JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's post-game press conference following a 34-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans in a 2023 Week 11 game at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville Sunday
- A resilient bunch. What has been a theme multiple times in Pederson's two seasons was a theme again Sunday afternoon – that the Jaguars under Pederson respond well to adversity. Really well. A 34-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday at EverBank Stadium marked the Jaguars' fourth loss by 10 or more points in Pederson's tenure. The team is 4-0 the following week, with Sunday's twenty-point victory the widest margin of the four victories. "It just goes to show the resiliency of our football team," Pederson said. "We've only been together a short while, but this is a resilient group. They always seem to work themselves back and fight their way back when they have a setback. They've done it. They did it again today. Hats off to the leadership of the football team and really each man doing his job, and that's the type of football that we're capable of playing."
- Defensive day. The Jaguars' defense on Sunday turned in one of its stronger performances of a strong season, not allowing a point until the final play of the third quarter and allowing the Titans 235 total yards with 12 first downs. The yards and first downs were the lowest allowed this season by the Jaguars, who have held six of nine opponents to 20 points or less. The defense forced one of the team's two takeaways Sunday, a fumble recovery by linebacker Foye Oluokun that led to the Jaguars' first touchdown. The unit also turned in a key first-half stop when outside linebacker Josh Allen and Andre Cisco combined on a sack to push the Titans out of field-goal range and force a punt. "I don't think we talk enough about the defense," Pederson said. "They're the ones that have kept us in the majority of our football games this season. They did a nice job today. It's one of the things we knew going in that we would have to slow down this run game. I thought for the most part they did a nice job, controlled the line of scrimmage. They played fast today and that was good to see. Our secondary was on point. They were in the right position. [Defensive Coordinator] Mike Caldwell had a good plan for the guys. The coaches did a nice job preparing the players, and they're a big part of this today."
- Tough quarterback, tough team. Pederson on Sunday was asked about possible frustration on the part of Trevor Lawrence in recent weeks, with the third-year quarterback playing the previous three games with a knee injury limiting his mobility. "Take the name off the injury," Pederson said. "It's anybody that's injured. It bothers people. It bothers you. That's the thing I appreciate about this sport and about our team. Guys are going to play a little sore. Guys are going to play a little beat up, but they do it because, one, they love their teammates. They love the game, and they're going to do everything they can to perform. It doesn't matter if it's the quarterback or an outside backer. It's just the willingness, the mental toughness, the physicality of that the players have, and they do it for their teammates."
- A long-term plan. Nose tackle DaVon Hamilton was among the Jaguars' five inactive players Sunday after having played the past two games. Hamilton missed the first seven games of the season on injured reserve with a back issue. Pederson said the decision Sunday was about making sure the fourth-year veteran is "mentally and physically ready to go" as the Jaguars enter their final seven games of the season. "As you guys know, we're not going to put somebody out there to risk anything further, and it was the decision by me to just hold him one week, see where he's at, and get him more practice time, get him more reps, get him back to where he was a year ago," Pederson said. "He has missed a lot of time. I think it definitely has taken a toll a little bit, but he has busted his tail to be in a position to help us. I think it's going to be a week-to- week decision, but he understands where we are, and he appreciated that, and we'll see where he's at again this week."
- Pederson on coaching/motivating a week after the most one-sided loss of the season: "Sometimes it's easier after a loss than it is a win. Really, we all had to kind of soul-search a little bit. We all had to look in the mirror and see if there were things we could do differently, or I could help the team differently and how I message the football team. Really, I just wanted to keep things simple. I didn't want to clutter their mind. Yeah, you get blown out in a game a week ago, but when you really boil it down, it came down to the four giveaways and in the critical situations that we did last week. We didn't do that today. When you do that, you have better success. You put it back on the leadership of the team and let them drive the team a little bit."