Is WR Ace Sanders Prepared for a Big 2015?


Ace Sanders had a disappointing 2014. After a rather impressive rookie campaign in 2013 in which Sanders put up 484 yards, the fourth round selection managed a meager 55 yards in his sophomore effort.

Talk about a sophomore slump.

Sanders was so unimpressive in 2014 that it seemed possible general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley may move on from their former draft pick. Sanders was supposed to be the shifty wide receiver who could take advantage of space in the receiving and return game.

Fortunately, after the 2014 season came to a close, it sounds like Ace Sanders may be putting things together.

Head coach Gus Bradley mentioned Sanders twice after the 2015 rookie minicamp this past weekend, highlighting the fact that Sanders is getting ready for the season and impressing the front office.

"This was the best I’ve seen Ace. Granted, it’s a Phase II workout, but just running and things like that. The consistency of every rep is really showing up and it was from the first day. He’s really stacked up some good days. We’ve really took notice of him as a staff. – Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley"

This is about the right time in the offseason for coaches to start hyping players they expect to do better in the coming year. This could all be coach speak, encouragement, or a shroud to cover a receiver who was not very productive the previous year.

Hopefully, Sanders really is getting better and he is at the best Bradley has seen since drafting him in 2013. It was a pleasure to see him with some impressive scampers in 2013 and it would be nice to see him return to form in 2015.

An area where Sanders needs to improve is as a punt returner. He managed just 7.1 yards per return in 2014 (an improvement on his near-five yard average in 2013) and will need to make strides there to prove he is a return threat. He has zero touchdowns in his two seasons as a return man and an increase there could help turn the tide of games for the Jaguars.

Next: What Should We Expect for Telvin Smith?

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