Jerry Jeudy enters this season with expectation.
Some of it is his own making, while much of it has been placed upon him. Broncos Country waits in anticipation, hoping the former Biletnikoff Award winner – given to the best receiver in college football – will explode into a dominant No. 1 receiver.
Addressing local media on September 1, Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio outlined his supposition on Jeudy’s prospects this season.
“I think he’s going to have a really good year for us,” Fangio said.
“What does that translate into statistically? You never know, but he’s a much better player right now. I should say a much more mature player. He knows what he’s doing in our system, and he’s playing with a lot more confidence, both from experiencing an NFL season and from experiencing the same offense two years in a row.”
Despite showing flashes of the dominant force he was at Alabama, Jeudy didn’t consistently hit those heights with the Broncos in his rookie season. Jeudy did amass more receiving yards than any other Bronco — 52 receptions for 856 yards and three touchdowns.
According to PFF, the 22-year-old had the second-most drops of any player in the NFL, and led the league with 26 incomplete targets that were deemed the quarterback’s fault. With former Carolina Panther, Teddy Bridgewater now established as the starting quarterback, the Broncos will be hoping for better numbers.
Follow the Heavy on Broncos Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Teddy Can’t Wait to Get Jerry Going
Excitement for Jeudy’s sophomore season in Mile High is brewing — and not just among fans. Bridgewater was effusive in his praise for Jeudy during his September 1 press conference.
“He’s a guy who just knows how to get open,” Bridgewater said. “You watch him, he’s a guy who has a plan every snap. If a defensive back is playing him outside leverage, he’ll come up with a plan in order to win to get to where he needs to be in order to get the ball. If a guy is playing him inside leverage or tries to jump-jam him, he always has a plan. You love to see that in your wide receivers because now they know how to get open, they know how to create separation.
“If you’ve been following him throughout training camp and even throughout his early career, he’s been finding ways to get open and he’s been having some success. We look forward to getting all the guys going.”
Jeudy Willing Broncos to Be Better
Jeudy faced the media shortly after his quarterback, maintaining a focused resolve when asked about managing the hype around his second season.
“I’m just doing what I’ve been doing this whole offseason during camp, just working every day to perfect my craft,” Jeudy said.
Despite already being known as a premier route runner, Jeudy has continued to work on it, even managing to enhance his skill set.
“In year two, when it comes to route running, it’s just knowing the timing of plays, where you are on the progression,” Jeudy said. “That’s my biggest thing that I improved on this year, just knowing the timing and knowing what read I am in that progression to time it up with my route running.”
As for being a Pro Bowler, Jeudy isn’t too bothered whether that comes his way or not. His mind is fixated firmly on making himself and the Broncos greater.
“Right now, I’m just focusing on day by day and just bettering myself. I let you all (the media) come up with those types of accolades and stuff like that, but right now I’m just focused on being the best player I can be and helping this team win.
“[I’m] not necessarily more focused, I just feel like I just understand it more. I guess you could say that. Just understanding the offense, knowing what I’m getting into. This is my second year in the league now, so once I’m used to it, I feel like it’s going to be good.”
If Jeudy can produce more moments of magic like what we saw against the Jets and Raiders, Broncos Country will have one of the most prized pass catchers in all of pro football.
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic