It's hard to imagine there could be a better fit between player and team in the NFL than the Jaguars and Kirk Morrison.
During the college draft, the Jaguars desperately needed an upgrade at the middle linebacker spot. At the same time, Morrison's desperate urge was to find a new home.
He had played his entire five NFL seasons for the Oakland Raiders and had yet to experience a winning season. He had four head coaches in Oakland during the five-year stint.
It certainly wasn't that Morrison wasn't out on the field trying to turn the Raiders into winners. He started 79 consecutive games dating back to the second game of his rookie season.
"If you don't win football games, you get a lot of change, a lot of turnover," he said. "If you don't win, there's automatically going to be change and it's probably even one of the reasons why I'm sitting in this seat (in Jacksonville) right now. If you don't win, things have to change regardless of players, coaches, people around the organization, that's what happens."
It comes as little surprise that Morrison has been one of the more enthusiastic players for the Jaguars' 14 days of organized team activities that resumed this week after a week off. The Jaguars wanted Morrison because of his talent and leadership skills. Morrison yearned for a new team and liked what he saw and heard from the Jaguars.
"The thing is they (Jaguars) wanted me here. My thing is to come here and feel like to be a piece of the puzzle that they have been missing," Morrison said. "I felt this team was already on the verge of going to the playoffs. You change what happened the last four games (at the end of the 2009 seasons), I think this team is in the playoffs.
"So I just want to be that added piece to the puzzle and kind of get them over the hump a little bit."
Morrison is in his first offseason practice sessions with the Jaguars with the current OTAs. He likes what he's seen thus far.
"As far as team-wise, we're all on the same page. We're flying around and having fun," he said. "Everybody has been in the right spots. There's a couple mistakes here and there, but for us to be where we are at this point, I feel like we're ahead of schedule and moving forward.
"We're going to try to keep getting better and better and get ready for training camp. Myself, I'm learning the defense every day. For the most part, I learn a playbook pretty fast. At the same time, I've got to iron out the little details and a little bit of wrinkles. I'm happy with the progress so far."
--The OTAs (organized team activities) are supposes to be non-contact practice sessions for NFL teams. Some teams like Oakland and Baltimore, took the non-contact issue a step too far and were penalized by league officials.
The 'no-contact' stipulation wasn't enough to keep a pair of Jaguars linemen, Walter Curry on defense and Paul McQuistan from the offensive unit, from engaging in a fight on the final play of Monday's practice session.
Curry downplayed the skirmish afterwards.
"We talked about it in the locker room. It's just intensity. That's all it is," Curry said.
Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio's take?
"It's competitive. Guys lost their temper. It's hot. I told them my standpoint on fighting. You can fight all you want. Don't wait for me to jump in there. When you're done, we'll keep practicing."
--NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson was a visitor at the Jaguars' practice session on Tuesday and spoke with the team after practice. It was a motivational message that Carson delivered to the team said Jaguars linebacker Kirk Morrison.
"We're only in this game for so long. The harder you work, the better player you're going to be. And off the field too. Be a good person off the field, not just on the field," Morrison said.
"Those are the things that every day I try to model myself after that, being a good guy on the field and an even better person off the field."
--With so many questions regarding the interior of the Jaguars offensive line, it's tough to come up with answers about the line with the no-contact rule in place for the team's OTA practices. While the two tackle spots are secure with last year's rookie starters, Eben Britton and Eugene Monroe, the two guard spots and center position are up for grabs.
Uche Nwaneri will be a starter either at guard or center but four players -- center Brad Meester and guards Vince Manuwai, Justin Smiley and Kynan Forney -- are all competing for starting honors.
Coach Jack Del Rio said it's too early to declare a starting unit at this time.
"You do the best you can with what you can in shorts," Del Rio said. "You know the game is played in pads. We don't get carried away with it, but you certainly can determine movement skills, relative power, the ability to torque the hips and do things out of stance. The ability to move, the ability to think, to learn our playbook and assignments and things like that are all important. There are a lot of things you can learn but I don't think you get a complete picture of an offensive or defensive lineman until you put the pads on."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everybody is fired up and just trying to work hard. We're still a team. Like brothers and sisters, you have a little fight and then you go back to loving each other." -- Jaguars defensive end Walter Curry on his fight with Paul McQuistan at the end of Monday's practice.