OTAs Week 2: Conley "just trying to adapt"

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JACKSONVILLE – Chris Conley put his task simply.

"I'm just trying to adapt," the veteran wide receiver said Tuesday.

Conley, who spoke following Tuesday's Day 4 of Jaguars 2019 organized team activities, could have been speaking about the Northeast Florida heat that pushed temperatures toward 100 degrees that day. But the veteran receiver was speaking about football.

"It's a new situation," Conley said. "I've got a new coach, new guys I'm in the huddle with, new/old quarterback, new environment, heat – all of that. I'm really just trying to adjust, find my place and make my mark."

Conley, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March after four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, has made strides toward that early in OTAs.

"I think Chris is getting better each day, kind of getting acclimated, which I think is normal in this type of period of time," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "As a coach, you don't expect everyone to come in and be at 110 percent everywhere they have to be doing that. Their mind is open, they are ready to go to work and it's a progression.

"I think where we are right now with Chris, the receivers, the team and the offense, is really good, but it's a constant challenge each and every day to keep working on that."

Conley, a third-round selection by the Chiefs in the 2015 NFL Draft, thus far in OTAs has looked like what the Jaguars hoped he would be – a veteran, experienced receiver capable of being a reliable option for new quarterback Nick Foles.

"I feel like I'm in synch," Conley said. "Our coaches have done a good job of getting me up to speed and equating things I did in the past offense I was in to what we're doing now. They've done a great job of catching me up and the quarterbacks have done a phenomenal job of giving me a chance."

Conley called Foles a new/old quarterback because while both are new to the Jaguars, they are very familiar with each other – having played together in 2016 when Foles was the backup quarterback in Kansas City.

Conley in Week 1 of OTAs last week showed good rapport with Foles, turning in the highlight play of the week when he got behind cornerback A.J. Bouye and the Jaguars' defense for a long touchdown reception on a perfect deep pass from Foles.

"I saw him [Conley] when he was in Kansas City, and you can see he has a bigger role here – more of an outside [receiver]," Bouye said. "He's definitely giving us a great look."

While Conley declined to say that being new to the Jaguars give this OTAs an added importance, he did say he had placed an emphasis on not missing anything in this early time with a new team.

"You've got to let these new guys you're playing with know that you're all business," Conley said.

Conley, who has 104 receptions for 1,238 yards in four seasons, caught five of his six career touchdowns this past season. While he said part of him wants to "prove something [to the Chiefs] and let people realize what they're missing," his primary focus is showing the Jaguars they were correct signing him.

"They took a chance on me and I'm grateful for that," he said. "I want to prove they made the right decision."

NOTABLE DIFFERENCE

Foles missed practice Tuesday for personal reasons, but Bouye on Tuesday praised the veteran quarterback's performance during last week's first three OTA 2019 practices. "It's frustrating because you have a really good quarterback," Bouye, a Pro Bowl/second-team Associated Press All-Pro selection following the 2017 season, said. "There are certain plays you were making in past years: You're there, but even though you make the right break and everything, the ball is only where the receiver can catch it. You can see that he's a leader out there the way he carries this offense. The tempo of the offense is different. They're more upbeat. They're attacking us. There was a deep ball that I broke up, but you could tell the way he [Foles] was pumping the post safety to get him off the field and then come back and read his reads … we weren't seeing that a lot [before]. That's only going to make us better going into the season.''

QUOTABLE

"We're not trying to hide anything or create any secrets. There are 31 other head coaches, there are 31 other teams out there, there are 31 other players at each position. I said that to the team today [Tuesday]: 'What gives you the advantage this year? We all have talent, everyone has talent sitting in this room; it still goes back to the same thing… it goes back to the hard work of what people may not see on the outside, how you ever portray it on the outside. People don't know how much [work] you actually put in, but the most important person in that is you.'''

--Marrone

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