Jacksonville hopes to turn ACC’s all-time leading running back Travis Etienne into a hybrid weapon capable of fielding on either side of the offense.
JACKSONVILLE — Trevor Lawrence received a lower workload, while Travis Etienne he got everything he could carry … in another position.
The Jacksonville Jaguars they had Etienne taking most of his reps as a wide receiver during rookie minicamp, kicking off the process of converting the ACC’s all-time leading rider into a versatile weapon that you can line up on either side: the backfield, open, or the slot.
“In the worst case scenario, you have a running back with the skills of a wide receiver,” explained the head coach. Urban Meyer. “In the best case scenario, you have a hybrid player who does both, and that’s what we hope to develop with Travis“.
Meyer finalized the plan in his mind from the moment Jaguars they selected Etienne with turn 25 global in the Draft 2021, Y Etienne he was totally convinced when Meyer told him the next day that he arrived at Jacksonville, who would spend most of his time learning the basics of the wide receiver position.
“I feel great about it,” he revealed. Etienne. “It’s going to help me maximize my opportunity and abilities. I feel like the coach knows what he’s doing and I think it will work well … football is a match-up game. We just try to get the best matches. I feel like he knows what he’s doing. and I think it will work fine. “
One of the reasons why Etienne Return to Clemson for his senior season it was to show that he could be a reliable receiver. In addition to imposing a trademark of the ACC with 4,952 yards and 70 rushing touchdowns with the Tigers, Etienne He also caught 102 passes for 1,155 yards and eight touchdowns, including 48 receptions for 588 yards and two touchdowns in 2020.
Meyer’s hope is that Etienne can become another Percy Harvin, who was one of the most dynamic players in the country when he played for Meyer on the University of Florida. Harvin He lined up in the backfield, in the slot and wide receiver, and rushed for 1,852 yards with 19 touchdowns in addition to catching 133 passes for 1,929 yards with 13 touchdowns in three seasons for the Gators.
“I am proud that I can have work, that I can receive those repetitions now,” he said. Lawrence about Etienne. “He’s such a dynamic player. He can do a lot of different things, but it’s something he’s not very used to. Clemson basically he was always in the backfield all the time. He ran a lot of routes out of the backfield, but opening up as a receiver is something he didn’t do much.
“It’s great to see him out there, working, learning something new. Just seeing the improvements he makes every day is a great thing.”
It is not clear how much work he would have received Etienne as a runner during rookie minicamp thanks to the limited workload the team determined to Lawrence while returning from field recess surgery on the left shoulder labrum. He was limited to just 30 to 40 passes, and Meyer He also said that the Jaguars They didn’t want me to be receiving the ball from the center or handing out runners, to make sure the shoulder wasn’t hit.
“We are concerned that that arm may suffer a blow now,” he said. Meyer. “They told me that the labrum is healthy after three months, and it’s been three months, but we can’t have a guy on the ground. It’s the most important thing: you have to keep people away from him.
“The pitching count is not as important as keeping him on his feet.”
Meyer said Lawrence He was to be fully discharged in time for the start of training camp at the end of July. Lawrence He said the shoulder feels great and has a full range of motion, although the team is also limiting how much weight it can lift. He said he’s looking forward to getting back to a full load of passes for practice.
“Obviously, it is what I want to do now, but I know that there is a correct way to do things and be cautious and put myself in the best position, so I am relying on that,” he explained Lawrence. “It’s the medical side, the coaches, they’re all on the same page. We have a good plan. We know what we’re doing and I’m trusting in it, and it won’t be long before I’m fully involved.”
Nor does it seem like it will be long before the Jaguars companies a Tim Tebow. Meyer He said coaches would determine Sunday if they wanted to sign the former quarterback to play tight end.
“I imagine the decision will come soon,” he announced Meyer. “… Our entire focus is on [los novatos] now”.
The rookie defensive tackle Jay Tufele did not participate, and Meyer said Tufele He tested positive and negative for COVID-19, so the team chose to sideline him. The cornerback Tyson Campbell he suffered a mild hamstring strain on Friday, and was limited on Saturday.