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2018 OTAs: Greene remains confident

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Rashad Greene Sr. walks to the field before an NFL football practice, Friday, May 26, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Rashad Greene Sr. walks to the field before an NFL football practice, Friday, May 26, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

JACKSONVILLE – He trusts in his talent, and his ability to use it.

Rashad Greene Sr. also trusts something else as Jaguars 2018 Organized Team Activities continue at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex:

That talent is enough to do what he needs to do in the coming months.

"I can live with the result of me going out and giving my all; I know that's good quality," Greene said this week during Week 3 of '18 OTAs.

An important to know about Greene:

Whatever the outside perception, the feeling has grown this offseason that his talent may be enough to keep him with the organization next season.

"I told him this: 'You all start at the same starting line and you have to go out and show everybody that you can help this team,''' Jaguars wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell said. "Each year is a new year. This was a fresh start for him. He gets out in front of everybody and makes plays when we are asking him to make plays."

Key to Greene's 2018 offseason story is understanding why his future with the Jaguars is a question at all.

A Round 5 selection in the 2015 NFL Draft from Florida State University, he averaged 16.7 yards with a touchdown on punt returns as a rookie – but also missed seven games with a thumb injury. Fumbles and a late-season Achilles injury limited him to eight games in '16. And after being placed on injured reserve before the '17 season, some assumed he wouldn't be a part of the receiving corps moving forward.

But Greene never saw it that way – and the Jaguars didn't either. Whereas the team in recent seasons has parted with multiple drafted players before the end of their rookie contracts, Greene enters the final year of his rookie contract still on the roster.

He also enters it having performed well in OTAs.

"He has had a great offseason," McCardell said. "I am knocking on wood that he stays healthy because I feel like [he's] a guy like that who has a lot of experience that is able to make plays and has made plays in this league before [and] can help us out."

If positive comments about Greene surprise observers, they don't surprise Greene.

"I know I can still go out there with the best, and make plays," he said. "My mindset never changed. I've had some adversity, but I come into work and get better every day."

Greene smiled this week when told he had more than "some" adversity.

"Yeah, but it is what it is," he said. "It's part of football. It's something I hadn't been through before, but you have to face it at some point in life. I took it and bounced back and kept my same mindset. It didn't make me lose confidence.

"There's no reason to be angry at something that's in the past or something you can't control. That doesn't make the situation better. The only way I'm going to be able to go out with a clear conscience, make plays, play fast is to focus on what I've got going on. I can't have a cluttered mind and be productive."

Greene said he considers still being with the Jaguars "a blessing in itself, especially the way things are these days in the NFL." In a sense, he said, still being here "lets me now I can still play."

But in another sense, Greene said he never doubted that. He said he said absolutely has enough versatility and knowledge of the offense to play all three wide receiver positions – and as importantly, to play them fast.

"In football, if you know what you're doing you're going to be able to play fast," Greene said. "I know what I'm doing – and I'm still learning at the same time."

Greene has played fast throughout OTAs. He has looked like a confident player – and has looked in sync with quarterback Blake Bortles.

Whether that will be enough to make the Jaguars' '18 roster remains to be seen. The Jaguars' wide receivers are a deep, talented group that grew deeper with the offseason additions of free-agent Donte Moncrief and second-round wide receiver DJ Chark. Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole combined for 125 receptions, 1,789 yards and seven touchdowns last season. All five of the aforementioned players figure to make the roster.

That could leave Greene competing for a sixth receiver position with players such as receiver/returner Jaydon Mickens, first-year veteran Shane Wynn and rookie undrafted free agent Allen Lazard.

"You can't get caught up in what goes on behind the scenes, or decisions they make," Greene said. "That's not your choice. You drive yourself crazy and count yourself out if you go to number counting. I can live with the result if I know I gave it my all.

"I'm nowhere near ready to stop playing this game. I love it so much and I feel like people haven't been able to see why this organization brought me here. I think this is the year and the time to show why they drafted me."

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