In the second of our Ninety-Nine Yards pieces from the Jacksonville Jaguars press conference we caught up with Jaguars receiver Chris Conley. Conley, in his fifth year in the NFL but his first as a Jaguar after four years with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has already made an impact, catching 21 passes for 429 yards and two touchdowns.
I addressed the proposition of facing a Texans secondary that has given up a lot of yards through the air in recent weeks. Chris said, “It doesn’t really affect the way I approach it. If anyone is able to play at this level in the NFL at this level they have talent, they have skill. They have guys in that secondary who have experience, Jonathan Joseph is one of the top cornerbacks in this league. He’s a route reader and I’ve played against him a number of times and he’s made a lot of plays. You’ve got to take this game very seriously at the receiver position and it doesn’t really matter what people say about them statistically, they’re going to show up and play their best game”.
Conley is expecting the Texans to focus on stopping running back Leonard Fournette, who is averaging an impressive 4.9 yards per carry. However, he also noted that, “Being aggressive and trying to stop the run means that they have to be aggressive on the outside. The cornerbacks are going to walk up and play some man coverage . When they feel like it they may drop eight and play everyone in coverage just to try and throw us off but I think that they’ll have a game plan where they try and negate some of the success we had there last time”.
One interesting aspect that Chris spoke about was the impact of the Microsoft Surface tablets on the game. He mentioned the ability to come off the field and see a birds-eye view of they pays they’ve just run in between series. This gives the team the ability to see the what the defence are doing and make adjustments, for example speeding up has routes if the defence throw in an exotic blitz.
In a game that could see Dede Westbrook inactive through injury, Conley should get more opportunities opposite D.J. Chark. Facing a Texans defense that will be missing JJ Watt and may be forced to field a young secondary Gardner Minshew should look to Conley early and often.