On the surface, the lack of turnover in the Jaguars' starting lineup after last year's season-ending four-game losing streak might seem surprising.
As new middle linebacker Kirk Morrison observed in his introductory press conference, "If you don't win, things have to change."
It's last summer, though, where heads that needed to roll were put on the chopping block in Jacksonville. Four rookies emerged as starters and five more saw significant action.
High on promise but short on NFL experience, the 2009 Jaguars seemed to hit the "rookie wall" along with their youngest teammates down the stretch.
This year, holes in Jacksonville's depth chart are harder to come by as the Jaguars begin training camp. Voids created by departures and sub-par play are being targeted and filled with leaders by any means possible.
Last spring, Jacksonville addressed a screaming need at wide receiver by signing 10-year veteran Torry Holt in free agency.
Though Holt's 51 receptions, 722 yards and zero touchdowns were career-worsts in his least productive year as an NFL starter, his presence in training camp and the locker room proved invaluable for the Jaguars inexperienced receiving corps.
Quipping, when asked about the team's rookie wideouts, that he'd "mentor them right to the bench," Holt forced Mike Thomas, Jarrett Dillard and underachiever Mike Sims-Walker to compete for attention from coaches and quarterback David Garrard.
After a standout 63-catch, seven-score campaign, it'll be Sims-Walker's turn to set the tone at receiver this year.
Jacksonville released Holt this offseason, a move which indicates trust in Sims-Walker to maintain and build on his 2009 form. A high-upside third round pick in the 2007 draft, Sims-Walker will step into the "number one" role in offseason practice for the first time in his career.
Instead of schooling his teammates off the field like Holt, he'll be expected to lead by drawing coverage and freeing them up on the field in 2010.
Former Green Bay Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman could only watch the Jaguars first day of training camp Saturday. For the next few months, at least, he'll continue to rehabilitate from a knee injury that cost him the 2009 season.
By signing Kampman to a four-year, $26 million deal ($10 million guaranteed) this spring, and shipping unproductive 2008 rookie Quentin Groves to Oakland, Jacksonville demonstrated a commitment to beefing up at defensive end.
After allowing 214 yards rushing on 49 carries to the Cleveland Browns in Week 17, the Jaguars' defensive line stood out to general manager Gene Smith as a problem spot.
Losing 6'5", 275-pound end Reggie Hayward in the season opener at Indianapolis hurt.
Jacksonville struggled throughout the year to replace him with a crew of designated pass rushers—Groves among them—intended for the Jaguars ill-advised switch to a base 3-4 defense.
Hayward, too, was signed in free agency this spring to a bargain contract. It's Kampman, though, whose mix of bullish pass-rush technique and strength against the run will be counted on to anchor the line opposite entrenched left end Derrick Harvey.
Jacksonville didn't enter this offseason with a glaring hole to fill at linebacker.
All three of the Jaguars' penciled-in starters, Daryl Smith, Justin Durant and Clint Ingram, were at least serviceable starters in 2009. Undrafted 2009 rookie Russell Allen figured to compete for playing time this summer.
On a 7-9 team, any unit that's not rock-solid can get better, and Jacksonville set out to make linebacker a position of strength in 2010.
One move that Gene Smith and head coach Jack Del Rio seemed bent on was putting Durant at outside linebacker. As the Jaguars' on-field leader in 2009, Durant played less instinctively at times than the playmaking standard he'd set in his first two years.
Short of drafting a true middle linebacker prospect, Jacksonville had few options to fill the resulting vacancy in the middle—until the Raiders practically filled it for them.
In exchange for moving down a round in the 2009 draft, the Jaguars acquired Morrison, whose durability and nose for the football have resulted in 631 tackles and 13 turnovers in 79 consecutive NFL starts at middle linebacker.
Jacksonville's biggest grab of the 2010 offseason, might be yet to come.
The Jaguars recently hosted free agent safety Darren Sharper, whose nine interceptions keyed the New Orleans Saints defensive resurgence in 2009 en route to a Super Bowl championship.
If they're looking to underline the implementation of a "winner" mentality in the locker room, it couldn't hurt to bring in someone who owns a Super Bowl ring.
Sharper's far from ideal as a free safety in Jacksonville's secondary. Like Reggie Nelson—the 2007 first-rounder he'd be displacing—his freelancing style sometimes takes the top off his defense, giving opposing receivers a big play.
Unlike Nelson, Sharper's 12 seasons as a starter have made him savvy enough that he often gambles and wins.
Last spring, the Jaguars added veteran tackle Tra Thomas and watched rookies Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton rise to the challenge of earning that roster spot. This year, if nothing else, Sharper could at least be that target.
Should Nelson and Jacksonville's other safeties fail to elevate their game, of course, the veteran would surely "mentor them right to the bench."