JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hoping to establish a more permanent identity, the Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled new uniforms and a new logo Wednesday.
There weren't any radical changes, but the team certainly simplified things.
In their first 14 seasons, the Jaguars had at least eight different logos and used maybe twice as many uniform combinations. There was the all-white look, the all-black ensemble, white pants with teal shirts, white pants with black shirts, black pants with white shirts and even black pants with teal shirts. Throw in subtle stripe changes nearly every season, and it was even difficult for Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver to recognize his team in highlight videos.
Weaver hopes the new uniforms and logo will solve that problems.
"We felt with all these evolutionary changes that had taken place, we had lost some of our identity," Weaver said. "We wanted to get that back. It was time to look back and say, 'Who are we?' ... We wanted to establish something that's timeless and is going to stand the test of time over the next 50 years."
Now, the Jaguars will have just two uniform combinations: teal jerseys and white pants to wear at home, and white jerseys and black pants for the road. As for the logo, it will just be the jaguar head.
"There was a real desire to get back to a real clean look, something we think will have a timelessness about it," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "Anytime there's something new, it's fresh, it's exciting and it ties in perfectly with the draft this weekend. We're going to have a freshness about us. Anybody who's been around our organization over the last several weeks or months understands there's a real freshness about it, a lot of energy."
The Jaguars parted ways with nine starters, including team captains Fred Taylor, Mike Peterson and Paul Spicer. Safety Gerald Sensabaugh, left tackle Khalif Barnes and wide receivers Reggie Williams and Matt Jones, all of whom had been arrested in recent years, were among the other players released or not re-signed.
"It is an opportune time for a complete change, a new look and back to the attitude we had before," said cornerback Rashean Mathis, who has spent all six of his NFL seasons with the Jaguars. "Sometimes change is good. Not pointing fingers at anybody we let go, but just a new attitude and a new positive approach will help us as a whole. It'll help the young guys see what we're all about and what we're trying to accomplish."
The Jaguars also consider the new uniforms to be groundbreaking. The jerseys are 30 percent lighter than the previous ones, team officials said, and are made of a stretchy material that could reduce drag and maybe decrease the chance of opponents holding. And the teal jerseys are supposed to stay cooler that the old ones.
The helmet logo isn't new, but the paint scheme certainly is one of a kind. The black helmets and face masks have teal-flaked paint, making them change color in bright light.
Several players donned the new uniforms on a runway inside Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Wednesday. The reviews were all positive, and running back Maurice Jones-Drew said the timing of the announcement was perfect given the team's roster makeover this offseason.
"This is just the beginning of a new chapter in our lives as an organization," Jones-Drew said.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press