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Jaguars WR Chark emerging in year two

Florida Football Insiders

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Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
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In addition to “Minshew Mania” taking over North Florida as the tremendous play of rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew continues, the Jaguars have seen their second round pick from last year blossom into his top target.

There were many who questioned whether former LSU second round pick, D.J. Chark, could become a quality number one receiver in the National Football League? But, those questions and doubts are starting to subside.

This after Chark continues to deliver, week after week, including last week’s wild 34 – 27 loss at Carolina.

In Sunday’s game Chark was targeted 11 times, caught eight balls for 164 yarsds and two touchdowns. His gaudy 20.5 yards per catch is also something that defenses are having to scheme and adjust for early in 2019.

Chark has definitely developed a chemistry with Minshew, especially on deep balls helping the Jaguars stretch the defense. And, it’s no coincidence that Minshew being able to throw the ball down field has helped open up run lanes for Leonard Fournette.

Fournette  continues to smash defenses, including having 108 yards on 23 carries against the Panthers last Sunday. You combine that with Fournette’s career high 225 yard performance the previous week in Denver, and he is now leading the AFC in rushing.

Back to Chark. His performance last Sunday put him in great company in Jacksonville Jaguars receiving history:

Yes, only Jimmy Smith, from the original Jaguars teams of the 1990’s had a game like Chark did Sunday in Carolina. That’s high praise.

Clearly, Chark has room to improve on route running and now, he will likely see even more double-teaming after getting off to such a fantastic start this season.

Coach Doug Marrone told the media Monday,

“DJ has high expectations of himself. He has worked extremely hard. It always goes back to that. He’s playing well for us. We’re happy that he’s playing well. He’s playing with an air of confidence about him and it’s something we hope to continue each week.”

Now let’s see if Chark can sustain it.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars to get Nick Foles back to practice

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are in need of some positive news and it looks like they have some regarding injured quarterback Nick Foles.

Foles, who’s been out since an injury in game one, will apparently be back at practice starting next week

Coach Doug Marrone told the media Friday that their prized free agent acquisition is anxious to get back:

Foles was injured in the first quarter of the Jaguars opening game with the Kansas City Chiefs suffering a fractured left collarbone. And, the team has been aiming for him to be back at some point in the middle of the season.

ESPN’s Jaguars beat reporter Mike DiRocco’s tweet references that it apparently be the November 17th game with the Colts, as the goal.

In Foles is absence, Jacksonville has turned rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew. Minshew has become somewhat of a cult phenomenon in North Florida leading Jacksonville to a couple of wins including a dramatic last-second victory in week four in Denver. The team further embraced Minshew by passing out some 30,000 replica mustaches at last week’s home game with the Saints, to like what the rookie sports as part of his image.

Minshew, however, had a tough time with the Saints defense throwing for only 14 of 29 for 163 yards without a TD and an INT. He’s expected to have an easier time with the 0-6 hapless Bengals this Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Jags have optimism that Foles will be able to spark them in the second half of the season.

Jacksonville landed Foles in free agency this past March of his Super Bowl winning performance two years ago and did so, by guaranteeing him $50 million on a four-year contract. That’s the richest deal that the Jags have never given to a quarterback in their 25-year franchise history.

And, they have hoped all along that his veteran leadership and downfield passing arm will provide their offensive some needed help.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars VP Coughlin on Ramsey trade- “time came to move on”

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have made the decision to part with problem Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Wednesday morning the team made its first statement about it.

Jacksonville VP of football Tom Coughlin released a statement through the team website and social media about the deal they made with the Rams for the disgruntled Ramsey:

As we wrote Tuesday night, Coughlin and Ramsey not seeing eye to eye basically forced a move to be made. However, the Jaguars should be credited, as they waited and got two number one picks, as well as a mid-round pick in return for a player that has previously been an All-Pro at his position.

The soap opera boiled over in week two, when Ramsey got into things on the sidelines with coach Doug Marrone over Marrone not challenging a completion to receiver DeAndre Hopkins, whom Ramsey had been covering.

As we had been told at that time Ramsey and Marrone and cleared the air. However, his bigger problem had been with Coughlin and a meeting they had after the Houston game led Ramsey to demand a trade. This as, Coughlin would ultimately be in charge of approving a long-term contract extension for Ramsey be on this year, and that wasn’t going to be likely.

The Jaguars and the Rams also completed a big trade a year ago when Jacksonville dealt away defensive end  and former top five pick, Dante Fowler, for third and fifth round picks in return. Fowler went on to have a good year down the stretch in L.A. and ended up helping them make the Super Bowl.

Ramsey also comes to Hollywood at a bargain in the short term for the Rams, as he is only making the prorated remainder of his $2.4 million salary for this year.

The Rams and GM Les Snead can also decide to keep Ramsey for his fifth year option at $13.7 million for 2020.

And, the Rams cleared some salary-cap room, and at Ramsey’s position, when they traded defensive back Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens earlier on Tuesday. L.A. is in the “win now” mode, and not only did not have a first-round pick this past draft, but also do not have one in the next two drafts after the deal for Ramsey.

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