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Keenan McCardell on Jaguars not having true No. 1 receiver: ‘I like it because everybody is involved’

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars-OTA Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

For the past few years, the Jacksonville Jaguars have had a true No. 1 receiver in Allen Robinson. His talent, athleticism, and work ethic made him the unquestioned leader of an otherwise good but not great receiving group.

Now with Robinson gone and the Jaguars investing in Marqise Lee and Donte Moncrief instead, the receivers room doesn’t have a clear No. 1 guy. Will it be the guy who’s been here the longest? Or the guy who got paid nearly $10 million this year to come here? What about a guy like Keelan Cole who’s clearly talented but is still only in his second year?

Or what if the Jaguars coaching staff is okay with not having a No. 1 receiver?

When asked what he thinks of a wide receiver group having everyone contribute instead of having a No. 1 receiver, receivers coach Keenan McCardell seemed to like the idea:

“I like it because everybody is involved. Everybody stays sharp and involved. Don’t get me wrong, to have an Antonio Brown, a Julio Jones or somebody like that, it makes it probably a lot easier for [offensive coordinator] Nate [Hackett] as a play caller. I tell guys that we are developing those type of guys. It is great to be able to have a group of guys that you can always count on anyone of those guys to make a play. It is a little bit easier for him [Hackett] because he has a choice of different styles of receivers and just say that you have one guy and you have to put all the pressure on one guy and the other guys will step up. It is great to have a multitude of receivers that can make plays ... Right now there are a lot of guys. I coach it like this — everybody should be able to play all the positions.”

Last year, Cole led the receivers with 748 yards. Lee was right behind him with 702 yards, but after that the drop off was pretty significant. Allen Hurns finished with 484 yards in 10 games, Dede Westbrook had 339 yards in seven games, and Jaydon Mickens had just 77 yards. That’s just 2,350 yards between the top five receivers and nothing more than 318 receiver yards from a tight end. Even with a strong running game and stout defense, those numbers will have to get better for the Jaguars to improve upon last year.