JACKSONVILLE – How will the Jaguars coaching staff decide what receivers to keep on the final 53-man roster?
It's a question that has been on everyone's mind at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex throughout this week of 2021 Training Camp. And thanks to Laquon Treadwell, the answer got even tougher.
Treadwell, a first-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2016 NFL Draft, had a standout collegiate career at the University of Mississippi – but was not as productive as he wanted in four seasons in Minnesota and last season with the Atlanta Falcons.
So far in '21 Jaguars training camp, he has turned heads for good reasons – and said he's not focused on the final roster selection.
"I don't have control of that," Treadwell said with a shrug Saturday after Day 9 of '21 camp practice. "I have done all that I can do. Being coachable, being consistent, getting open, continuing to put great things on film … that is all I really can focus on, and I will let the coaches handle the rest."
Jaguars passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer praised Treadwell following practice Saturday.
"He's been awesome," Schottenheimer said of Treadwell, who has 71 career receptions for 750 yards and four touchdowns in five NFL seasons. "He's picked it up quick. We've been moving him around a little. He played outside for other people. We've moved him inside. He has been very comfortable. He's a big, physical player – strong to the ball – and he can run all day."
Treadwell has been among the Jaguars' most-consistent wide receivers thus far in camp. Every day walking off the practice field there has been talk of a Treadwell catch or touchdown that got fans and his teammates cheering.
So, how did Treadwell go from only playing five games for the Falcons last season to now being one of the biggest standouts of Jaguars training camp?
He stopped caring what people think and made the commitment to take care of his mind.
"I do feel different, my mindset is different, and my focus is different than it was years before," Treadwell said. "I can't worry about too much that is in front of me: worry about where I am right now. That is the biggest difference, being in my present moment and getting better every day.
"If I felt like I was not at my standard the day before, I always try to come back with that fuel to make the play the next day."
Treadwell said he has hired a health coach to work with him on the mental side of the game, something that has been a gamechanger for how the 26-year-old receiver views his future.
"Understanding that you cannot get where you want to go on your own – I have learned that in my career," he said. "I never worked on the mental side of the game, and I have been working on it and it is showing on the field each and every day."
Treadwell says he has routine phone calls with his health coach, crediting their work for his production in the first 10 days of camp.
"I told him my story, what I have been going through in my career," Treadwell said. "He basically was like, 'Why does that matter?' It struck me… it doesn't. Whatever I have been through it does not matter in this moment. He allowed me to start fresh and not let everything else dictate how I go about my business moving forward and that has been the biggest difference on and off the field."
Jaguars defensive lineman Malcom Brown had his first media availability of '21 camp Saturday, making it known the defensive line is aware it must be much better against the run this season. Brown, acquired in a trade with the New Orleans Saints this past March, was asked if stopping the run was a constant topic among him and his defensive-line teammates. "Oh yeah, definitely," Brown said. "I think any NFL team on defense, that is what we are predicated on … stopping the run. If they can run the ball and pass at the same time, it is our job to end both."
Cornerback Shaquill Griffin had a fantastic day Saturday. During team period he made two big third-down plays, one to force an incompletion and the other forcing wide receiver Pharoh Cooper out of bounds. On the out of bounds play, the officials at practice looked at each other and complimented how Griffin used his body to make the play.