Now with Blackmon slated to miss the first four games of the regular season due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Massaquoi looks to be an opening day starter opposite Shorts in a two-receiver base offense.
The Jaguars will rely on Mohamed Massaquoi to start while Justin Blackmon serves his four-game suspension.
“We’re careful of saying, ‘Now we need more from him,’” coach Gus Bradley said. “We always want more. Regardless of Blackmon’s situation, we’re challenging him. We think that he’s got a high level, a high standard, and we’re pushing him to max out.”
Chosen in the second round, 50th overall, in 2008 out of Georgia, Massaquoi hardly lit it up for the Browns. In four years, he pulled in 118 catches for 1,745 yards, a 14.8-yard average and seven touchdowns.
The new Jaguars regime still saw upside in a 6-foot-2, 207-pound receiver.
Bradley said he thought Massaquoi was a little bit shocked by the Jaguars' early tempo in organized training activities (OTAs).
“There was a little bit of surviving going on,” Bradley said. “I think he has stepped it up now.
Massaquoi is settled in and more comfortable. Regular observers say he’s not stood out in Jacksonville’s spring work in a negative or positive way.
I liked the addition and expect him to be a contributor, as I think Jerry Sullivan is an excellent receivers coach who can find a way to get the most out of guys.
“I absolutely love Gus, love Coach Sullivan, love their approach to it, love learning from them,” Massaquoi said. “I’m working hard relearning things …
"Missing Justin is definitely a huge thing, he’s definitely a talented guy. For me coming in, even before the situation, I wanted to come in and learn as much as I could from Sullivan and refine my game as much as possible, put the best product on the field that I can.”
For a fifth year and a second act, he wants to do more and seems confident that he will. Blackmon is getting plenty of work now. At some point in training camp the Jaguars will have to taper that to ensure they are ready to play four games without him.
In the first quarter of the season, Massaquoi should find a big chance to produce.
“Cleveland didn’t go exactly the way that I envisioned it,” he said. “So whenever you do get a second chance at anything, a new opportunity, you embrace it and you attack it wholeheartedly and you go out there to do the best you can learning from the mistakes of the past.”