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OTA 4: Greene shutting out noise


JACKSONVILLE – Rashad Greene Sr. knows about the outside noise.

That doesn't mean the third-year wide receiver is motivated by outside opinions or perception. He has enough on which to focus this offseason, and he said Tuesday that focus is very much on reestablishing himself as a key member of the Jaguars' receiving corps and special teams.

"I'm focused, man," Greene said on Tuesday's fourth day of Jaguars 2017 organized team activities at EverBank Field. "I'm mentally strong. I'm getting physically stronger. I'm just good."

Perception and status can change fast in the NFL, and Green's situation indeed is dramatically different than a year ago.

Greene, a fifth-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft from Florida State University, last offseason appeared to be a rising star on a receiving corps full of such players. He flashed as a rookie on special teams, and the thought inside the team was Greene was developing into the team's third receiver and slot receiver.

Greene, who caught 19 passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie while returning 18 punts for a 16.7-yard average and a touchdown, instead struggled throughout 2016. He caught five passes for 32 yards, and fumbled four punts while averaging 6.2 yards on 21 returns and missing the last five regular-season games with an Achilles injury.

It was the second consecutive season Greene had missed significant time with an injury. A thumb injury kept him out of eight games as a rookie.

In the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft the Jaguars selected Dede Westbrook, a player who could return punts and could play a role in the slot. With Westbrook joining a receiver corps that also includes fourth-year veterans Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns, competition for potential fifth- and sixth receiver positions likely will be tight.

"You go through adversity sometimes," Greene said. "You have to overcome it as a player – and in life, in general. My head is just being focused on every little detail, every little thing. I'm just moving forward trying to get better every day.

"My mindset hasn't changed since I was in high school. I'm not going to change that. I'm going to be who I am. I'm going to go out there and try to make plays and help my team. I'm a team person. I feel like all the other stuff is going to take care of itself."

Greene said he gets that fans, media and Jaguars observers don't discuss him as much as they did a year ago.

"That's fine," he said. "That's typical. People talk about guys who are making plays, but I'm not worried about that. … I'm a very nonchalant person. I could care less if you've got positive or negative to say about me. I appreciate everything that comes my way, whether it goes well or doesn't.

"I have goals I want to achieve, so none of the outside stuff matters. I want to be the best I can be. I have my support system. That's what's important to me."

Included in that support system is Lee, a 2014 second-round selection by the Jaguars.

Lee last offseason faced a similar circumstance to the one currently facing Greene. He had shown flashes in 2014 and 2015, but various injuries kept him from reaching his full potential. Lee spent the 2016 offseason and season focusing on being healthy, and the result was the best season of his career.

"Me and him have this conversation all the time," Greene said. "I know his approach last year was, 'Regardless, I've got to go out here and do it.' That's the same thing for me: I can't let little things slow me down. If I can play with it, I'm going to keep going. You've got to fight through it."

Greene said that's his overall approach – not just this month, but in training camp.

Yes, his circumstance has changed – and yes, there are those outside the team who wonder about his role and spot on the team. But Greene said he can't control that and won't spend time trying.

"If I worry about what others have to say, then I'm focused on the wrong things," Greene said. "I have to worry about myself, getting myself better. I have a standard that I live up to, and that's most important. I want to go out there and be satisfied with myself more than trying to satisfy other people.

"You can't let your confidence drift because things happen. You can't name a player that didn't go through a slump, or had difficult times. That doesn't exist, regardless of whether it was in college, high school or professional. You're going to face adversity, and you've got to take it full force on."

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