Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ace Is Trying to Find Place; Rookie Receiver Shows Good Signs, but Work Still Remains

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ace Is Trying to Find Place; Rookie Receiver Shows Good Signs, but Work Still Remains

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

When Jaguars rookie receiver Ace Sanders is lined up in the slot, good things usually happen.

When he's outside, that's a different story.

The Jaguars will use the final six games of the season to try and continue to develop Sanders. That process will continue when the Jaguars (1-9) visit Houston (2-8) on Sunday. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley is pleased with Sanders' development but realizes his limitations.

Sanders caught eight passes for 61 yards while playing 42 snaps in Sunday's 27-14 loss to Arizona. However, once receiver Mike Brown hurt his shoulder, Sanders was forced to play on the perimeter, and that continues to be a trouble spot.

"We all think that Ace is really coming into his own," Bradley said. "I will say this, Mike Brown went down and then what happened? Ace moved to a different position. He had to play a different position, and there were some missed opportunities for us there. We had a route that wasn't run properly and things like that, so ideally if we can keep him at that position, you will see faster development."

Sanders has caught 24 passes for 243 yards this season. He's been shifted around because of Justin Blackmon's multiple suspensions, Stephen Burton's multiple concussions and multiple injuries to Brown.

"He's really good in the slot," Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne said. "Due to some of the injuries, he's moved around. He should've been a slot receiver throughout this whole year. He's definitely an explosive player, and he's doing some really good things."

Sanders realizes the work he has ahead of him. However, he also has a tremendous opportunity in the final six games as the franchise starts to think about the 2014 offense. Sanders was drafted in the fourth-round primarily for his punt-return skills but has a chance to become a fixture in the offense.

"I've got to trust the route technique," Sanders said. "Using it each and every time and not reverting back to college ways. That's tough to do, because you get so used to something and then you're taught something else. …

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