Press Taylor: Travis Etienne’s speed is very real

NFL: MAY 23 Jacksonville Jaguars OTA Offseason Workouts
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Among the things we’re waiting to see in Doug Pederson‘s first year as the Jaguars head coach is how the team makes use of running back Travis Etienne.

The 2021 first-round pick was on track to have a big role as a rookie, but a Lisfranc injury got in the way of those plans and he got to take on an observer’s role as the Urban Meyer experiment blew up in the team’s face. He’s healthy now, though, and he’s been talking about taking on a multi-faceted portfolio similar to the one that Deebo Samuel plays for the 49ers.

Offensive coordinator Press Taylor said the team is still sorting out his exact usage, but that Etienne is playing fast and showing the team that he’ll be able to take on a lot of different things this season.

“The speed’s real,” Taylor said. “I mean that was obviously something everybody knew coming out of college not having a chance to see a lot of the stuff he was able to do last year because he wasn’t able to play, so the speed’s very real. He did a good job of just showing understanding of the different roles we’re trying to see. We’re throwing him in all different positions just to see what he’s comfortable with, what he needs to work on as we move forward, give him plans moving further into summer coming back for training camp. But he’s been really receptive to everything. He’s shown an ability to grasp a lot of different things and show that he’s capable of doing things.”

Whatever the Jaguars record, the 2022 season will be seen as a step forward if quarterback Trevor Lawrence can make serious progress in his second season. Having his college teammate displaying that speed and skill on a regular basis would be a big boost to that effort.

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