West and give us an NBA Finals to remember.
"Downtime with Dan" May 6th: You know there's nothing like Players week, it's the greatest week of the year. There's nothing better than coming out here but I do applaud the PGA tour for one thing they certainly get it. They get it about the fans and making it more than just the event. In other words you've got to compete for the sports dollar. And they have dressed this place up so nicely and given the fans so many opportunities to do so many different things that it's well worth your enterainment dollar to come out here and enjoy this golf. Be it on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when you just want to watch some practice rounds or Saturday when things are hoppin or Sunday when the tournament is decided but there's nothing quite like it. You have so many different options they continue to improve this place each and every year. Nothing like it.
"Downtime with Dan" May 5th: We have had some great sports days in Jacksonville FLA throughout the history. We've hosted a Super Bowl in this town. We were awarded an NFL franchise on October 30th 1993. A great day in Jacksonville FLA, still probably the best ever but Thursday, my gosh Thursday, talk to me about going to the Players out there hanging out, watching some golf. And then, finding a spot to settle in and watch the NFL draft? I mean does it get any better than Thursday this very Thursday May the 8th 2014? The Players and the first round of the NFL draft?! I'm in!
MAY 2ND ETN SUMMARY: IT WAS A STIRRING 5TH ROUND WIN FOR DAN IN ETN TODAY WHEN THE QUESTION CAME DOWN TO THE RISK THAT IS PITT QB TOM SAVAGE. WHILE JEFF WROTE TOM'S CAREER OFF BEFORE IT'S EVEN STARTED, DAN KEPT MORE OF AN OPEN MIND TO THE MAN NOW KNOWN TO ALL AS THE BEAST. HE WAS ULTIMATELY REWARDED WITH A FRIDAY DECISION.
"Downtime with Dan" April 30th: I'm perturbed with the NFL. I'm bothered by this, the NFL Draft should've been here already. I mean my goodness how long must we wait? Well we know how long, we gotta wait another week until May 8th. Got 8 days to go but the ridiculousness of that is really hard to comprehend. And I wonder if teams will make the mistake of starting to second guess themselves and talk themselves out of a guy who ends up being a star. I wonder if teams will do that and I wonder if teams will move on to different organizational issues. Or have you plotted it out right up until May 8th? It's a very odd thing moving this draft back a few weeks. They could've had it in March but it's May 8th that we'll finally see who the Jags and the rest of the NFL end up taking.
"Downtime with Dan" April 28th: Alright you make a mistake, what do you do you correct it. You correct it and do it quickly and clearly it's been a mistake to move this draft back to May. And to their credit the league, aka the sherriff of the shield one Roger Goodell the commish came out last week and said a couple things. One, this may only be a one year deal. Ya think Rog? Let's get this puppy over with ok it's not that big of a deal. Alright, I mean it's not like the ratings are a bonanza for draft night. However he did say some other things that are frightening like we might make it a four day event. Four days?!? Rog, nobody watches on day 3! Now here's a good idea, instead of New York every year let's rotate cities. Would love Jacksonville to host an NFL Draft.
"Downtime with Dan" April 25th: Come on NFL! Really!?!? The London Jaguars has a nice ring to it?!?!? Really NFL? Don't you know we're sensitive down here, don't you know we don't want to hear those things? Don't you know we're doing everything we can to make Jacksonville a winner? Don't you know our owner has spent millions on a locker room, on a weight room, on video boards, have you seen that? Don't you know there's something special brewing down here with Dave and Gus? Don't you know we're about to add 11 players in the NFL draft? Eleven. Don't you know that this is a franchise pointing up? Don't you know that they're ahead on season ticket sales? Hey NFL, if you don't know just call us and we'll tell you all about the Jags. And you better listen!
"Downtime with Dan" April 24th: At Philly, at Washington, the Colts at home and at San Diego – that’s a West Coast trip. Thanks NFL. Look, they’re all tough, it’s the NFL so there’s no whining here , don’t need any cheese for the wine. The Jags will take them one at a time, they’ll get through it, they’ll battle, they’re all right, but golly it gets tough at times when the league never seems to smile down here on one of the corner cities of this great country of ours. Help the Jags out NFL. Help us out a little bit, huh? Let us have a home opener against the Browns or even the Dolphins. Why not? Instead of at Philly, at Washington at San Diego to start, and end to: on the road at Baltimore, at Houston. It’s all right, it’s all right – we’ll show ‘ya!
Downtime with Dan April 23rd: As we creep closer and closer to the NFL Draft there is a bit of news and that is simply this. It seems like most clubs who are putting together their boards now have identified who the top 5 is and in that top 5 there doesn't seem to be a quarterback. So now the question becomes which team in the top 5 jumps from it's value board and goes qb? Will Houston take Bortles? Will Jacksonville take a quarterback, or Cleveland? I don't think so, we've been saying all along the Jags are not go quarterback at 3. But they are gonna get a heck of a football player. Be it Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, draft night is gonna be fun.