Through the first week of OTAs, the focus has as expected been on new quarterback Nick Foles and how the assumed elevation of the quarterback position that came with his signing in March would show on the practice field, especially with regards to how a more consistent performance under center could impact the performance of a much maligned receivers group. While Foles has received relatively high marks through his first week on the field as a Jaguar from those who have been able to be in attendance, it’s been a familiar face for the quarterback that has thus far seemed to reap the most rewards on the field.
Although many have speculated that Chris Conley would be the preferred third or fourth option at best by the team come this fall, it has been Conley who has consistently put up the most eyebrow raising performances thus far in spring practices, including the “play of the camp” thus far.
Nick Foles connects with Chris Conley on an 80-yard TD. A.J. Bouye in coverage. And absolute dime from Foles. #Jaguars— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) May 24, 2019
Chris Conley always seems to find the open areas in the defensive coverage. He’s had a strong week catching the football.— John Reid (@JohnReid64) May 24, 2019
A lot of the early chemistry can be attributed to Foles and Conley having played together during Foles’ time in Kansas City, where they became close friends. Foles reportedly lobbied hard for Conley to sign with the Jaguars once his deal with the team was completed, and Conley confirmed their rapport during an interview with the team’s website following his signing.
Conley is coming off the most productive season of his young career, catching 32 balls for 334 yards and 5 touchdowns with a 10.4 yards per catch average, while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs’ prolific offense. While those aren’t gaudy numbers necessarily, they weren’t bad for a guy who was sharing touches with guys like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, and Kareem Hunt.
Whatever the reason for their early success on the practice field, if the progress continues throughout the summer— particularly with the deep passing game— it will be a much welcomed surprise for the Jaguars, and a huge added dimension to what has been a portion of the offense the franchise has severely lacked.