Doug Pederson: Jaguar roster depth ‘bittersweet’ as cutoff deadline approaches

This is pre-season people!

On Saturday, the Jacksonville Jaguars finished off their training camp with an impressive 31-18 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Miami Dolphins. Three warm-up matches resulted in three wins. Not that the result is necessarily the priority this time of year. However, the performances were satisfactory.

In his press conference Monday, head coach Doug Pederson hinted at a successful offseason program — which culminated in a team barbecue on Sunday. Pederson explained the idea behind the event:

“Yeah, it goes well. You finish your camp, it’s the last pre-season game, it’s the last week, you know you’re coming into this week and you’ve hit your roster sizes and all that. It’s just a way for the players to make their families and relax and appreciate all the hard work and time you put in.” Everyone spends it on the field.It’s just a good way to relax and unwind at the end of this training camp.

And here it is: a black cloud looms over this football team, as Pederson, his staff, and the front office prepare for the toughest few days of the season. Hosting the team’s training as a thank you for so much hard work this season does not hide the fact that out of the 90 players on this list, 37 would be unsuitable to face the team. Indianapolis Colts On September 10th. Given the strong performance throughout training camp, Pederson acknowledged some tough decisions had to be made:

“We’ve found that to be true. We also know there are going to be some very good footballers who are going to have to be released. It’s been a tough 24 hours or so here and in the league. It’s just a credit to Trent (Palkey), his staff and the quality of the athletes and players on this list. With the depth we’ve brought to this team, it’s bittersweet, you want to keep them all but you can’t and you have to make the best decisions moving forward.

Some of these decisions have already been made. And with a 4pm EST deadline on Tuesday, the cuts will come quickly. At the time of writing, Kevin Austin (WR), Samuel Jackson (OT), Derek Parish (FB/TE), Jordan Smith (OLB) and Kadri Oleson (RB) have been let go. And there’s no doubt that by the time you read this, a host of more names will be added to that list.

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When asked about the cut, Pederson gave the media a peek behind the curtain of what would be a grueling and intense 24-hour roster decision:

“It’s a longer day and you’re doing a lot of guys. It’s hard for the staff and the staff to do that many guys. I like the fact that we can keep everyone till the end because sometimes you let a player go early when you don’t really give him a chance to play in the last pre-season game or throw Another look at him in training or something.. It’s challenging in that way, but I think it’s good that we can keep them and that makes it a little more difficult on the staff side.

Pedersen was asked who and how decisions are made, and which staff will be in the room when bad news has to be delivered. Predictably, there has been a lot of focus on giving each unlucky player the best chance for their future career, even if it may be elsewhere:

“For us, we come together as a staff. We meet offensively and defensively with Trent (General Manager Trent Balke) and his team. We go back to the roster again and put a plan together. Then we just hand it over to the personnel department and let them start the process of calling players and bringing them in.” Here.Then the coaches have to spend some time with the player and do everything they can to help him move forward.If he’s a candidate for the training squad, obviously we’re trying to tell him we’d like to get him back in the training squad if that’s possible.It’s a tough day for him. everyone.”

One last point about looming menu decisions; Pederson chose to add a little relief when asked how he would handle delivering bad news to his son (TE) Josh – just in case:

I had to slap him at one point! Same. I’d like to tell him Trent (Balkey) would like to visit him too. I’d definitely like to talk to him, he’s been through that process before with two other teams last year and I’m familiar with it as a former player. Just do it. I guide him through the process and tell him everything will be fine.

Injury updates

One slightly nasty note as the pre-season wound down was the number of injuries the Jaguars were racking up, particularly during their last two warm-up matches. Pederson provided an update on the squad, which included some devastating news for rookie linebacker Ventrell Miller:

“Davon (Hamilton) is in the building now, he’s here as we mentioned last week he’s back in the building. I haven’t seen him yet, but I got a message from Ferg (vice president of player health and performance Jeff Ferguson) that he was in the building – so I’m looking forward to seeing him. I think his wife is with him. It would be great to see him. Unfortunately, Ventrell (Miller) has an Achilles tendon, so that’s a season-ending injury there with his Achilles. We’ll miss him. Foley (Vatukase) is doing well, and I expect him to be in The pitch this week is with the group, so I’m looking forward to him being there. Josh (Wales) is still dealing with the injury and he’s been struggling with it week in and week out. Cooper (Hodges) isn’t even close yet, so he’ll still be out for a while.

More injury disclosures told us midfielders Clavon Chaisson and Chad Muma have been ruled out of the final pre-season game with minor injuries to avoid setbacks, while offensive lineman Tyler Chatley will be fit for Week 1. Chasson’s placement on the list remains polarized. Among the fans, but Pederson expects him to contribute this season:

“He’s another guy, I liked where he was last year and how he came into training camp. He’s another guy who’s going to get a lot of shots this year, he’s going to be number three out there. He’s going to play. He’s going to have to play at a high level. He understands that.” So I’m happy with where he’s at.”

The Jaguars’ coaching staff has been very transparent in their desire to improve the pass rush this season — and preseason performances haven’t fully assuaged concerns. Despite this, Pederson suggested that the ability to add depth or upgrade mode may not be simple — or necessary:

“I think when you really look at the league, there might be a lack of quick passes out there. If they are, they’re on someone’s team and they’ll be locked up for a few years. However, we’re happy where we are. I think Yasser (Abdullah’s) development has improved. As a young player he did some good things in the pre-season, but still has some work to do and some growth as he continues to improve.Josh (Allen) and Travon (Walker) are now going into the regular season understanding where they need to be and how they need to be to influence the rush of passes.

“Where Foley (Vatukase) was at the start of camp, he was dominant and he was aggressive. He got a little bit held back by his foot, but we expect him to come back this week and bring him back to the full potential he had early in camp. I think Davon (Hamilton) is the one who “He’s been a shock to us in every way and we’re happy he’s healthy and heading in the right direction. But that’s a big thing from a rushing pass point of view. Big bodies and passing rushes are hard to come by. You just have to keep improving your team mates.”

Final preparations

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Although it will be turbulent for the roster over the next 24 hours, the last 53 is never decided – and if other teams release talent, there’s a good chance changes will be made until the start of the season. The Jaguars are now entering a two-week period that will feel very different from the rest of the preseason — but Pederson insists there will be no stopping as Jacksonville prepares for the trip to Indianapolis:

“You don’t want to go back; You don’t want to not pay from a practice standpoint and all that. Yes, it’s a chance to recharge and you don’t have enough training and preparation for this week’s game, but at the same time, I want to maintain a sense of urgency as we head into the first week of the season. regular class.”

That first real soccer match feels exhilaratingly close. More importantly, the Jaguars feel ready for it.

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