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Transcript - Jaguars Wide Receiver DJ Chark Jr.: June 3, 2021

(On how the NFL can help athletes take care of their mental health) "I think right now they're doing a good job by acknowledging it. I think that's the biggest thing. We brought in a doctor that helps with that, mainly just for moral support if you need it, always there, always around. I think that's the first step. You can't really force someone to open up or do things like that but providing them with the place and the space to do so is big. I think as long as we continue to move towards allowing players to express themselves, having a place where they can find in, that's huge, definitely at the professional level."

(On his wife's role in becoming a mental health advocate) "My wife [Chantelle Chark] now, then girlfriend since college, always supported me when it came to having those deep conversations. I was able to support her, she was able to support me, and we were able to be more open. With that, I gained confidence in myself. I had a great support staff at LSU as well where I was able to gain confidence. Once I got the confidence to speak on it, I'm not afraid to open up and be a guy to talk about it because I'm very confident now in my ability, my things that I can bring to the table, and the people that I can help. If I can help even one, two, three people, that's big, so I don't mind speaking at all." 

(On being a new dad to daughter Mackenzie) "[It] depends on how she's feeling. It's tough. It's tough at times being a new parent, but I'm always there to support. I'm always there when she's crying at 3 a.m., 4 a.m. if her mom's not already on it or if she's struggling with it, I'm willing to jump in. It's tough when you have to be up here early in the morning but I'd rather now then during the season, so shoutout to Mackenzie for cooperating and coming at a great time for us."

(On the offense and QB Trevor Lawrence) "I like it. It's still building. We have a long way to go, but definitely can see the attention to detail that everyone on the team has, definitely on offense. We're all speaking the same language. We know where we're supposed to be when we're supposed to be there. Everybody's upping their game this year and the competition is great. The camaraderie, the teamwork is good. There's a lot of support going on, and that's credit to the staff as well. Then you have talented players, you have Trevor [Lawrence] who's still learning, but the talent is definitely there. He doesn't mind throwing it, doesn't mind slinging it, which is something that's going to help this offense for sure. We still have a way to go to get to where we want to be, but it's not a bad start at all."

(On QB Trevor Lawrence's performance in practice today) "I think he did well. If I'm not mistaken, he threw me some pretty good balls today, which is cool. I like catching those. But every day is a step. One thing that I've learned during these OTAs is we have a very competitive team. The defense is not going to make it easy for us at all, so we have to ride that and take it. Any time that we do complete passes like that today, that's a credit to the work we've been putting in or that he's been putting in. Once again, it's just OTA's right now, so by the time that first game gets here, it's going to be way more of those type plays being made."

(On Head Coach Urban Meyer saying that he needs to play better than he did last year) "I like it. I love the challenge. I also told Coach that I'm like that. When I go out there, I ball. I love talking to Coach Meyer. He's a competitor. He's going to push me. He also knows I'm going to do what I do; I'm going to step up, I'm going to make plays. He's given me good advice, told me to go get in the weight room. I get in the weight room, I put the weight on, but I know, once again, I'm like that. But I love when he pushes me to be better than what I am. To make him happy, you really have to be balling, so I have to step it up to make him happy. But it's definitely a good push, I like having a guy like that, an alpha that's going to push you to be an alpha."

(On how he felt about his performance after last season) "We were 1-15, I don't think anybody played as well as we wanted to. It wasn't my best at all. There were times where I let the circumstances control my output. Which if I'm going to be the guy I want to be, I have to be that guy all the time, so I take credit for that. I think I finished with like 700 yards or something like that, which I feel like I'm way better than that, but due to a few missed games and just some games that weren't good … At the end of the day, the NFL is hard to get yards either way it goes. I definitely think I can be way better than what I was last year. That's definitely the floor for me the rest of my career. I won't be going back there."

(On focusing on weightlifting versus speed) "I was very big in the weight room at LSU. I got to the NFL kind of focused more so on skill work. You have to keep the fundamentals and keep the weightlifting going, and I feel like that's a part of my game that I lack. So, every year I find something to make myself better. I had to re-motivate myself to get in weight room, but now it's smooth, it's easy. I enjoy stepping on the scale and seeing my weight. I enjoy looking bigger, feeling bigger, running faster. Credit to the staff that we have here, the weight room, the guys, the intensity that we bring. I really enjoy it. It makes it a place I don't mind going and getting some work in. I'm not hiding from the weight room. I'm pretty excited, I like it."

(On Head Coach Urban Meyer providing the best of the best for the team) "Hearing it sounds good, but actually seeing it is different. Seeing the progress that we've been doing since this new staff, this new era really took over, it's like practicing what you preach. Once you show guys that we're not only saying it, but we are building these things, we are putting extra time in, we are listening to you, asking about your body, what you can do better. I think that's the biggest thing. That's why we have so many guys here because they're holding up their end of the bargain. They're holding up their end, we have no problem holding up our end. We enjoy being pushed, especially I do. So, hats off and credit to those guys for bringing that energy."

(On WR Marvin Jones Jr. and Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal) "I love it. I love both of those guys. Coach Sanjay is a great teacher. He studies the game. He's breaking everything down like to a science, kind of like you're in school, but then we're also going out on the field and doing it, so you see it. He's not one of those guys to practice it on Tuesday and we don't talk about it again until next Tuesday. He's big on carrying our individual into our team period and things like that. To be doing that now [during] OTA's and to continue to have those soundbites from him is big to put into our repertoire. I really enjoy being pushed and learn from him. Also, Marvin [Jones Jr.]'s just a great guy. You turn on the film, you see what he can do year in and year out, very consistent. [He's a] great guy, great family man, great role model, person that I really enjoy having in the room. But it's always a good feeling to know that you have a top dog in there that defenses have to respect and that makes me pick up my game because I always want to be the best on the field. If he's out there making plays, I have to go make plays too. [It's] like friendly competition, but it's only going to get us to where we want to be at and get this team to where we want to be at. As long as he's upping his game, I'm upping my game, the next guy has to up his game, and that's how the room becomes better."

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