WR Calvin Ridley showing in OTAs why the Jacksonville Jaguars traded for him
The Jacksonville Jaguars acquired Calvin Ridley before last year's trade deadline even though they had just signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones a few months prior. Ridley is quickly showing in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) why the Jags were smart for doing so.
On the first day of OTAs, Ridley reeled in a couple passes that got everyone's attention, according to John Shipley of Sports Illustrated. And before you say that there's nothing impressive about making a few catches, it's worth noting that Ridley's been away from football for more than a year. The fact that he's displaying that kind of game-changing skills ways before the regular season speaks volumes about his commitment to being great.
Doug Pederson, for one, told the local media that he's been impressed with Ridley, "He's been here, he's been focused, engage, doing the things we asked him to do", Pederson said. "It's being on the same page with Trevor, he's done a great job in the classroom and that will take that out to the field and the work he's getting done and we want to see that continue and continue to develop".
"We're not game planning or scheming or all that. We're just continuing to install and he's done a nice job handling all the information, "Pederson said.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor was equally complimentary of Ridley, "I've watched every snap Calvin's played in the NFL, just like a lot of our guys have. So we're very confident in the player we're getting. And then to be able to meet him in person, we've had a lot of people that vouch for him obviously going back to when we acquired him".
"But the work he's put in this offseason has been impressive just in terms of meeting the extra work he does and you can tell he's doing it because he comes in the next day. He's got his list of questions they're very thought out; you can tell he's picked ahead of the install or just looking at a couple of days that happen as we go on, so he's done a great job intermixing with the group and making his own role", Pederson said.
Here's a video of Ridley going through individual drills the Jaguars posted on social media.
Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley is ready to return to his 2020 form
While it's true that Ridley made a strong impression on Day 1 of OTAs, it's not necessarily surprising I've you been paid attention to him throughout the offseason. The Florida native has posted videos of him working out, showing that he was in great shape during the suspension he served for betting on football games.
Ridley also met with the local media after he was reinstated and made it clear he was driven to return to greatness. His latest display in practice was just small sample of what he can do on the football field and the Jags should be excited about how the immense boost he will give to their offense in 2023.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a top 10 offense last year and that was without Ridley. With him, they have a realistic chance to be among the best five in the league next season.