JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson’s post-game press conference following the Jaguars' 17-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in a 2023 Week 2 game at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville Sunday
- Over and over. Pederson established the post-game theme early in his post-game availability Sunday, and it was one players and coaches repeated as they spoke about their third loss to the Chiefs in 11 months. "The glaring thing is just our execution on offense," Pederson said of a unit that failed to score a touchdown and converted three of 12 third downs into first downs. "We were in too many second-and-long and turning into third-and-long situations. As an offense, you just can't put yourself in those situations too many times. It's just not favorable to do that. You have to take a look at this tape and figure that out."
- No panic. Pederson wasn't happy after Sunday's game. He made that clear quickly. He made just as clear that a 1-1 record – and a loss to the defending Super Bowl champions – isn't reason to panic. "It's Week 2; it's Week 2," he said. "I mean, my gosh. It's Week 2, we're 1-1 and we're in a great spot. We lost to a good football team today. We didn't play great. Guys know that guys are going to rally, guys are going to bounce back. We're going to be better next week. We have a lot of football ahead of us. That's the exciting part about it. Those guys are ticked off in there. They're mad. And they know it. But it's so early in this season that one game's not going to define who we are and it's not going to define our season."
- Full support. Sunday marked the second regular season game for Jaguars offensive coordinator Pess Taylor as the full-time play-caller. He called plays in the second half of games last season with Pederson calling plays in the first halves, with Pederson assigning him full-time duties this season. "It's fine," Pederson said when asked how Taylor performed Sunday. "Sometimes it's not about the plays. Now, we have to coach the plays better so the guys understand exactly what to do and how to react to what the defense is presenting. But I learned a long time ago that players play this football game and coaches coach. We coach better the players will ultimately play better so it starts with us. "We're going to evaluate everything and make sure that we're putting our guys in the right places, but I thought Press did a nice job today."
- Execution, execution, execution. Pederson mentioned execution in multiple answers Sunday, notably saying that while the defense played well and "kept us in the football game," the offense "has to do better." "As I said, it's just execution," he said. "We have to execute. We have too many guys on offense, veteran players. We all need to do better. Start with me." He added later, "You play good teams, you play well-coached teams, you can't beat yourself. That's what we did today. We beat ourselves. Yes, the defense, yes special teams, played well, but it takes all three phases. That's what football teams do. We didn't do that well enough today. The opportunities were there, and we didn't do it. We have to look at this film and be hard and critical of ourselves and bounce back next week." He continued, "The guys are guys are doing it in practice is. We just have to make sure we carry over to the game. As coaches, we have to make sure we're doing the right things and not doing too much, just putting our guys in position and letting them go play. Then as players, we just have to execute the plays and execute what we see. We all have to be accountable for it, me included, and make sure that we get it corrected."
- Staying aggressive. Pederson after Sunday's loss also addressed his decision to go for a first down on fourth-and-five from the Chiefs 45 late in the second quarter. Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones sacked quarterback Trevor Lawrence on the play, with Kansas City driving 50 yards on seven plays and taking a 7-3 lead when quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed nine yards to wide receiver Skyy Moore for a touchdown with :27 remaining in the second quarter. The play gave the Chiefs a lead they never relinquished. "I knew their offense wasn't playing extremely well at the time," Pederson said. "We had some opportunities, but I just wanted to stay aggressive right there. That was my decision to be aggressive and stay on the field. We just didn't execute."