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Jaguars podcast: 2023 preseason, 13 personnel, and more

Gus and John return to the JaguarReport Podcast to discuss Jacksonville’s preseason opener in Dallas

NFL: Preseason-Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Check out Episode 48 of the JaguarReport Podcast, hosted by Gus Logue and John Shipley.

You can listen to the JaguarReport Podcast on Megaphone, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and more.

John and I discussed our biggest takeaways from last Saturday’s preseason game between the Jaguars and the Cowboys.

Brenton Strange got three snaps with the offensive starters, though they were all in 13 personnel (one running back, three tight ends) so Evan Engram and Luke Farrell were also on the field.

The second-round rookie won’t play a majority of snaps to start his career - but Saturday’s usage hinted that Strange could still fill a valuable role when Jacksonville wants to use heavy personnel.

Doug Pederson showed the effect of getting bigger bodies on the field last year on two fourth-down play calls against the Chargers.

In Week 3, Jacksonville trotted out 13 personnel on a 4th-and-1. When L.A. responded by sending out six defensive backs, the Jaguars weaponized Brandon Scherff on a power run.

In the Wild Card round, the Jaguars faced a late 4th-and-1 and again lined up with 13 personnel. Pederson did some window dressing this time, but the goal was the same: get the running back out into space against the defense’s lighter bodies.

According to Sports Info Solutions, the Jaguars ranked fifth in 13 personnel usage (8%) and third in run rate out of that grouping (83%) last season.

The second- and third-round investments in Strange and Tank Bigsby, respectively, suggest Jacksonville wants to continue punishing defenses that don’t respect various player packages.

The run game has already paid dividends, so the thing to watch for in the future is how Pederson takes advantage via the passing game when defenses do match bigger bodies with bigger bodies. That’s where Strange could find a niche in his first NFL season.

Pederson’s former mentor and playbook inspirer, Andy Reid, utilized heavy personnel on his way to another Super Bowl last year. The Chiefs ranked fourth in 13 personnel usage (10%) but fifth in pass rate out of that grouping (59%) in the regular season, compared to the Jaguars’ 17% pass rate. Could we see the Jaguars take a page out of Reid’s book and throw more out of 13 personnel in 2023?

John and I also talked through position battles and previewed Jacksonville’s joint practices and subsequent game in Detroit. Thanks for listening!