JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Of all the position groups on the Jaguars, the wide receivers figure to be the most intriguing during the preseason. There is no true "number one" wide receiver, and it’s not difficult to envision that on a given Sunday, any of a handful of players could be the Jaguars' leading pass catcher.
One of the candidates to make an impact for the Jaguars is free-agent signee Donte Moncrief. In a wide receivers' room made up of returning veteran Marqise Lee, second-year players, Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook, and second-round draft pick, DJ Chark, Moncrief considers himself to be a veteran leader, despite the fact that he is just 24 years of age.
"When you have a room like that, its fun every day. its competition," Moncrief said "You just work against each other and make everybody better. The room (does not have) a number one. Everybody is a number one."
Moncrief fought injuries with the Colts, but his speed and play making ability were evident to Jaguars wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell in preparation for free agency.
"I saw a really skilled receiver, a guy that can really position himself and make tough catches," McCardell said. "(He is) a guy that can create separation. Now that I have him here, I can see some things that we cleaned up, just different coaching and stuff like that. I am not saying it was the wrong coaching in Indy, just some things that we like for him to do. Being a skilled receiver and being able to play in multiple systems, it helps him. You can see him get deep with his speed. You can see him create separation on some stop routes. I am enjoying coaching him, and it has been fun.”
The Jaguars played all of last year without Allen Robinson, who signed with the Bears in free agency. With Allen Hurns leaving for the Cowboys, as a group, the wide receivers are now a much faster group.
It’s also a group that has to improve, not just year to year, but each and every day. That’s a message that Moncrief has been sharing with his teammates.
"Everyday, I choose something to get better at-- releases, the top of the route, being quick out of my breaks. Everything I do, I just try to get better at it," Moncrief said. "Every day, I come out to compete. Going against the secondary we've got, that's about the toughest competition you'll get."
McCardell also tries to reinforce that message.
"Each day, we are trying to stack days together – successful days. I like what I am seeing," McCardell said. "This is a time for us to continue to get better and see some things from different guys. Sometimes as a wide receivers coach, you see guys do one thing to their strength. You want to see them do some of their weaknesses and put them in situations and see if they can adjust and see how they are looking at some of their weak points. This is their time to do it, and a lot of guys have stepped up.”
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