Keenan McCardell is in his third season as the wide receiver coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, returning to the team alongside his former coach Tom Coughlin in 2017. His impact was immediately felt by the team, as he coached rookies Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook to strong rookie seasons after injuries derailed the seasons of top wideouts Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. The production of the young receivers helped the Jaguars to a 10-6 record and an AFC Championship run.
The 2018 season was a different story, however. A knee injury to Marqise Lee ended his season before it even began, and the Jaguars were plagued by inconsistent play from their young receivers. This, coupled with poor play at the quarterback position, helped the Jaguars to a disappointing 5-11 season.
It is consistency, McCardell stated, that he is most concerned with in training camp so far. “When you’re young, you kind of go up and down, up and down…They have to be a little more consistent and understand that every day you come out, it’s a work day.”
One of the things McCardell pointed to as they look to improve the unit is the return of Lee. “Getting Marqise back will be big,” McCardell said. “He’s our biggest leader in our room.”
McCardell is also optimistic regarding the impact new Jaguars QB Nick Foles will have on the wide recievers. “He’s a natural leader, he gets those guys. He asks them their input on certain routes…He makes sure that they see it the way he sees it. That’s the most important thing with a guy like Nick.”
During his 17-year NFL career, McCardell caught 883 passes for 11,373 yards and 63 touchdowns (499 receptions, 6,393 yards, and 30 touchdowns with Jacksonville), winning two Super Bowls along the way (Washington, Tampa). His 883 receptions and 11,373 yards are 23rd and 33rd in NFL history, respectively. McCardell was recently named the seventh best player in Jaguars history by the Jacksonville sports media.
Hear my entire exclusive interview with Keenan McCardell below.