JACKSONVILLE – Doug Pederson's ready for prime time.
The Jaguars' head coach spent Friday at 2023 Rookie Minicamp at TIAA Bank Field. When he spoke to the media late Friday morning, one of the major topics focused on the previous evening.
That was the release of the 2023 NFL schedule, which was announced Thursday night and which features the defending AFC South Champion Jaguars scheduled for five nationally-televised games. Three of those will be prime-time games.
"I thought the schedule was great," Pederson said. "We have some really good teams coming in here to play. We're excited about that."
The Jaguars' five nationally-televised games:
- Home against the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium in London (Week 4, ESPN+)
- At the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (Week 5, NFL Network)
- At the New Orleans Saints (Week 7, Prime Video)
- At Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, home against the Cincinnati Bengals (Week 13, ESPN)
- At TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville and home against the Baltimore Ravens (Week 15, NBC)
The Falcons and Bills games will be played at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on Sundays, with the Saints a Thursday game and the Bengals marking the Jaguars' first appearance on Monday Night Football since 2011.
The Ravens game will mark their first regular-season appearance on Sunday Night Football since 2008.
"I liked it," Pederson said of the schedule. "I was excited to get the three prime times. To have the Monday night game here, a Sunday night game here, are exciting for our fans – obviously for us and our players. The Thursday in New Orleans is a road game against a great opponent."
Pederson also discussed the Jaguars playing back-to-back games in London. They will be the first team in NFL history to play two regular-season games out of the United States.
Asked the challenges of doing so, Pederson replied: "None."
"We just stay there for a week," he said. "We're on the East Coast and travel is not bad. When we come back, we gain the time it doesn't really affect anything that we do – preparation, nothing like that."
Pederson, too, said he had no issue with not having a bye after the London games. The Jaguars have had a bye following seven of nine previous games in London. They lost at home to the New York Jets in 2017 a week after beating the Ravens in London in 2017, then beat the Las Vegas Raiders at home a week after losing to the Denver Broncos in London last season.
"It's Week 4 and 5," Pederson said of the London games. "I didn't necessarily care to have a bye week that early in the season. There's a ton of football past that and your season, as we know, can really take off in the back half of the year. Not having the bye when we come back is fine.
"Players are really caught up with sleep, honestly, by the time we get back on the field on Wednesday. Coaches can be a little groggy, but, but that's just what we have to do. It worked out for us last year."
- Pederson said the Jaguars will hold joint practices against the Detroit Lions before playing the Lions at Detroit in Week 2 of the preseason. Specific time and day of the Lions game will be announced later. The Jaguars will open the preseason at the Dallas Cowboys and play the Miami Dolphins in Jacksonville in the Week 3 preseason finale.