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Coach Pederson Reflects on Jaguars Week 1 Win: "It's just how you respond." | CoachSpeak


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Senior writer John Oehser examines Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's post-game press conference following a 31-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a 2023 Week 1 game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday

1. Ready for the role. Pederson following Sunday's game confirmed reports that he had assigned full play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Press Taylor. Pederson during his first season as Jaguars head coach in 2022 called plays for the first half of games with Taylor calling plays in the second halves. "Press and I have been together a long time and how does anybody in this league gain experience if they don't -- if I don't – trust them to do something?" Pederson said. "He has been ready for this. He has been preparing for this. He's smart. He's well thought-out, great game plans. I have a lot of confidence in him. Some of our biggest comeback wins [in 2022] were him calling plays in the second half last year." Pederson was asked if he would return to calling plays if Taylor struggled in the role. "We'll see how it goes, but I've got a lot of faith in Press and a lot of confidence in him," Pederson said.

2. A good start for Taylor. The Jaguars on Sunday outgained the Colts, 342-280, converting three of 12 third downs and one of three first downs. They committed two turnovers, including a third quarter by running back Tank Bigbsy after a fumble by quarterback Trevor Lawrence that Colts defensive lineman DeForest Buckner returned for a 26-yard touchdown and a 21-17 Colts lead. "I thought it went great from a play-calling standpoint," Pederson said. "We have to execute better. There were just too many mistakes, too many little things that flared up offensively that cost us [the opportunity] to stay on the field or keep the football. We can't make the turnovers that we did. It's things that we can control. We have to do a better job. All of us have to be accountable, including myself there."

3. Big decision, big play. Among the game's key plays: a 48-yard punt return in the fourth quarter by wide receiver Jamal Agnew, who fielded the punt on the Jaguars 6 and gave the Jaguars possession at the Colts 46. Agnew caught the punt on a bounce and outraced the Colts' coverage running to his right, setting up a 10-play, 46-yard drive that Bigsby capped with a one-yard run for a 24-21 Jaguars lead with 5:14 remaining. "He got a great hop, great bounce off the turf," Pederson said of Agnew. "He's so smart. We have a lot of confidence in him, and we obviously give him the freedom to make those decisions because he usually does the right thing. It was a great return. We had some great blocks there and it really set us up in good field position."

4. Important start. Pederson throughout his post-game press conference expressed pleasure with Sunday's victory, emphasizing that it was an AFC South game on the road – and noting that it's often difficult to play cleanly in the regular-season opener. "Week 1 of the regular season – even Week 2, Week 3 – you're still trying to figure out kind of who you are and what you want to be as a team," he said. "You're not a well-oiled machine going into Week 1. That was obviously on display today. But I learned a lot last year with this team, playing for four quarters and learning how to finish, learning how to win. That showed up today. I tell them all the time: 'There's going to be adversity in the game. You're going to give up scores, plays, whatever it is. There are going to be takeaways. It's just how you respond.' They just kind of picked up where they left off last year with that and put together a good four-quarter game."

5. Impressive debut. Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in his first game with the team Sunday. He was acquired in a trade last November with the Atlanta Falcons and – after being suspended by the NFL for the 2022 season – hadn't played a game since October 2021. "I thought he did some really nice things," Pederson said of Ridley, whose nine-yard touchdown reception from Lawrence gave the Jaguars a 7-0 first-quarter lead. "He had a couple explosive plays there and the touchdown off kind of a scramble [by Lawrence]. I thought he really did a good job."

What we've all been waiting for 🐆 In game is full of ACTION and you don't want to miss out on these top shots throughout the Jaguars vs. Colts game!

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