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Doug Pederson Addresses Next Season Play-Calling at 2024 NFL Combine

022724 Pederson Press Conference Recap Article

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Doug Pederson's faith in Press Taylor remains strong.

As for who will call plays next season, that remains to be seen.

Pederson, entering his third season as the Jaguars' head coach, opted for Taylor – the team's offensive coordinator the past two seasons – to call plays full-time in 2023 after the two shared those duties the previous season. Pederson called plays in the first half of games in '22 with Taylor calling them in the second half of games.

Pederson, speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine Tuesday, said he has yet to decide how play-calling will be handled next season.

"It's something that's part of the evaluation process," Pederson said. "I have to evaluate myself and Press as decision-makers and play-callers and see what's best for our team."

Pederson added, "I haven't decided, but those are all ongoing conversations that Press and I will have and go from there."

Pederson said his belief in Taylor remains.

"It really is high," he said.

Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke on Tuesday: "I think Press is growing as a play caller. There's a natural maturation to that. I don't get into the coaching side of things, I sat in with Coach (Pederson) on the interviews and stuff like that, but I have full confidence in Coach to make the right decisions for this football team. Whatever decision he makes, I support."

The Jaguars in 2023 ranked 14th in the NFL in scoring and 13th in points after ranking 10th in scoring and ninth in yards in 2022. They finished 9-8 both seasons, winning the AFC South in 2022 and missing the postseason with a loss in the final game of the regular season in 2023.

Pederson on Tuesday noted that the Jaguars ranked ninth in the NFL in passing and 24th in the NFL in rushing in 2023 – also noting left tackle Cam Robinson missing eight games because of injury/suspension with wide receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk missing a combined 13 games.

"So some of that is not the playcaller," Pederson said. "Some of that is just by circumstance. Are there things we need to address and fix? Yes, there are – and we've done already this offseason – the last six, seven weeks – being in the building. Do we have to get better? Yes, we do."

Pederson emphasized that offensive improvement starts with the coaches.

"It starts with me and it starts with the coordinators and then it trickles down," he said. "My confidence is high. There's still a lot of collaboration with he and I, in-game and offseason. We have to make sure that we're putting our players in a good position.

"It's all about the players and we have to make sure that they're in the best position to go execute. If that means scale back, let's scale back. Let's not have a big volume of stuff. To me, that's where it starts."

Pederson on the day following the 2023 regular-season dismissed Mike Caldwell as defensive coordinator along with much of the Jaguars' defensive staff, hiring former Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen in that role. Pederson was asked if Nielsen's presence gives him more confidence in "turning over the defense" and being more involved in the offense if necessary.

"You're hoping that, that happens," Pederson said. "You don't know. I've never worked with Ryan, but I think all indications would be that that's a possibility to be able to do that. When you're a head coach and calling plays, too, it pulls you away from some of the in-game decisions where you might see something a little more clearly.

"Last year, I was seeing the game differently. I've been able to manage the game differently. It does affect you. It affects you in a positive way when something is removed. At the same time, you still want your hand on it and you still want to make those decisions."

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