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When a new coach comes in for their first year with a team and begins to show what kind of leader and communicator they are, players take notice. Some like it. Some don’t. A few could be indifferent. But they take stock of that new coach’s similarities and differences from the old coach the same way any of us would do if we got a new boss or our departments promoted someone new to lead.
Count Josh Allen as someone who likes what his new coach is bringing to the table.
In just the first week of training camp, Josh Allen commented on how he’s feeling going into his fourth season with the team. It’s been a whirlwind for the defender, now on his third head coach in just a short time in the NFL but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the differences between Doug Pederson and his predecessors... with Josh Allen pointing out that the most impactful thing that’s changed is the professionalism that the new Jaguars head coach brings to the locker room.
Josh Allen:— Mia O'Brien (@MiaOBrienTV) July 26, 2022
“It feels good to be in a professional locker room… [Doug] talks to us like grown men.” #Jaguars
This isn’t breaking news. It’s not even surprising that players last year felt something was lacking when Urban Meyer was in charge.
But it is interesting that Josh Allen would emphasize “professionalism” and how Doug Pederson talks to players when speaking to local media this morning. And it further demonstrates not just how wrong Urban Meyer was for the Jaguars head coaching job (or any head coaching job, for that matter) but how detrimental his presence was for the development of rookies and veterans alike.
Case in point? James Robinson. Urban Meyer treated one of the best young running backs in the game (and a guy who garnered legitimate Rookie Of The Year considerations!) as a backup. He fumbled once, thanks to confirmed alien Aaron Donald, and he’s on the sidelines for a quarter. Carlos Hyde fumbled twice and didn’t miss any reps.
The sad thing is, James Robinson wasn’t even the only player with actual talent that Urban Meyer was alienating. Remember when he criticized DJ Chark as a ”big guy who plays little” months before the season?
Or when he let Gardner Minshew compete for the starting quarterback spot despite drafting Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick?
We don’t even have to get into the egregious coaching hires, reaches in the NFL Draft, or his sleepwalk through free agency. Those matter, but I don’t think that gets to the heart of what Josh Allen is referring to.
Doug Pederson is treating Jaguars players like adults. Josh Allen is encouraged by that. And I’m sure he’s not the only one.