JACKSONVILLE – It's shiny, huge and state of the art.
Head Coach Doug Pederson said the Jaguars' new training facility is more than that – and that the newly-constructed Miller Electric Center matters very much.
"Those things make a difference," Pederson said.
Pederson spoke last week during 2023 mandatory minicamp, a three-day session that essentially marked the team's last days working out of the TIAA Bank Field facility that has served as the Jaguars' operations base since their 1995 inception.
They have practiced on the TIAA Bank Field game field since the 2022 offseason while the Miller Electric Center has been constructed, and they will operate from the new facility moving forward. Pederson said "just having our own space, being out from under the stadium" will be welcome.
"This has been a great space since the mid-nineties," Pederson said. "But to have our own building, a place guys can really call home, even from the standpoint of the offseason where once the season ends they don't have to go other places…
"We're still in Jacksonville, Florida. The weather's good in February, March and April. Guys want to stay here and use the building. That part I think is going to be the exciting part."
The two-story facility includes an indoor practice field, two outdoor practice fields, fan amenity areas, offices and meeting rooms.
"It makes it easier when you can just step right out on the two beautiful practice fields," Pederson said. "You got a great indoor facility over there and you can get a lot more work done."
Jaguars 2023 Training Camp is expected to be held at the Miller Electric Center, with quarterbacks and rookies/first-year players reporting July 21 and veterans reporting July 25. Pederson said last week the first training camp practice likely will be held July 26.
Select training camp practices are expected to be open to the public. Camp practices at Episcopal School of Jacksonville were not open last season while the Miller Electric Center was under construction.
"Last year was great at Episcopal, having those two fields like that during camp, but now we don't have to travel," Pederson said. "[Now] we can just step right out onto the grass. Everything is accessible and it just makes it a little bit easier to move around when you have a 91-man roster like we do."
- Pederson last week updated the team's medical situation before the Jaguars finished the veteran portion of the 2023 offseason program. He said there were no significant injuries during the offseason and said most players who were rehabilitating past injuries during the offseason should be full participation to start training camp. Rehabbing players included rookie linebacker Ventrell Miller (foot), wide receiver Calvin Ridley, rookie wide receiver Parker Washington, left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) and offensive tackle Josh Wells (knee). Those players continued rehabilitation during minicamp last week. Pederson said Ben Bartch, who started the first five games of the 2022 season at left guard before sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament, likely will return sometime during camp in August.
- Mike Caldwell as he enters his second season as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator: "You have a vision of how the team's going to look and you want it to look that way, but the hand your dealt … that's the hand you play and we're just going to go out there. Whatever guys we have, we're going to try to put them in the best position for them to be successful and whoever it is, that's how we do it."
- Pederson on new wide receivers coach Chad Hall, who played four NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (2012-2014), San Francisco 49ers (2013) and Kansas City Chiefs (2014): "Chad relates well with that group, being a former player. He's obviously a guy that's worked extremely hard to get to this level as a coach. I think that that really rubs off onto the players in a positive way. What I've seen this offseason is the veteran players – guys like Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, those guys that have a lot of experience – giving Chad the respect of being their coach. You see how important Chad is, how he's making those guys better, the attention to detail they've had. It has been really good. I just can't really say enough good things, positive things about Chad, and what he's done in that room already."
In preparation for Miller Electric Center's summer opening, Jaguars GM Trent Baalke and Head Coach Doug Pederson toured the under-construction facility that'll include three practice fields, a team store, football operations offices and more. During the visit, construction manager, Haskell treated 500+ site workers to a BBQ lunch, raffle prizes, and surprise words of appreciation by Coach Pederson.