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  #1  
Old 11.11.2014, 07:30 AM
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Default Raptors at Jaguars!

The Exmouth Community College American football Programme - home of the Exmouth Raptors, Raptors' Elite and Exmouth Claw, send a massive 'thank you' to the Jacksonville Jaguar London office and BAFA for allowing Coach Rooksby and lucky Raptor to attend closed training session of the Jags prior to the Wembley game. Incredibly insightful experience of a young, developing team and a nurturing Head Coach. Brilliant and much appreciated.

If you want to learn American football and live near Exeter / Exmouth - see what the school can offer you (including help with transport costs!). With our new 3G about to open, the Raptors are going to the next level. Remember, volunteer coaches required, too.

Thanks again to the Jags - players and coaches, all friendly professionals.
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Old 11.11.2014, 08:39 AM
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Very glad that you enjoyed and benefited from the experance. We may have an opertunity to speak with the Jaguars London office in a couple of weeks and we will pass on your thanks.
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Old 11.11.2014, 08:29 PM
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Thank you!

Laura Oakes came down and presented our MVP Award at Exmouth Community College Sport Awards evening earlier this year. BAFA are very supportive of our school Programme. Hence the opportunity.

I was SOOOO impressed with the training session and listening to Coach Bradley. Sure it is a young and (relatively) inexperienced (by NFL standards) team but their spirit and approach is awesome! It was not what I expected but was really impressive. This IS a team to watch in the next few years. As Coach said, despite the fact that there are so many rookies on the team, they will grow and develop as a very cohesive unit. I believe they will grow into a team that will be a serious Super Bowl contender. Maybe not next year but it will happen. Ignore the scores, it is not a reflection of the talent in the team.

Totally impressed by Coach Bradley, totally impressed with the players - just totally impressed, really!

Go Jags!
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Old 11.11.2014, 09:20 PM
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Laura is great and it's fantastic that your programme and hard work was recognised and rewarded.

Thanks for the insight into the training session. For what its worth I agree with much of what you said, the Jags are a very young team. I think I am right in saying that 7 of our starting offence on Sunday are either rookies or second year players.

The is talent there but it'll take time for it to develop, we also have the most cap space of all 32 teams (about $22,750,000) available to us and the current thinking is that we will go after a couple of major free agent signings this offseason.

Gus is a great guy and I think everyone (especially the players) wants him to do well and succeed. I am told that if we Jags fans knew some of the behind closed door stuff we wouldn't just love Gus, we would take a bullet for him.

Anyway glad it was a good experience for you and the Raptors.
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Old 11.11.2014, 09:46 PM
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One of the youngest NFL teams (reminds me of my 1st team - the '85 Bears - same deal at the time - youngest team that became Super Bowl champs!). Jags have 30 in their 1st / 2nd NFL season?

Totally agree with that observation - I'd take a bullet for him! I'm a 25+ years in the profession, teacher. 7 years as a school Governor. Looking at the session through a teacher's eyes, the way it was run, the support that I saw given (even during the Wembley game and especially after the muffed punt), the attitude, vibe and sense that Coach expressed - I'd hand-over any of my 2,500 students at my school to him and I know they would be safe and looked-after! He is a man who (I believe) brings his pee-wee / school / college experience to the NFL. He understands his young players and creates an amazingly supportive atmosphere. It was a disciplined session run with military precision BUT unlike some of the training sessions I've seen on video, it was also relaxed, fun and as Coach himself said, 'the players are owning it.' An intelligent, sensible and nurturing Coach. Very, very cool. For me running my school programme now in its fifth year, I know where I need to go next, after that session.

For all Jags fans - be patient and supportive! This is a young, talented team with a lack of experience but a super, super attitude, desire and presence. Forget the scores, this is a great team in the making. The NFL is tough place to be but the Jags have the Coach they need. It's going to be a great ride, the next few years! I'm going to enjoy watching it unfold!

85fan
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Old 11.11.2014, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85fan View Post
He is a man who (I believe) brings his pee-wee / school / college experience to the NFL. He understands his young players and creates an amazingly supportive atmosphere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 85fan View Post
An intelligent, sensible and nurturing Coach.
That really matches up with what we have heard about him. Gus really wants himself and his coaches to be developmental coaches and bring some of the college attitude of getting better and improvement to the pros.
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Old 11.11.2014, 10:42 PM
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And I believe he does that with sincerity! I believe school programmes like mine, should be the same - the development of players ready to make the move to the next level (for me the university or community leagues, for him to be Divisional Champions and then a Super Bowl contender). As such, you attempt to engender a philosophy that 'scores don't matter' (of course it is nice to win) but playing to the best of your ability is more important. Personally, I'd rather lose to a better team having played our best than win a against a weaker team but played badly!

When players want to play for you and then they make a mistake, they will feel that they have let you down - no need to add side-line insult to injury! I got the strong feeling that that is the philosophy that Coach uses too, watching him during practice and during the game. However, I bet if players don't give a 100%, it will be a different story! (and quite rightly, too!). But if they try and fail, a coaches' job is to pick-them-up and help them succeed - and I think the Jags have their man for that and that is why I think they are a team to seriously watch. It is also why you get a very strong sense of them having a genuine 'team spirit' beyond flamboyant team breaks and clever motivational speeches!

Sorry to drone on, but it was an exceptional experience and so impressive.
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