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OTAs Day 8: McCardell speaks, practice continues


JACKSONVILLE – They're young, balanced and talented.

Keenan McCardell is a fan of the last trait that describes the Jaguars' wide receivers – and he feels good about the group in general.

"I like what I'm seeing," McCardell said Tuesday shortly before the eighth Jaguars 2018 Organized Team Activities practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Fields.

McCardell, now in his second season as the Jaguars' wide receivers coach, covered a lot of topics Tuesday while speaking with the media, praising individual players such as Dede Westbrook, Donte Moncrief, DJ Chark, Rashad Greene Sr. and Marqise Lee.

He said Moncrief has adapted well since joining the team as an unrestricted free agent from Indianapolis in March, and said Lee is being eased into OTA work after offseason knee surgery.

"He's the catalyst of our group," McCardell said. "Our group goes as he goes."

McCardell also discussed Chark, the team's second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.

"He's a very talented kid who loves to play football," McCardell said. "He's very coachable. He gives you that speed that we were looking for outside. He's going to have an opportunity to stretch the defense for us. I'm looking forward to it. He's another pair of young legs that can run."

The Jaguars' wide receivers have undergone significant change this offseason, with veteran Allen Hurns being released before signing with the Dallas Cowboys and veteran Allen Robinson signing with the Chicago Bears as an unrestricted free agent. The team signed Moncrief as a free agent, re-signed Lee as a free agent and selected Chark in the draft in late April.

"This is a time for us to continue to get better, and see some things from different guys," McCardell said. "Sometimes as a receiver coach you see guys do one thing to their strength. You want to try to do something about their weaknesses, put them in situations and see how they adjust and see how they look in some of their weak points. A lot of guys have stepped up."

Lee led the Jaguars' receivers last season with 56 receptions for 702 yards and three touchdowns, with Cole catching 42 passes for 748 yards and three touchdowns. Westbrook played nine games, catching 27 passes for 339 yards and a touchdown.

Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett last week said he had no problem with the offense not having "a true No. 1 receiver," and McCardell on Tuesday agreed – to a point.

"I like it because everybody is involved; everybody stays sharp and involved," he said, adding with a smile, "Don't get me wrong; to have Antonio Brown [of the Pittsburgh Steelers] or Julio Jones [of the Atlanta Falcons] or somebody like that … it makes it a lot easier for Nate as a play caller.

"But I tell guys, 'We're developing those types of guys.' He [Hackett] has a choice of different styles of receivers. It's great to have a multitude of receivers who can make plays."

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