Wide receiver Laviska Sheanult Jr. was a candidate to have a breakout season in 2021 but he ended up falling short of expectations. Now, he’s competing for playing time and trying not to tumble down the depth chart. So far, he’s doing a superb job and Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson is pleased with the work he’s putting in.
Pederson had a sitdown with the local media Monday and was asked what impresses him the most about Shenault. The Jaguars’ head coach sounded praiseful, “gosh, the way he practices and the way he works out there on the grass“.
"I mean, he’s 100 percent on the field when he gets a rep, it’s 100 percent. And he’s done a really good job of learning and picking up the information but to me, that’s what’s really stood out with Viska. Just how he really prepares himself for games and now with practice."
Pederson went on to say he wasn’t surprised Shenault wanted to report punts, as he’s the kind of player that wants to win and “do what he can for the team”. Moreover, it shows how mature Viska is at this stage of his career.
Laviska Shanault is leaving a positive impression on the Jaguars staff
Given that the Jaguars signed wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency, it would be easy to think that Shenault is currently not seen as a fit. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as the coaching staff is giving him the opportunity to show what he can do on the field, instead of burying him on the depth chart. Here’s a video of the former Colorado Buff doing some footwork during Monday’s practice, via Jamal St. Cyr of News4JAX.
Kirk and Jones will get a featured role, and Marvin Jones should also see a robust amount of playing time. However, the Jaguars’ coaching staff will most likely find a way to get Shenault a good amount of targets too. While it’s hard to see him getting 100 like last year due to the depth at the position, something between 70 and 80 seems reasonable.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the Jags had placed Shenault on the trade block. They ended up keeping him but if there is indeed a market for him and he performs well throughout training camp, they might be better off holding onto him.
Laviska Shenault is aware he must earn a role this year and is operating with a sense of urgency to do so. That’s why it’s not surprising to know Pederson is pleased with his progress.