The Jaguars hold their annual training camp on the grass and turf practice fields next to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. There's no need to travel, really. The average temperature in Jacksonville in August is 81.2 degrees, with an average relative humidity of 91 percent in the morning and 61 percent in the afternoon. During especially hot summers, Jacksonville can have more than 20 days in August with temperatures above 90 degrees. It's a sweaty camp. Water bottles and sports drinks are in abundance at Jags camp -- even reporters are given a bottle -- and hydration is every bit as important as shuttle drills. I took a swig from my water bottle and watched quarterback
After making the Pro Bowl seven times in St. Louis, Holt was released in March, setting him on a new path in Jacksonville. While strange not seeing Holt in Rams' blue and gold, he is excited and motivated about the opportunity. He is also aware of the critics writing him off. "It's a new team, a new conference, and you kind of feel like a rookie again," the 33-year-old Holt said. "You feel revived and renewed and that's exciting. And then there's just showing people that I can still play at a high level. There's a lot out there about, 'Do I still have it? I lost this, I lost that.' Ten years into it, who hasn't lost something? In terms of being passionate, the work ethic, the training, concentration, focus, I still have it."
After the Jaguars' receiver purge, Holt immediately becomes the team's No. 1 receiver. And on a team heavy on youth and inexperience, he becomes a No. 1 mentor, too.
The 6-foot-5, 309-pound Monroe remains unsigned and out of camp. "I'm optimistic that we'll get him in shortly, but until it's done, until he's here, we're just going to focus on the guys that are here," Del Rio said. "I know he wants to be here and hopefully it'll get resolved soon." The veteran tackle
Sitting across from Holt in one of the Jaguars meeting rooms, I noticed the mangled middle finger of his left hand. The finger was bent in the shape of an 'L.' It was not in line with the rest of his fingers. It had a mind of its own. "That's my trophy," he said of the finger.
Holt explained that the finger had been beaten up through the years by catching so many balls. Sometimes, the finger joints would pop out and he had to pop them back in. Once, against the Steelers, he tried to pop the joint back in and it simply wouldn't move. So it stayed in the shape of an 'L.'
"It scares little kids, too," he said.