clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jaguars Monday presser: ‘These guys are battling their tails off’

Doug Pederson speaks to the media on Monday following the Jaguars’ win over the Indianapolis Colts

NFL: London Games-Jacksonville Jaguars Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A third win in a row for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday came at some cost.

Head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the Media on Monday, less than 24 hours after his team defeated the Indianapolis Colts 37-20 at EverBank Stadium. In a game that saw injuries to key personnel pile up, it was unsurprising the press conference was dominated by the health status of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and cornerback Tyson Campbell, not to mention others:

“Right now, obviously with the hamstring, probably in a short week the chances are he’s [Tyson Campbell] out for this game. We’ll just keep monitoring that. With hamstrings, they can be a little finicky so we’ll see but right now it’s trending that way. Trevor [Lawrence] and Brandon [Scherff] are both day-to-day. Both are feeling better today, they’re sore obviously, but they’re day-to-day. Zay [Jones] and Walker [Little] are doing better, they’re day-to-day and noncommittal on this game just yet. I think that’s the major ones.”

With what is an alarming list of ailments on a short week, concern over Lawrence’s status versus the New Orleans Saints was the most pressing concern. Pederson was unable to give any information on the MRI scan on his quarterback’s knee, and went as far as saying that he would only be ready to make a call on Lawrence’s playing status just before kickoff on Thursday. If his franchise QB can’t suit up, the Jaguars head coach professed his confidence in CJ Beathard answering the call:

“Yeah, a lot of confidence in CJ [Beathard] if that’s the case. He prepares himself each week as if he is the starter. He does a great job in-game with Trevor [Lawrence], obviously the communication there. I’ve seen it the last year and a half being around him and his career. A lot of confidence in him and I know he’ll be ready just like he always is.”

Whilst not fully ready to rule Lawrence in or out for Thursday Night Football, Pederson acknowledged there may be more practice snaps headed Beathard’s way this week - just in case:

“Possibly, if Trevor is sore, we’ve done this before and did it last year where CJ took the Wednesday reps and Trevor took the rest of the week, then played in the game. It’s possible that happens.”

More injury concerns

If Beathard does have to cover for an injured Lawrence this week, then he’ll be forgiven for wondering what his protection will look like. The aforementioned injuries to Brandon Scherff and Walker Little has added further challenges to an offensive line that has been juggled around to cover missing pieces all season. Pederson was pragmatic when asked about the situation:

“Well, it’s a challenge, but guys have done a nice job of the guys that have been filling in. Blake [Hance] did good yesterday and Tyler [Shatley] has been filling in nicely. It’s obviously not perfect, but nothing is. These guys are battling their tails off and they’re well coached and well prepared. We just put the next guy in and go play.”

Pederson was more positive on the performances of Cam Robinson since his return from suspension, as well as those of rookie Anton Harrison. The two tackles will be leaned on to help keep clean whichever quarterback lines up under center on Thursday.

Speaking of performance; the Jaguars’ secondary has been playing at an elite level the last few weeks. Tyson Campbell’s hamstring injury suffered against the Colts on Sunday is a setback, but not one Pederson thinks the team cannot overcome:

“Buster will play. We have Tevaughn Campbell, Erick Hallett, guys are sitting there on the practice squad and have been practicing. We have some options there.”

Despite Pederson’s confidence in the depth in the secondary, the team made a move on Monday, signing veteran cornerback Amani Oruwariye. The former Detroit Lion spent the early part of this season on the New York Giants’ practice squad, and now gives the Jaguars one more option in light of Campbell’s injury. With opposite starting corner Darious Williams in excellent form after three interceptions in his last three games, there is optimism the back end will still be a problem for Derek Carr and the Saints offense. Pederson was impressed with Williams’ recent performances:

“It seems like the ball ends up his way and he makes plays on it. He’s such a smart player, savvy player. He’s got really good hands and good ball skills; he’s just been making the plays when they come and that’s what you want. It was a huge play against Atlanta with the pick-six and then last week Buffalo and again Sunday. Just keep that going.”

Adjustments on a short week

Despite the comfortable scoreline against the Colts, Sunday’s performance was far from faultless. Pederson was pressed on some suspect play calling, and didn’t hold back:

“Yeah. It’s part on us, part on the players. We put our players in situations where we have to understand the situation. We had talked about taking the short sack in a situation like that if you don’t feel like you can get outside, you go down. Part of that is on the player, and part of that is we can coach better and emphasize that more.”

With that said, Pederson seemed very happy with the growth of his team in recent weeks, following a dubious start to the season:

“Their confidence is extremely high right now. I see this team playing better together, we’re playing with complementary football in all three phases, especially the last couple of weeks. The defense yesterday with the takeaways and with the offense scoring 17 points off those takeaways, that’s the complementary element that we talk about. The confidence, we’re beginning to eliminate some of those mistakes that happened early in the season. They’re not showing up as much, still some work to do each week but those are some of the areas I see that this team is really beginning to mature and come together as a group.”

So, with just three days until the team take the field again, can they keep this momentum going? Pederson certainly hopes so - and isn’t ready to make excuses about a congested schedule:

“It is what it is. You just understand that you’re going to go through it, you get your team in here today, you got to practice today and practice tomorrow and then you’re on a plane heading to New Orleans. Guys are going to be sore, guys are going to be dealing with things. We don’t have the full compliment of a week for guys to feel somewhat normal. The gameplan is the gameplan, it’s just based on what you see on film and trying to get something together for the game and go play.”