Former Jacksonville Jaguars great and current wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell is constantly moving on the practice field. Whether it is running up the play or instructing a player how to line up, there is perpetual motion.
Like his playing days here in Jacksonville, Keenan McCardell is working to get better as an assistant coach and to make the players under his guidance better.
"“I like what I am seeing,” McCardell said. “This is a time for us to continue to get better."
When I spoke to McCardell last week, the biggest impression I got from our conversation was he was excited about the pass catchers who were in camp at OTAs and the fact the Jaguars have more speed this season. Despite making changes to the roster with additions and subtractions, this is a unit that could be better than it was in 2017.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- 3 potential trade partners for Jacksonville Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin
- Jaguars should explore trading for Michael Thomas amid Calvin Ridley suspension
- Jacksonville Jaguars named best fit for CB James Bradberry in 2023 NFL free agency
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram highlights discrepancy in WR and TE salaries
- Jacksonville Jaguars land DeAndre Hopkins in trade proposal to stop the KC Chiefs
It’s truly a numbers game out on the practice field adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. McCardell said the wide receivers in camp all have a different skill set. He wants to use their abilities to best suit the offense. When he met with the media on Tuesday, his idea of how the unit should work was simple – getting the most out of them in every facet of the passing offense.
"“We want guys to play all three positions no matter size or speed. “We are going to line up the top three … Or four … Or five,” the 17-year NFL veteran said."
Keenan McCardell played six seasons in Jacksonville, teaming with Jimmy Smith to become the top two pass catchers in team history. He said since he can no longer catch footballs as a player, he works hard to show the current players how it’s done.
The Jaguars’ speed is something that continues to impress this week after being on display the past two weeks. Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, D.J. Chark, Marqise Lee and Donte Moncrief have all shown flashes in practice. Head coach Doug Marrone said on Monday Westbrook has been a solid player so far this early in the process.
"“I think he is coming along. I have seen him make some good plays,” said Marrone. “You see some speed out of him. I think he has been putting in the work since he has been here. I still think that it is the same thing, just keep working, keep going and see where we can go with him.”"
Marrone also told the media he likes the competition that is in camp, which helps keep players hungry, looking to get better with each practice.
"“I have always believed competition brings out the best in everyone. I have no issues with it. I think it is a very competitive sport.” Said Marrone.“For me, sometimes you try the best you can to create it because if you don’t have competition, if it doesn’t come from the people around you or if it doesn’t come from within, then you are looking at the worst thing that can happen and that is complacency.”"
When asked about the second-year player out of Oklahoma, Keenan McCardell said Westbrook is healthy and showing what he can do. That will help this unit, which does not have a true No. 1 wide receiver.
Keenan McCardell has high praise for the rookie Chark, who brings the speed the team was looking for when the team drafted him in the second round. He said he wants to continue to see progress from the LSU star in his route running and his break on the ball.