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Jaguars’ Friday presser: ‘Our culture is strong here’

Doug Pederson meets with media for final time before game with Steelers.

Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Safe to say that Steelers’ wide receiver George Pickens and his comments have made it to the Jaguars’ locker room.

Earlier this week, Pickens said the Jaguars play a style of defense he classified as “hope defense” when asked about the team’s defensive style.

With Trevor Lawrence’s comments circulating about the relative size of yellow pieces of cloth, there is some pseudo-smack talking going on between the two franchises.

To Jaguars’ head coach Doug Pederson, he said his team has taken the jawing in stride.

“During the week it can spur some motivation,” Pederson said of bulletin board material. “You don’t ever want to give too much information to one team.”

When asked if his team had specifically been stirring over Pickens’ comments, Pederson kept that to himself. The coach said he personally is more concerned about wins and loses than misleading defensive stats.

“I am sure they have seen it,” Pederson said of Pickens’ comments. “But look, you still have to go play. Bottom line. You coach your guys to not put that information out there and keep things to yourself.”

Pederson and defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell know they have a top-tier unit on defense, whether some stats say so or not.

Pederson did chuckle a bit when talking about his team’s numbers being slightly skewed, but mentioned his Super Bowl run as an example that sometimes stats do not always tell the full story.

When Pederson won the Super Bowl 2018, his Philadelphia Eagles were outgained in the game by the New England Patriots by almost 100 yards.

The Pats had more drives, ran more plays and notched 500 yards passing. Yet it is Pederson and his Eagles who came out victorious.

That mentality is something Pederson still keeps with him, and has tried to disseminate amongst his team.

“It is a little interesting,” Pederson said. “Numbers are one way, interceptions are another way. The bottom line is the win-loss column. If you have more points at the end of the game than your opponent then you have done something right.”

In terms of off the field developments, the Jaguars are trending in the right direction in terms of getting players back healthy.

Receiver Zay Jones will likely not play this week while he is “still working through” a knee injury.

However, defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton is “trending well” and practiced in full this week. Pederson said Hamilton has a good chance to play on Sunday, but is still ramping up to the “physicality of practice.”

Offensive lineman Walker Little is in the same boat as Hamilton, while quarterback Trevor Lawrence has suffered no setbacks with his knee injury.

Defensive backs Tyson Campbell and Andre Cisco both practiced Friday and are “trending in the right direction.” Fellow defensive back Greg Junior is practicing full and is “getting close.”

Pederson said the team’s bye week next week will play at least some factor in whether or not certain players do take the field in Pennsylvania.

“I don’t want to risk a setback with anybody,” Pederson said. “Having time next week to fully rest can play into that.”

When asked if his team is potentially in the position to make a move before Tuesday’s trade deadline, Pederson kept things up in the air.

As questions circulate on whether or not the team goes after a guy like Chase Young, Montez Sweat or Danielle Hunter, Pederson said that it all comes down to one thing: culture.

“You have to consider the culture of the team,” Pederson said. “I think about the players in the locker room and how it will affect them. But if you are going to make a move, this player is coming in to help you. Our culture is strong here so I think we can absorb something like that, if something happens.”