The Jacksonville Jaguars are headlong into their quest for respectability, and it has included a fairly deep foray into free agency this offseason to improve the talent, leadership and toughness in all three phases of the roster.
One of their big additions on offense was guard Zane Beadles, who was signed away from the Denver Broncos to a five-year, $30 million deal to help fortify the Jaguars' often patchy offensive line. He and left tackle Luke Joeckel comprise a brand-new combination when you consider that Joeckel's promising rookie season ended almost immediately after he replaced Eugene Monroe at left tackle following a midseason trade.
But Beadles, a man who is very serious about his finances, said the move went far beyond the money — as strong a financial offer as it was. He first got a feel for what head coach Gus Bradley was building when he marched his then 0-5 Jaguars into Denver and played toe to toe with the 5-0 Broncos in Week 6 last season into the fourth quarter.
"They played extremely hard that day, from beginning to end," Beadles told Shutdown Corner by phone on Friday. "The game was close for three quarters until [the Broncos] pulled away late. It just kind of showed me the type of guys they have on the team and the organization they are trying to put together in Jacksonville.
"Obviously, those guys love playing for Gus. You could definitely tell that in that game, and that was something that rubbed off on me. I was [a pending] free agent, and it was something I kept in the back of my mind for sure when it came to picking my new team."
Beadles first met Bradley when the Jaguars were courting him, and he couldn't help but get excited at his new coach's enthusiasm and excitement for what they were building.
"High energy. Extremely positive. Wants to compete. Unafraid. Wants to get better every day," Beadles said of his new head coach. "He's focusing more on that than on the wins and losses right now. Those will come. You take that approach long enough, and the results will come.
"One individual, wins and losses are not necessarily things that you have direct control over. But just talking to him and feeling his energy, you know that if you give him that effort and everyone buys in, the success will happen. He and I think alike. I am extremely excited to play there, and I think it's going to be great for us."
Beadles also knows that the practice tempo and energy is a whole different ballgame under Bradley's watch.
"It makes it fun," Beadles said. "Practice can be terrible sometimes. We've all been through plenty of them in our lives where you just don't want to be there. But that kind of energy makes it fun, which makes everybody want to be there in the end."
The Jaguars are far from a finished product. Chad Henne might be the bridge starter at quarterback, but the Jaguars are almost certain to draft his competition for the starting job, as well as beef up other offensive positions. Beadles says he doesn't yet know the identity of the offense yet, but he believes that there will be a good mix of power and finesse, precision and explosiveness.
"I can't say for certain what we're going to be," Beadles said. "The draft is still a month away. It's tough to project, and I haven't been around a lot of the guys yet. But talking with the coaches and [GM David] Caldwell, I think it's going to be a high-effort, efficient [offense] that tries to sustain long drives and come away with points. We want to grind away at people."
Asked if he could see the power run setting up the play-action pass as being one of the staples of this offense, Beadles — who is considered a good pass-blocking guard — said he thinks that element will be a big factor.
"I can see it," he said. "You have Toby [Gerhart], you have those receivers, and you get a nice little big-play dynamic where one sets up the other, and vice versa. It's the start of a good formula, I think."
As for Joeckel, Beadles says he has seen — in doses — some intriguing potential.
"I have seen him a little bit, but obviously [with the injury] there's not a ton of film on him," Beadles said. "I watched him a little bit last year when [we were scouting] some other teams. But talking to people about him, they say he's a great guy, extremely talented, can be a great player.
"I am excited to play next to him, and hopefully some of the experiences that I have can help him and make him an even better player."
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