JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Versatility is a virtue in the NFL.
Players who have the ability to perform well at multiple positions typically have longer staying power than those who only excel at one spot.
Jaguars rookie wide receiver DJ Chark will have his versatility tested early on in his NFL career. The Jaguars coaching staff has asked him to learn multiple wide-receiver and special teams positions during his first month in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars clearly want to get the rookie on the field as quickly as possible. Teaching Chark multiple positions will help him fill in wherever he is needed.
Special teams will serve as the rookie's most immediate project with coordinator Joe DeCamillis taking advantage of Chark's 4.34-second 40-yard dash speed.
"I'm everywhere," Chark said Tuesday.
"Coach Joe D has me at punt returner, kick returner, kickoff [coverage], punt [coverage], the gunner ... By the time we get to training camp, I'll have more of a good idea of where I'll be. I know I'll be somewhere on special teams. I'm just trying to take all the knowledge that I get from these guys and bust my butt every time we get a special teams period, no matter where I'm at on the field."
The second-round pick will also need to learn all three wide receiver positions to improve the team's rotation. Wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell wants his pupils to be able to play on the outside and in the slot.
"I coach it like this – everybody should be able to play all the positions," McCardell said during a press conference on Tuesday.
"I tell these guys you have to be able to play every single position because I am going to teach you how to play the slot, even if you are a bigger guy. I am going to teach you how to play outside, even if you are a smaller guy. We have choices. It is great to have choices."
Chark has been tasked with learning from DeCamillis and McCardell. The two coaches are among the most respected members of the staff. They are also among the most outspoken.
"[DeCamillis] is pretty intense," Chark said. "Coach Keenan, he's chill. Unless there's something wrong [because] then he'll get on you but he's chill. Joe is 0-to-100 very, very fast. You have to make sure you're doing the right thing or he'll get on you."
The 6-foot-3, 199-pound wide receiver has made strides early on in his development. He has constantly been featured in the passing game during OTA workouts.
McCardell has enjoyed coaching the rookie so far. The coach believes Chark's speed could make a difference for the Jaguars this season.
“He is a very talented kid that loves to play football – very coachable," McCardell said. "He gives you the speed that we’re looking for outside. I think he is going to have an opportunity to stretch the defense for us. I’m looking forward to it. [He offers] another pair of young legs that can run.”
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.