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Jaguars' Shorts Working To Be Elite

Cecil Shorts III smiles at the mention.

Its a knowing smile, because hes thought about the topic before more than a few times since last season, actually. Its a comfortable smile, too, and its clear when talking with the Jaguars third-year wide receiver that he likes a lot about where he is and where hes going in his NFL career.

But that smile? Its not completely pleasant, because although hes thought about this topic often this offseason, it still gnaws at him. Its still sitting out there.

Twenty-one yards...

It bothers me, Shorts said with a laugh during the Jaguars voluntary offseason program, which continues next week with the final week of 2013 organized team activities at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. It doesnt sit well.

*Twenty-one yards*...thats how close Shorts was to 1,000 yards receiving last season. Its a significant number for any wide receiver, particularly one playing for the Jaguars. But really, what hes thinking about this offseason isnt that.

Mostly, Shorts said hes thinking about the future.

Thats because whatever Shorts accomplished last season and make no mistake: he accomplished a lot in his mind, it doesnt matter. At least not in comparison to whats next.

I still feel like I have something to prove, he said. Thats just how Ive always been. I always play with a chip on my shoulder. I want to prove last season wasnt a fluke, but really, last season doesnt mean anything anymore. I want to continue to get better.

I am a lot more confident coming into this year than last year. Im in a different situation now, if that makes sense.

How different? Consider:

This time last year, Shorts wasnt thinking about narrowly missing out on goals. Rather, he was thinking about making a roster.

Shorts, a fourth-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft from Division III Mount Union, had struggled as a rookie, catching just two passes for 30 yards. He was written off by many observers, and when last offseason began, he was deep on the depth chart.

Source: Jaguars.com


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