While the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to be without wide receivers Marqise Lee and Cecil Shorts Sunday in their home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they’ll still have a few big bodies in rookies Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns for rookie quarterback Blake Bortles to throw to.
While many of you should already know quite a bit about Robinson being as he is Penn State product who was drafted in the second round back in May, it’s Hurns who actually currently leads the Jaguars in receiving yardage with 254 yards through four games.
During his weekly talk with the media Thursday, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau let it be known that Hurns, an undrafted free agent out of Miami, is a receiver that can deliver big plays for the Jaguars.
“They have a lot of big strike plays. Their one receiver (Hurns) is I think second in the league in yards per catch,” said LeBeau. “They’re getting the ball up the field. That’s what we can’t allow.”
The 6-1, 195 pound Hurns is averaging 21.2 yards per catch so far this season and five of his 12 catches have gone for 21 or more yards. When you consider that the Steelers defense has already allowed 14 pass plays of 20 yards or more in their first four games, you can see why Hurns might not be easily contained Sunday.
During his senior year at Miami, Hurns led the Hurricanes in receiving with his 1,162 yards and six touchdowns on 62 receptions in 13 games played. While not a blazer, 96 of Hurns’ 254 receiving yards so far this season have come after the catch.
Last week in their loss to the Buccaneers, the Steelers gave up 302 yards passing with 82 of that coming after the catch. 148 of those passing yards came in the fourth quarter.
Just because the Jaguars offensive playmakers are mostly rookies doesn’t mean that LeBeau is taking them lightly.
“They’re kind of a big strike team, gimmick if you will,” said LeBeau. “(They run) a lot of double routes, a lot of moving the quarterback (and) one play sets up another play. They have a very athletic quarterback no matter which one of them is in there. They move well.”