Urban Meyer met with the media on Friday at 8 am and shared his thoughts on the Jaguars' roster post-free-agency.
Top Eight Defensive Front
It should come as no surprise — Urban said the defensive line would be the top priority in team building — but he feels strongly about the four defensive linemen the Jaguars signed this week. They brought in Roy Robertson-Harris, Tyson Alualu, Malcom Brown, and Jihad Ward. Urban has big expectations for the Jaguars' defensive front. He repeatedly mentioned wanting his defensive line to be top 1/4 of the league and that's his expectation for this group.
Still Searching for an F Tight End
Meyer feels confident in Chris Manhertz, who the Jaguars signed to a two-year deal this week. But Manhertz will align as the Y tight end, essentially an inline blocker who can also catch passes from time to time. But Meyer says the Jags aren't done when it comes to getting the F tight end, also known as a move tight end. He likes what he's seen from James O'Shaughnessy, who the team re-signed on Wednesday, but they aren't done there.
"That was a high priority," said Meyer. "We have two different style of tight ends, one is a 'Y,' which is—on the line, basically an extension of your offensive line, a very good blocker, but also very functional in the pass game. We identified the guy, had him at the top of the list and that's [Chris] Manhertz and we got him. I've not met him, he's coming in today, but I'm—we all are extremely excited about him. He was exactly what we wanted and we got him. The next one is the 'F' and that's the primary pass catcher, but also a functional blocker. We have not addressed that. [James] O'Shaughnessy—two years ago, O'Shaughnessy had a very good year, showed a lot of potential. Obviously, he had an ACL injury, he's been in here training, I've gotten to know him, really enjoy being around him. So, we count on him, but we have not finalized that piece of the puzzle yet. But the 'Y' part–we all feel extremely strong about Manhertz."
Confident in WRs, but Wants More
Urban Meyer raved about DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault and called newly signed wideout Marvin Jones a "heck of a player." He complimented Phillip Dorsett's speed and pass-catching ability. But the Jaguars' head coach made it pretty clear that he's going to add more receivers before all is said and done.
"Yeah, speed is something I've always believed in and Phillip Dorsett answers that question. His production, you can channel it—which I will channel it, I haven't even really met him yet, I haven't even talked to him, I'll see him, I believe, today. But he's blessed with incredible physical qualities, he catches the ball well, on top of the fact, he's [got] great speed. So, we addressed that need and we're still not done, I don't mind addressing that. But the one position that I've been pleased with and I actually—when I first started watching the Jaguars, DJ Chark [Jr.] and Laviska [Shenault Jr.] are two guys that I think you can build. They're young, I've spent a lot of time with them, they've been in to see me, they're anxious, they're ready to go. I hired an excellent receiver coach in Sanjay Lal. That position is going to be a huge part of our offense and we felt—we didn't make a run or at least look at that whole, because there's a lot of good players out there—but once again, you start looking at the value which is a term that I've learned to really appreciate, value, the value player. And I think Marvin [Jones] is at an extremely high value for how we came across that. Of all the guys we signed, there were two—he's one that my phone has blown up over the last few days from colleagues and friends that I've known that tell me about what kind of—not only player—but leader [that he is]. So, he's got to be a leader in that room and Sanjay feels very strongly that he can do that. [He's a] heck of a player, too. I mean, on video tape, I really love watching that guy play."
Feels Great About Top Four Cornerbacks
When it comes to the Jaguars' top four cornerbacks, Urban Meyer is impressed.
"Sidney Jones as well, so we have three guys that we feel are great. One was a second rounder CB Sidney Jones IV, but obviously Shaquill Griffin, we feel very strong about. CJ has gone through his labrum surgery, and he's doing very well. The good thing about those three, if they play like we expect, Tre Herndon is another guy that has done some very good things here. I really like his competitiveness. He's working really hard. Those four players to me, if you can have two guys that can play man coverage and you can go inside like we did at Ohio State when we had [Ohio State CB] Shaun Wade there, if your third player can play man coverage, that's exactly where you need to be. So, I really like where we're at with the four corners and that was obviously after d-line, that's right where we went was to go fix the corner position."
Gardner Minshew is not on the trade block ... for now
"At this point, no. At this point, I know Gardner [Minshew II] a little bit. He came in yesterday; we had a good visit. That's the second time I spent time with him. This is all kind of new to me. I'm used to spending about five, six hours a day with our quarterback. January, February, that's the days you get your quarterback ready to go. You can't do that in the NFL. There's a lot of anticipation about the first pick. I understand there's a lot of conversation out there, but there's been no decisions made. Gardner's done some very good things here in Jacksonville and he's a competitive maniac, which I really appreciate that about him. So, there's been no decisions made. Yesterday was the first lengthy meeting we had and we're going to continue that here for the next few weeks."
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