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"There Has Been a Lot of Energy Out There" | HC Doug Pederson Pleased With 2024 Offseason Participation

0513 Offseason Programming Article

JACKSONVILLE – So far, all has been positive.

The Jaguars' 2024 offseason program continues at the Miller Electric Center, with this week marking the final week of Phase 2 of the program.

This past weekend's 2024 Rookie Minicamp is in the rearview, with the nine-member Jaguars 2024 NFL Draft class and 13 collegiate free agents joining veterans in the offseason program Monday. The final stretch of the '24 offseason therefore is at hand, with Head Coach Doug Pederson thus far liking what he has seen during this voluntary period.

"It has been good," Pederson said.

Pederson, entering his third season as the Jaguars' head coach, spoke Friday morning before rookie minicamp. He discussed multiple topics, noting that this past weekend was largely about getting the rookie class ready to participate with veterans this week.

"Once they get in here, obviously they will be, now they're with an NFL club," Pederson said.

This week indeed is the first week with rookies and veterans participating – as well Phase 2's final week. That means coaches can be on the field with individual drills allowed – but no "offense versus defense" or "one-on-one" drills allowed and no helmets.

"Phase Two, we're not competing against each other, offense, defense – more so just competing with yourself and to make yourself better," Pederson said.

The final phase of the offseason – Phase 3 – will begin May 20 and run through mid-June. The first three weeks of this phase are known as organized team activities – 10 non-padded, non-contact practices in which teams can work one-on-one, seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills.

Phase 3 ends with a three-day June 10-12 minicamp.

That minicamp is the only offseason work mandatory for veterans. Pederson didn't require most veterans to attend in his first two seasons as head coach because attendance had been high during the voluntary period. He said that latter trend has continued so far this offseason.

"The biggest thing is the number of guys that are here," Pederson said. "I think that's a credit to them with the voluntary program. I get it: there are workout bonuses and all that kind of stuff in contracts, but I think other than that, they want to be here.

"The defensive guys – new staff and everything and learning – and then offensively just keep the new guys going … and even with the guys we've been with now for going on three years, just keep them coming as well.

"There has been a lot of energy out there."


  • Jaguars linebackers coach Matt House spoke to the media Friday, discussing multiple Louisiana State players selected by the team in the '24 draft. House served the past two seasons as the LSU defensive coordinator. He first discussed defensive lineman Maason Smith, the Jaguars' second-round selection. "A hard worker," House called Smith. "Obviously, he has the measurables. He's a long guy, and he really likes to play. He practices hard. He's a sponge, and I think once Coach (defensive coordinator Ryan) Nielsen gets his hands on him, and [defensive line] Coach [Jeremy] Garrett, his best days are ahead." Smith was a Freshman All-Southeastern Conference and All-America selection in 2021 before missing all but one series of the 2022 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He started all 12 games as a redshirt sophomore this past season. "Coming back from that injury that takes a while, and then he missed some time in training camp," House said. "When we first got there, he was unblockable the first spring and even into the first game before he got hurt." The Jaguars selected LSU defensive tackle Jordan Jefferson in Round 4. "They're two completely different guys," House said "One (Jefferson) is compact and powerful. One (Smith) is long and athletic. The two guys did play well off each other and were in the same room – and obviously had a good relationship with each other."


  • Pederson on the Jaguars getting faster and more physical during the offseason: "I kind of chuckle when people say, 'Be more physical.' We play football. It's a physical sport. It's how we teach our players. Maybe you can help them be more physical, just like you can help a quarterback be more accurate with his throws. It's a matter of just doing it. No. 1, we have gotten bigger, just physically bigger, with some of the draft picks and undrafted guys, and even some of our players coming back. We have gotten bigger there. I think we got a tick faster. Then when we put the pads on in July and August we'll see where we are physically."

First one in the books! Signing contracts, in the weight room and on the practice field. Check out the rookies experiencing their first weekend in the NFL 👀 ➡️

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