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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

The Jaguars could succeed with Doug Pederson or Press Taylor at the helm

By meerna Jul11,2024
The Jaguars could succeed with Doug Pederson or Press Taylor at the helm

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One of the topics that remains hot as the Jacksonville Jaguars head into training camp is whether the head coach Doug Pederson will take over the duties of offensive coordinator Press Taylor.

Honestly, I’m not sure if it matters that much, although the owner Shad Khan recently suggested he wouldn’t mind having Pederson behind the wheel again.

Does Pederson or Taylor send the play to the quarterback? Trevor LawrenceIt’s hard to imagine that the method of attack would differ significantly.

It’s worth remembering that the pair of coaches and offensive coordinators have worked together for seven years, including the past two seasons in their current roles and when Taylor was on Pederson’s Philadelphia Eagles offensive staff from 2016-20.

More Gene Frenette: The Jaguars roster is good enough to reduce their reliance on signing expensive free agents

That’s a lot of time spent in meeting rooms, formulating an offensive philosophy based on a team’s roster during the offseason and then game-planning 100-plus times for specific opponents each week.

The only NFL coach who has worked as closely with Pederson as Taylor has is the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reidbut that was a decade ago.

The point is that when it comes to approaching defensive tackles, Pederson and Taylor are probably the closest thing to each other imaginable in the NFL.

Whether the Jaguars face the Houston Texans or Miami Dolphins, does anyone really think Lawrence will be called on different plays than either quarterback, whether it’s first-and-10 from midfield or third-and-5 in the red zone?

Pederson, who has yet to say publicly whether he or his 36-year-old coordinator will call plays in 2024, clearly has more experience calling plays. Still, Lawrence strongly suggested in May that he expected Taylor to continue in his role as a play caller.

“However it goes, we’re going to make the most of it and it’s going to be great,” Lawrence said. “I haven’t talked about anything necessarily changing or staying the same. I really don’t know, I’m with you. I think we’ve had some success in the past when both guys are calling plays, even last year, we could have been better, but we’ve had some success.

“I like the continuity, the consistency that I have with Press, I know him really well. I think it’s good that we keep that intact. As a point guard, it’s hard to change and change systems, change point guards all the time. It can be tough. So I like where we are.”

It appears that ownership is leaning one way, the $275 million quarterback is leaning the other, while the current quarterback diplomatically remains somewhere in the middle.

Asked if it mattered to him who called the plays, Taylor said: “No, at the end of the day it’s always about winning for us. But we’re getting to that point, we’re in.”

It’s the perfect answer to a dead end. If Taylor believes and publicly says that this matters, he risks a little friction between him and Pederson.

Taylor also said he doesn’t see much of a difference from 2022 to last year, when he and Pederson both called plays at different times. Taylor staying neutral on the sensitive subject is wisely fueling the team-first culture his boss wants to create.

Coaches don’t want players to care about who gets the most yards, who gets the most sacks, who gets the most touchdowns. The same approach should apply to coaches who don’t let ego get in the way of making decisions about who makes decisions.

Ultimately, Pederson has the final say on plays. And even if he lets Taylor continue in that role, he still has veto power as head coach.

That the Jaguars faltered at the finish line last season had more to do with a leaky defense, a few untimely injuries, and diminished confidence across the board. Khan put it perfectly when he called it an “organizational failure.”

If the Jaguars expect to advance in 2024 and reclaim the AFC South title, it will largely depend on a much-improved roster, a new defense and Lawrence’s ability to step up in key moments.

Pederson and Taylor, longtime tag team partners, look at the same playbook and likely have similar views on what would work best in a particular on-court situation.

Translation: In the big picture, the Jaguars’ success or failure in 2024 will have little to do with who makes the decisions.

Another challenge for Jaguars attackers

Jaguars offensive player Joshua Hines-Allenwhose recent name change means he will no longer be confused with the Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allenhas one more incentive in 2024 beyond meeting the terms of his $141.25 million contract extension.

With Hines-Allen coming off a 17.5-sack season, his offensive teammate Travon Walker collecting 10.0 sacks, which marked the ninth and tenth times in Jaguars history that a player recorded double-digit sacks in a year.

But in almost every case, the player struggled to get close to double-digit sacks the following season. Only Calais-Campbell He accomplished that in 2018 with 10.5 sacks after 14.5 sacks the previous year.

In the previous eight instances in which Jaguars offenses recorded double-digit sacks, their average sack count in the following season was just 5.5.

Thanks to the creative plans of the new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen and Jaguars sign free agent Arik Armstead To bolster the defensive line, Jaguars receivers Hines-Allen and Walker should have a much better chance of repeating their feat of double-digit sacks.

Bradley could revive the Ryder Cup in the US

Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, Tiger Woods turned down an offer to captain the U.S. team for the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black.

Whether Woods claimed he was too busy to take on the duties or simply turned down the offer for reasons he would not disclose, the stunning choice of Plan B Keegan Bradley seems like a winning, unconventional choice.

Bradley, whose only six major Tour wins came at the 2011 PGA Championship, is fiercely competitive and has a genuinely positive attitude, which should be a recipe for uniting the team.

It’s no secret that the United States lags far behind the Europeans when it comes to team integration; it’s debatable how much of that has had a hand in the Americans losing 10 of the last 14 Ryder Cups, the last seven on foreign soil.

But it’s hard to argue with the fact that the PGA of America has turned to Bradley, who has never served as vice-captain and who, at 39, will be the second-youngest captain of the U.S. team next year, to try to reverse Europe’s recent dominance.

It became obvious that the United States could not rely on pure talent alone to beat the Europeans, as the Ryder Cup is a unique team event.

Bradley’s passion for the event has been evident since he won three matches as Phil Mickelsonpartner in his first Ryder appearance in 2012, a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Americans in Medinah. That intensified last year when the captain crushed him and left him out of the U.S. team Zach Johnson.

Given those circumstances, Bradley would probably be less inclined to pass up a deserving LIV player like the US Open champion Bryson DeChambeauwhich was also overlooked by Johnson in 2023.

There will be plenty of doubt about Bradley’s nomination if the Americans lose their home Ryder Cup match. Youth and inexperience aside, I’d wager Bradley has the character and leadership to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Fast acting nuggets

When the University of Florida’s two-way baseball star Jac Caglianone was recently named the Division I Academic Player of the Year, the first Gators player to be named to the team since pitcher Darren O’Day from Bishop Kenny in 2006. Only three other UF players — David Eckstein (1996, ’97), Ray Hull (1972) and Fred Bretz (1970) — were on this team. Caglianone is projected as a top-10 pick in Sunday’s MLB draft, more likely as a hitter than a left-handed pitcher, though that depends on who drafts him. …

It’s probably too late now, given his increased media presence, but the media hype and attention he’s been given, Joey Chestnut being the GOAT of hot dog eaters is more than just an exaggeration. The idea that people will give a thunderous ovation to anyone who eats their fill of food as if they just scored a touchdown or hit a game-winning homer is a sad commentary on what passes for legitimate sports.

[email protected]: (904) 359-4540; Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, at @genefrenette

By meerna

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