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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson has got off to a good start in terms of ensuring that quarterback Trevor Lawrence has everything he needs to be successful in his second season.
In addition to hiring former head coach Mike McCoy to be quarterbacks coach and Press Taylor as offensive coordinator, Pederson also brought in Jim Bob Cooter as coordinator for passing games.
All three are former quarterbacks, meaning Lawrence will work daily with four coaches – including Pederson – who see the game the same way he does.
“It’s going to be a really good dynamic because what I understand of Trevor is his mindset, how he thinks,” Pederson said. “He’s eager to learn. He wants to grow. I have good teachers in the room who can help him and help him succeed.
“It’s not only on the pitch, but I’m thinking off the pitch too, and that’s what I’m looking forward to in April when we get the boys in here.”
Lawrence completed 59.6% of his passes in 3,641 yards and 12 touchdowns with 17 interceptions as a rookie, but those numbers need to be looked at in the context of the most dysfunctional season in franchise history due to former coach Urban Meyer.
Owner Shad Khan had to make Lawrence – the overall number 1 in 2021, which was called a generational perspective – the focal point of his coaching career.
Pederson, who played 10 years in the NFL as a backup quarterback, clearly did the same thing when he hired his staff. McCoy, who played in Long Beach State and Utah and spent time with five NFL teams, was the then San Diego Chargers coach from 2013-16 – Chargers ranked in the top 10 in passing each season. Cooter played in Tennessee and has coached in the NFL since 2012, which includes three seasons as the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator (2016-18).
Taylor won back-to-back NJCAA national titles as a starting quarterback at Butler Community College before signing with Marshall. He has spent eight seasons as a quality control coach, assistant quarterback coach, quarterback coach and passing game coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles, including five seasons under Pederson.
Pederson said he will work with the three coaches and Lawrence to come up with a game plan each week, and he and Taylor will make the final decisions on what the Jaguars do offensively. With so many people involved, nothing should fall through the post with the offense, which was a problem in 2021.
“It’s one of the things I like to do in the places I’ve been is that we like to insert everyone and their ideas,” Pederson said.
Getting Lawrence a strong support staff is a good start, but there are two other major issues Pederson needs to address – figuring out what’s going on with the left tackle, and strengthening the receiving corps.
Left tackle Cam Robinson is set to become a free agent. The Jaguars could use the franchise badge on him for the second year in a row (at a cost of $ 16.5 million), sign him for an extension or let him go. That would mean adding a left-wing tackle in free agency, taking one with the first overall pick or going with the 2021 pick in the second round, Walker Little as the starter.
The Jaguars led the NFL in passes (33) and passes from broadband (21) last season. Thirteen of the 33 falls came in third place (again, a league height) and there is no doubt that the inconsistency from the passers-by hurt Lawrence’s development. So did the lack of speed on the post when DJ Chark Jr., who is scheduled to become a free agent, was lost for the season with a broken ankle in Week 4.
Jamal Agnew, who was originally signed as a kick-back and has only been a full-time receiver since May 2020, started getting more work as a quick deep threat until he went down for the season with a hip injury in week 11.
So expect the Jaguars to chase a receiver in free play and draft at least one from what is considered a deep class.
“It’s about building the best offensive possible, and you have to take a lot of factors into that,” Taylor said. “We can all go out there and say we want the best free agent, but at some point he costs a certain amount and there is a big salary cap.
“It’s the whole organization working together to once again ensure that we build the best possible offense for the Jacksonville Jaguars, or it will contribute to our team, complement our defense, complement our special teams, put us in a position to win so many matches as possible. “
So far, Pederson has got off to a good start.