As he trains in the offseason during the NFL lockout, the Jaguars linebacker can’t wait to get back on the field. The question, however, is whether Morrison will be in Jaguar teal this coming season (if there is a season) or will another city become his new home.
In a May 4 article in the Florida Times-Union, Morrison said he relishes the chance to get be into the swing of practice and preparation for the 2011 season. Before the lockout, the Jaguars did not attempt to re-sign the veteran they gave up a fifth-round draft choice last season to get from the Raiders. And although the team did not try to bring Morrison back into the fold, this is not a sign that a chance at playing in Jacksonville again this coming season is out of the picture.
"I definitely want to come back and be a part of this team, and there's a lot more football left in me," Morrison said. "I wouldn't call it a down year, but it's definitely an adjustment period for me. Philosophy changed, the aggressiveness changed, a lot of things changed. I was playing in the same system for five years. This year in Jacksonville was tough for me."
Right now, the only guarantee the Jaguars have in the second line of their defense is that star player, Daryl Smith will return. Morrison and Justin Durant remain major question marks. When the Jaguars traded for the six-year veteran, they had hoped he would be the answer to one of the missing pieces to a defense that had declined in recent years. Morrison had his moments, but not enough to have the Jaguars jump at re-signing him.
Durant has been plagued by injuries as of late, however, when he has been on the field and healthy, he has been a very good player for the team.
The Jaguars figure to be an active team in the free agency period (when it is allowed by the NFL), looking at help on the line, in the secondary and at linebacker.
Morrison said he would welcome a chance to come back to the east coast and play football.
"You come from Oakland, play a man scheme and never play cover-2 at all," Morrison said. "And you get to Jacksonville and there are a lot of multiple coverages, never man. You kind of revert back to what you did. Reaction time is not where you want it to be."
It is believed the team, under defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, will look at other linebackers such as Paul Pozluszny or maybe reaching out to Ben Leber.
"A lot of players say, 'Oh, after workouts, I'm at home doing nothing," Morrison said. "I'm just a guy that's always trying to be proactive, always trying to be active doing something. I can work out two or three, four hours a day, but when I'm done, what can I do to better myself?"
For now, Morrison will continue to train in Oakland, workout and wait. He will continue to host his radio talk show and do what most other veterans are doing, playing the waiting game. And hope the Jaguars will invite him to come back and prove he can continue to play his position at a higher level.
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