Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark caught four passes, had 146 yards receiving and made one heck of a touchdown catch in the first quarter Sunday.
If you are looking for silver linings in the Jaguars 40-26 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the play of wide receiver DJ Chark is at or near the top of the list.
It’s hard to look at how the defense played, making wide receiver Sammy Watkins look like a Pro Bowler and how the Chiefs scored at will all afternoon, but there are some things the Jaguars coaching staff can take from the offensive side of the ball and build on them as the team prepares for Sunday’s game in Houston.
Chark’s four catches for 146 yards and a touchdown is one of them. The second-year pro out of LSU had 14 catches for 174 yards all of last season. The 6-foot-4, 199-pound speedster showed on Sunday he could be a threat in the passing game if given a chance.
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The touchdown caught by Chark, which was a dime thrown from quarterback Nick Foles, was as perfect a play in the corner of the endzone that you will see all season. For Chark, it might be just the start of a 2019 season full of promise, despite the loss of Foles for the season with a broken clavicle bone.
"“I think I did what was asked of me, as well as the other receivers. I feel like it’s just the beginning. I still have a lot of stuff that I feel like I have to watch this film on, and work on and get better,” Chark said after the game."
Last year, the rookie from LSU made an impact on special teams more so than in the passing game. He missed five games in the second half of the season due to injury, which slowed down his progress. This offseason, in OTAs and training camp, the adjustments Chark made to get himself ready for this season showed.
There is a lot to like about his game, especially since his route running is better and he is catching the football with more confidence. And he and now starting quarterback Gardner Minshew have time to continue to work on their chemistry on the field.
The hard work appears to have paid off.
"“But it’s good that you can show what’s been shown on these practice fields day in and day out: the work that we put in. So, it’s good to show it on Sunday’s, but next time we want to show it with a win,” he said."
The news of Foles injury was a big blow to this offense, but Minshew came in and played well, continuing to work on things both he and Chark did in the preseason. The two could become a formidable combination while the rookie adjusts to the NFL.
"“Like I said earlier, he’s fearless and that’s the thing that I like about him the most. He steps up in the situation, he won’t blink,” Chark said of his quarterback.“And as a receiver, I feel that this room has to help him out. But, he’s the signal caller, so what he says goes, he’s the man in this offense. So, if he wants to change the plays, whatever he wants to do, that’s what we’re going to do and we’re going to make it work.”"