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OTAs Day 1: "Every team's a different year…"

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JACKSONVILLE – It's a new year, which means new goals.

And if that doesn't mean starting over for the Jaguars, Head Coach Doug Pederson said it absolutely means spending the 2023 offseason focused on the future and not the past.

Winning a division title was good. But what matters is what's next.

"Every team's a different year," Pederson said, adding of the defending AFC South champions: "I can't let them be a one-and-done season. We have to continue to build on that. We talked a lot about this last year. Consistency in winning goes a long way."

Pederson spoke Monday as the Jaguars entered Phase 3 of the 2023 voluntary offseason program. Phase Three begins with organized team activities, which are non-padded but – unlike Phases One and Two – also can contain 11-on-11 work.

The Jaguars will hold OTAs during the next three weeks, with the first practice each week open to the media. Phase 3 ends with a three-day mandatory mid-June minicamp.

"We want to see the veterans just take another step in leadership and just understanding what we're asking them to do," Pederson said. "From a passing standpoint you want [quarterback] Trevor [Lawrence] and the receivers and the running backs on the same page. There shouldn't be a lot of balls on the ground. They should be completed at a high percentage.

"And it's just a matter of not getting anybody hurt this time of year. You just don't want any setbacks that way this close to camp."

Pederson on Monday said he is pleased with offseason attendance, with seven-year veteran left tackle Cam Robinson, five-year veteran outside linebacker Josh Allen and seven-year veteran tight end Evan Engram the lone veterans not attending Monday.

"We're going to coach the guys that are here," Pederson said. "This is a voluntary program. I understand that. Everybody has things that go on and it's hard to comment on a voluntary program."

The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Engram in March. The Jaguars have until July 15 to sign him to a long-term deal, or he can play the 2023 season on a one-year contract.

"Just what Evan showed us last year, the type of worker he is, we have zero concerns," offensive coordinator Press Taylor said Monday "When Evan shows up, he's going to be ready to roll and we know that."

The high attendance continues a trend from Pederson's first offseason, when he canceled the mandatory minicamp for veterans, instead having rookies and select players attend.

"It falls back to the number of guys that are here and the commitment that these guys have made to be here," Pederson said. "I keep stressing it's a voluntary program, but to see these guys in the building every single day shows me that they want to win here."

Pederson on Monday said he has been pleased with effort and performance throughout the offseason program.

"Those are the things you want to see now so that when you get to [2023 Training] Camp, you're not starting over," Pederson said. "Then when the pads do come on, what they're working on now will pay off then. That's what I'm seeing from the guys, the effort they're putting in Phase One and Phase Two and now starting Phase Three.

"That's the first step. It just can't be lip serviced. We have to go out and prepare and work, put the timing in order to be where we want to be."


  • With Robinson not present Monday, Pederson said the offensive line – like most position groups – took the approach of "letting everybody work and getting reps all over the place." Robinson, the Jaguars' starting left tackle since 2017, missed the last three regular-season games and two postseason games of the 2022 season with a knee injury – and he reportedly will begin the 2023 season serving an NFL suspension due to a violation of the performance-enhancing drug policy.
  • Pederson on Monday said that rookie first-round selection Anton Harrison will work at right tackle, adding that "this time of year we don't have a depth chart. We don't set anything."
  • Third-year veteran Walker Little, who played in place of Robinson at left tackle late last season, said he also took some repetitions at guard Monday. "Even if Cam were here right now, he's hurt," Pederson said. "He wouldn't be doing a lot of stuff, so it would still be the same situation. It's great for both of those guys (Little and Harrison). It's great for Anton to get all the reps he can mentally. It just puts us in a better position heading into camp. This is the time of year to really, I think, experiment with every position – except quarterback."

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