Keenan McCardell excited about Jaguars wide receivers
By David Levin
Jacksonville Jaguars receivers coach Keenan McCardell told the media on Tuesday he was excited about the team’s group of wide receivers in camp.
One of the biggest questions heading into the Jacksonville Jaguars 10 OTAs and the team’s mandatory minicamp next week is how the wide receivers (and tight ends) are going to adjust to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s passing game?
While the Jaguars did not make huge changes to the position other than signing free agent Chris Conley after the team brought in quarterback Nick Foles and then added Terrelle Pryor earlier this week, there is a feeling of said change when you watch practice. Foles throws a nice deep pass and is accurate. The pass catchers are learning the system, taking it all in and making some noteworthy plays.
When wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell spoke to the media on Tuesday, he said he believed this could be a much better unit than it was in 2018.
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"“I’m really excited about the group,” McCardell said before the Jaguars began their eighth practice session during OTAs."
That excitement may not be met with everyone watching this group, as it was underwhelming last season. Plenty of that had to do with the play at quarterback. Some had to do with injuries. Part of it was too many dropped passes and a failure to live up to potential these players had prior to the start of the 2018 season.
All of that can change with more opportunities and a new system in place. This group of players has many attributes that could make things exciting this coming year. Good speed, plenty of speed and different types of personalities that will blend well with what DeFilippo and McCardell are trying to do with the Jaguars offense.
"“It’s a mixed bag for me,” he said. “I’ve got a little size. I’ve got small guys with great quickness, small guys that can make people miss, small guys who can play big, big guys who can play small and big guys who can play big.“We’ve got a quarterback who likes the group, too, so that’s really good.”"
And the play of Nick Foles will have plenty to do with the success of Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, Conley, Pryor, Marqise Lee, and DJ Chark.
Lee missed last season with an ACL injury (a story on him is coming soon). Westbrook stepped in and became the main target in the passing game. Chark developed more as a special teams player than a receiver and was injured for five games last season. Cole saw his season come unraveled after the game against New England.
Every player in this group has a chance to make an impact. Conley is a favorite of Foles in practice. Pryor is a big, thick receiver who adds a veteran dimension.
The team Foles and his new teammates have had to together have been nothing but beneficial.
"“Being a great receiver-quarterback tandem is about being on the same page. If I’m on Page 10 and the quarterback’s on Page 50, we’re going to have a bad reading. We’ve just got to be on the same page, and once we get on the same page, it clicks,” McCardell added. Next: 15 Best Jaguars free agent acquisitions “I’m looking forward to it. I think they’re receptive to what Nick’s telling them and they understand it’s for the best of the offense.”"