Head Coach Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars have recently finalized the team’s 2022 coaching staff, which includes offensive coordinator Press Taylor and defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell.
Late last week, Pederson, Caldwell and Taylor spoke to the media. Caldwell talked about having an “aggressive mindset” on defense, among many other topics. On the offensive side of the ball, Taylor was asked several questions about quarterback Trevor Lawrence, his relationship with Doug Pederson and the offensive coaches on staff, his brother, Zac Taylor’s recent success with the Cincinnati Bengals and a plethora of other questions.
Taylor also divulged that his birth name is actually Sherwood Press Taylor, but he goes by his middle name. The name was inspired by the late Petar “Press” Maravich, the longtime college basketball coach and the father of the late “Pistol” Pete Maravich (whose middle name was also Press).
While Pederson will call the plays on game day, Taylor will obviously play a heavy role in the offensive game-planning, development of offensive players and the team’s overall success.
Regarding Lawrence — whose development during his second season is the most important factor for Jacksonville’s success in 2022 and beyond — Taylor is obviously looking forward to working with Lawrence. While Lawrence had a lot of struggles as a rookie, his talent level and outlook moving forward remain extremely promising.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with Trevor (Lawrence),” Taylor said on Friday. “All of us (coaches) are. That was kind of the one thing that when you mentioned there’s an opportunity here with the Jaguars, everybody talks about Trevor Lawrence, the character he has.”
Taylor, who worked as a senior offensive assistant for the Indianapolis Colts during the 2021 season, personally saw what Lawrence could do, as the Jaguars and Colts of course played each other twice this past season. The Jaguars defeated the Colts in Week 18 to keep Indianapolis out of the playoffs, and Lawrence had one of his best games, completing 72 percent of his passes for 223 yards, two touchdown passes and zero interceptions.
But in addition to Lawrence’s abilities on the field, Taylor is equally impressed with the young quarterback’s intangible traits.
“I was telling somebody earlier, being in the (AFC South) division, a lot of the stuff I do...during the week, I would watch a lot of press conferences from the other team, so I had the opportunity to watch (Lawrence) specifically,” Taylor added. “I remember when you guys gave him the ‘Good Guy Award’ for the season, so that was one I was watching and stuff. The way he handled adversity, success, ownership of certain things, that was very impressive to me. Everything I’ve heard, that kind of aligned with, I guess, my opinion of him from watching him from afar.”
As for the relationship between Pederson and Taylor, the two worked together in Philadelphia while Pederson was the head coach for the Eagles from 2016 through 2020. Taylor first worked under Pederson as an offensive quality control and assistant quarterbacks coach for the first two seasons, before being promoted to full-time quarterbacks coach for his last three seasons in Philadelphia, while also adding the title of passing game coordinator in 2020.
Taylor and Pederson quickly formed a bond. When asked about how the two coaches see things in a similar way — how to attack a defense, how to develop quarterbacks, etc. — Taylor had this to say:
“I guess a general answer would be all of the above (on how Doug Pederson and I see things similarly),” Taylor remarked. “We’ve had a lot of conversations over five years. We’ve sat in a lot of rooms speaking the same language in terms of our terminology offensively and grew comfortable with how we like to attack things or how we like to respond to things or what we call things. That’s kind of one of the things we’ve spent a lot of time as an offensive staff just in the week we’ve been together of trying to get on the same page terminology-wise. That’s a big thing.”
Taylor went on to elaborate on what Pederson’s mentorship has meant to him, what’s he learned from Pederson and what he can bring to Jacksonville as a first-time offensive coordinator based on those previous experiences on Pederson’s staff.
“He’s (Pederson) meant a lot — I’ve learned a lot from Doug over the course of — we were together for five years,” Taylor said. “We kept in contact last year just throughout the season and all that just because I enjoy talking football with Doug. He’s a guy that I’ve been able to learn from a lot in terms of maybe it’s his experience as a player or his experience as a coach.
“He was a quality control (coach), he was a quarterback coach, he was an offensive coordinator, now he’s a head coach. He’s kind of done everything that I’ve done or hope to do. I think it’s important to learn from people that have gone before you and done these things, and if there’s something he can tell me he hit his head on as a quality control that I can learn from and not hit my head on and be prepared for, I’m going to do that. It just happened to be Doug, but I think you’re kind of a combination of all the people you have worked with, all the experiences you’ve had, and you take that and move forward.
“So Doug, we’ve had a lot of experiences together over the last five years, or five of the last six years, whatever you want to call it. I’ve been able to learn a lot from him. I look up to him, and I appreciate the mentor role he’s taken in my life.”
Taylor was also asked about his brother, Zac Taylor, the head coach who recently led the Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance. Cincinnati ultimately lost the game against the Los Angeles Rams, and Zac Taylor owned up to some of the mistakes he made in that game. Press Taylor commended his older brother for taking accountability, and that will be something he strives for in Jacksonville as well.
“Yeah, I think the number one thing you ask for from somebody is accountability,” the younger Taylor said. “I have no problem, if I make a mistake, of standing up here admitting it. I think part of that is a little bit of self-awareness, a little bit of maybe just confidence in yourself — but at the same time that’s what I would expect of players. If you make a mistake, stand up, say you made a mistake, we evaluate from it, we evolve, we adapt. That’s something — just the specific example you gave about my brother (Zac) — I feel like that’s something he’s done really well as a coach. He stands up, he takes accountability. He evaluates what happened that led to that moment that maybe he’s standing up for. He evolves as he goes, but you’re adapting, and when you evaluate, evolve, you can’t go to extremes, either.”
Taylor also spoke about the “brain power” on the offensive coaching staff for the Jaguars with himself, Pederson, quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy, passing game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, offensive line coach Phil Rauscher, assistant quarterbacks coach Andrew Breiner and others. It will be a collaborative process with all of the coaches.
“Yeah, I think it’s exciting bringing different personalities and different experiences together to build the best possible offense,” Taylor said. “We didn’t take Doug’s Eagles’ playbook and roll it out on the table and say, ‘This is what we do.’ We said, ‘Here’s kind of the experiences, what do you guys do well, what do you think, Mike (McCoy), what did you experience in your career coaching X, Y, Z, Jim Bob (Cooter), Phil (Rauscher)?’
“All these guys, we’re kind of combining everybody together to build the best offense. But I think that can only work if everybody kind of puts their ego aside and is truly in it to do what is best for the Jacksonville Jaguars at the time.”
The full comments from Pederson, Caldwell and Taylor and can be listened to in the video below.