JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- Quarterback Blaine Gabbert gets to keep his long blonde hair. Guard Will Rackley doesn't have to worry about losing his eyebrows. In fact, all of Jacksonville's rookies are safe from training camp hazing.
Coach Jack Del Rio ended the practice this season, saying players need to have more respect for each other.
That was welcome news for Gabbert, the 10th pick in April's NFL draft. The former Missouri standout had mentally prepared himself to get buzzed.
"There's other ways to have fun with the rookies," Gabbert said Monday.
Just a few, though, in Jacksonville. Del Rio made it clear that hazing should be limited to the "Rookie Show," an annual talent competition put on by newcomers. Del Rio also will allow dance competitions in the locker room and continue to have rookies carry veterans' helmets and shoulder pads off the field following practices.
"The whole thing really had gotten carried away in recent years," Del Rio said.
Hazing stories in Jacksonville include players being taped to goal posts and covered in baby powder, cars being sealed in plastic wrap and clothes being tossed in a cold tub.
Haircuts had taken center stage in recent years. Mohawks, mullets and bowl cuts would be considered tame by comparison to what was inflicted on rookies. Some had patterns and designs. Others had names and numbers. None would be considered stylish and a few deemed not suitable for all audiences.