#NFLBeast #NFL #NFLTwitter #NFLUpdate #NFLNews #NFLBlogs
#Jacksonville #Jaguars #JacksonvilleJaguars #AFC
By: James Johnson
The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t have a lot of bright spots last season, but receiver and returner Jamal Agnew was certainly one of them. He was dynamic on special teams, turning in a kick-six and kickoff for touchdowns, which left some feeling like he was on his way to another All-Pro specialist nomination.
Agnew also impressed as a receiver and was a solid target for quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He gave the offense speed, which was something it lacked. Unfortunately, it was the phase of the game that caused him to sustain a gruesome hip injury in November, though, and he ended up on the injured reserve as a result.
James Robinson is at practice, standing off to side with Travis Etienne
Not wearing a brace of any kind that I can see
Jamal Agnew was also our at practice running in weighted vest for second straight week #Jaguars#DUUUVAL
— Mia O’Brien (@MiaOBrienTV) May 31, 2022
Agnew hasn’t been able to take the field for team-related drills so far as a result, though 1010 XL’s Mia O’Brian did spot him off on the side working out in a weighted vest. That said, the Jags’ staff is in a predicament where they’ve had to try out others at the return positions, just in case Agnew isn’t ready to roll Week 1 of the regular season.
On Tuesday, coach Doug Pederson discussed some options that the team has been looking at. His list included a somewhat surprising name in receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who is one of the biggest question marks on the team.
Pederson added that receiver Christian Kirk and rookie running back Snoop Conner were also getting looks there, so it appears the team has keyed in on at least three options in the return game.
”We’re working a lot of guys back there right now,” Pederson said. “Laviska [Shenault Jr.]’s been back there fielding some punts and some of the younger guys in some of the kickoff stuff and some of running backs now with Snoop [Conner] in here, getting him some time. But it’s a little early, obviously. We’re working about eight to ten guys back there between punts and kickoff returns. That’s an area that we have to improve obviously.
“We know Jamal [Agnew] can handle it, but at the same time, we have to come away [with other options]. Christian [Kirk]’s been back there a little bit too. I’m just thinking of some of the guys that are there. But it’s a position that we have to make sure that we have, if Jamal can’t go to start the year, that we have confidence in the next person.”
Of course, with Shenault being utilized on offense since he was drafted two seasons ago, his usage as a returner in organized team activities immediately struck the reporters in attendance as interesting. However, according to Pederson, it was Shenault who came to the staff to express his interest in returning.
“He came to us. This was a couple of weeks ago,” Pederson said. “I just walked up to him on the field and just asked him if he’s ever done it and he’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve done it before’ and this and that and I said, ‘Why don’t you just get back there?’ So, we had a little conversation on the field, and he’s been good. He’s embraced it. He’s such a big, powerful guy, that’d be an ideal spot for him obviously to help this football team as well.”
It’s good to see Shenault embracing different ways to help the team as things are a little crowded on offense right now. However, the added competition is something he told News4Jax that he’s embraced.
As for his potential as a returner, Shenault’s strength could make him a problem to tackle as a returner like Pederson said. According to Pro Football Focus, he has caused 36 missed tackles throughout 121 career receptions over his first two seasons. That’s second-most amongst all receivers since he was drafted.
Time will tell how Shenault is used offensively and how he fares as a returner. Thankfully, with more OTA dates left and training camp set to take place next month, there is plenty of time to figure it out for the third-year receiver.
“Touchdown Jaguars!” will be published weekly, giving Jags Wire readers a new go-to podcast to hear the latest in news, rumors, and more. To stay up to date, subscribe via Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and feel free to rate and comment.
Originally posted on Jaguars Wire