JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the Jaguars move through the offseason, the team is back on the field for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this week.
One of the positions that have been the talk of the town this offseason is the Jaguars wide receiver group. The Jaguars brought in Christian Kirk and Zay Jones during free agency. With two new big-ticket signings in the room, there will be a lot of competition for playing time this year.
Third-year wide receiver Laviska Shenault is looking forward to fighting for playing time.
“Competition Is what I love. I grew up on competition,” Shenault said.
With Doug Pederson and staff now running the show in Jacksonville, Shenault is on his sixth coach in five years dating back to his final two seasons of college football at Colorado. Shenault hasn’t played under the same head coach in back-to-back seasons since Mike MacIntyre in his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Buffaloes.
“You learn from those crazy things and keep it pushing,” Shenault said.
Now going into his third year and his third head coach and third offensive coordinator in the NFL, Shenault is excited about what Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor are cooking up for the offense this year.
“I love the scheme. I love the way they do things,” he said.
Shenault didn’t take the second-year jump that many hoped that he would make. In 2021, he pulled in 63 catches for 619 yards. Shenault said he knows what his body needs and has learned to be a pro.
This offseason, Shenault has worked on his explosiveness.
“This year I have been working on a lot of my agility and my first-step quickness. I’m a big guy. I love to lift,” he said. “So, I wanted to cut that down this offseason and get moving because I feel like I lost a little bit of that going through my surgeries during the Covid year. I’m not making any excuses it is part of life.”
With the new competition at receiver, Shenault is far from guaranteed a role on this year’s offense. He will need to earn his reps. During Tuesday’s OTA, Shenault by far had the catch of the day.
Competition can bring out the best in people and Shenault is ready to show his best is yet to come.
- A quiet day from Trevor Lawrence. No interceptions also no note worth plays during competitive portions of practice.
- Shenault has started working with the kick and punt returners.
- Jamal Agnew is still rehabbing from a hip injury that ended his 2021 season. Agnew was not in uniform but was on the field working on route running and catching passes. He looks good.
- Christian Kirk makes playing wide receiver look easy. His route running and body control continue to show up on the field day in and day out.
- Travis Etienne infamously worked out at wide receiver under the Urban Meyer regime. While Etienne is being referred to as a running back now, he spent more than a few snaps lined up as a slot receiver during team periods of practice.
- Zay Jones is a name worth watching. Jones’ footwork shines during his route running.
- Gregory Junior had an up and down day. Junior got his hands on a pass that should have been a pick 6 but he dropped it. Junior was also in coverage on the aforementioned catch of the day by Shenault.
- Devin Lloyd looks to be getting comfortable in his role in the middle of the Jaguars defense. Lloyd jumped way up to break up a pass from Lawrence that otherwise would have been a touchdown.
- Tight end Evan Engram received a handful of reps lined up as an outside receiver. This is something that was expected, but it’s the first time the Jaguars showed it.