Jaguar cars are narrowing down their list

JACKSONVILLE – This day was pretty much as expected.

For coach Doug Pederson, there is good and bad about it. The good thing is that as the Jaguars on Monday continued to cut back on – and make up – their 2023 regular season roster, it became clear once again that this is a talented and deep team.

But that didn’t make for a good day.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Pederson said two days after the Jaguars beat the Miami Dolphins 31-18 at Everbank Stadium in the 2023 preseason finals.

Pederson spoke as the Jaguars narrowed down their roster to 53 players, which must be done by Tuesday 4:00pm.

The Jaguars, as of early Monday afternoon, have 91 players on their roster, including extra safety Ayo Oyelola in the NFL’s International Track Program. Pederson said, as he has said throughout the 2023 training camp and pre-season, that the process of cutting 37 players from the roster will be difficult due to the depth in so many positions.

“We’ve found that to be true, and we also know there are going to be some very good footballers who are going to have to come off,” Pederson said. “It’s a very difficult 24 hours here and across the league. It’s just a very difficult 24 hours.” Obviously the credit goes to (General Manager) Trent (Palkey) and his staff, the quality of the athletes we’ve brought to this list and the depth we’ve brought to this team.

“You’d love to keep them all, but you can’t. You have to make the best decisions going forward.”

The Jaguars finished the pre-season 3-0, with the starters playing most of the first quarter against the Dolphins on Saturday. The first team offense scored a touchdown via a missed fumble at the Dolphins two-yard line on their first possession, with the first team defense allowing a field goal during the same period.

“Overall, the pre-season has been a success,” Pedersen said.

The Jaguars left Saturday with a 7-3 lead. They did not play in the second preseason win in Detroit and left the first preseason win in Dallas by an 8-0 margin.

“Obviously, gains and losses are a big part of it, but that’s not all,” Pedersen said. “Some of that can be a little misleading.”

Pederson noted that the first-team offense scored two goals with two turnovers and a kick on five possessions before the season.

“So, it wasn’t as clean as you might want,” he said. “These are some of the things we have to clean up.”

The senior team’s defense allowed one field goal on four preseason possessions.

“They kind of picked up where they left off a year ago, and managed to stop the run,” Pederson said of the defense. “We still have to do work around the passing game and making sure the players are on the same page there in terms of coverage. Everyone has a year in the system, so it’s much better to be able to teach and correct, because everyone understands where we are.”

  • Rookie linebacker Ventrell Miller — who was selected in the fourth round in the 2023 NFL Draft — suffered an Achilles tendon injury on Saturday and will miss the 2023 season. “We’re going to miss him,” Pederson said. Pederson said veteran defensive lineman Davon Hamilton returned to Everbank Stadium on Monday after being absent since last Sunday due to a non-football back problem. Pederson also said defensive lineback Foley Vatokasi is “recovering well” from a foot injury and could return to the field this week, with veteran goalkeeper Tyler Chatley allowed to return to training after suffering atrial fibrillation in early August. He said swing tackle Josh Wells (close-up) is expected to be weekly with rookie backup guard Cooper Hodges (kneecap) not close to returning and “still going to miss some time.”
  • Pederson on Monday praised the rookie class of 2023 for impressing throughout training camp. The Jaguars have selected 13 players in the 23rd draft, with the 10th to 11th likely on Tuesday’s 53-man draft roster. “It was an amazing group.” Pederson said. “They were excited to get on the field. And they were excited to learn, all the way back to our junior camp when we first put them here. I was really impressed with the group as a whole. They will have to play. We are very happy with our freshman class this year.”
  • Pederson on fourth-year linebacker Clavon Chaisson, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft: “I love where he was at the end of last year and how he got into training camp. He’s going to get a lot out of it.” He’ll be the No. 3 player out there. He will have to play and he will have to play at a high level. He understands that. I was pleased with his position.”

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