JACKSONVILLE – Sunday was a day for the present around the Jaguars – and for hitting.
Saturday was for honoring past greatness. That's what Head Coach Doug Pederson did when he and General Manager Trent Baalke flew to Canton, Ohio, to attend the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Among the honorees:
Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli, who became the first Jaguars player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"It's a special deal," Pederson said Sunday shortly before a heavy-contact Day 9 practice of 2022 Training Camp at Episcopal School of Jacksonville Knight Sports Campus.
Pederson said the importance of the moment to Jacksonville and Jaguars fans was evident in Canton.
"One hundred percent," Pederson said. "We had a lot of fans. Organizationally, we had a lot of people there. You really felt the impact and the love this city has for this team and this organization over the years. You definitely felt it Saturday."
Pederson, in his first season as the Jaguars' head coach, also on Sunday discussed a 27-11 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game.
Sunday was the first time Pederson spoke publicly since the loss.
"It's never as good as you think and never as bad as you think," Pederson said. "There were some good individual efforts out there during the game. There are a lot of things we have to clean up. It just comes down to fundamentals and details.
"We spent the first two weeks of camp really installing offense and defense. There were a lot of things we kind of threw at these guys from a mental standpoint. Now that we're into the meat and potatoes of training camp, things slow down from an installation standpoint. We can go back and really fine tune some of the assignments and some of the mistakes we made and build toward the next one."
Pederson praised the play Thursday of second-year right tackle Walker Little, who started and played the entire first half. He entered training camp competing with Jawaan Taylor at the position and has taken extensive first-team snaps with Taylor hampered for the last week with a hamstring injury. "I thought he played well," Pederson said of Little. "He settled in right away in run blocking, pass protection. I thought he was focused and dialed in and really had a good first half. It was really good to see. He did everything he could to put his best foot forward."
Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr., now in his second training camp with the Jaguars, has continued a practice "tradition" that predates his NFL career. The tradition? Taking the towel of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, with whom Etienne played three seasons – 2018-2020 – at Clemson University. "My towel's in the back of me," Etienne said with a smile. "It usually gets soaked. He keeps his towel fresh and dry, so I just use his. He's a great friend. He's there when I need him."
Jaguars rookie running back Snoop Conner, a fifth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, has impressed much of camp and had one of his better days early last week. He played extensively against the Raiders, rushing four times for 10 yards and returning one kickoff for 20 yards. "I like Snoop," Etienne said. "He has that grit to him. He has that fight to him. He wants to learn. He wants to be better. A guy like that pushes me to be the best player I can be. We have that push and pull. He's a different runner than I am. He gets behind his pads. I like that about him."
Etienne: "I feel like we've got a bunch of great things going. We have a bunch of players who complement each other. We can do all kinds of things. It's going to be very exciting to see us play."
The Jacksonville Jaguars take a stroll through the Pro Football Hall of Fame museum ahead of their matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2022 Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.