Jaguars edge Josh Allen shows up at OTAs in right state of mind

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) at TIAA Bank Field (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) at TIAA Bank Field (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made an aggressive effort over the last few months to surround Trevor Lawrence with a better supporting cast. But the front office didn’t forget about the defense and also allocated significant resources to that side of the ball. Fourth-year outside linebacker Josh Allen will be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson talked to the local media Monday and touched on several topics, and took advantage of the opportunity to praise Allen. Pederson says that the 2019 first-round pick was away for a while but “came back in the right state of mind“. The head coach went on to describe Allen as “a tremendous leader on defense and the team” and someone who “wants to learn and just study our defense and just get better”.

Moreover, Pederson believes Allen should get better after all the additions the team’s brass made to the defense this offseason.

"Anytime you surround great players with good players or great players with great players, it just elevates everybody’s play. It’s the same thing on offense when you can put good people around your quarterback, it just elevates their play."

After logging 10.5 sacks in his rookie campaign, Allen has registered just two over the last two years. While he was one of the most dominant edge rushers at the midpoint of the 2021 season, he didn’t have the same kind of impact down the stretch. It’s possible that Allen’s performance was affected by Urban Meyer’s toxic culture but he will get a fresh start under coach Pederson and a chance to prove that last year was an outlier.

The Jaguars helped Josh Allen tremendously during the offseason.

Allen needs to be more consistent but the Jaguars lacked several pieces last year and that put a tremendous amount of pressure on his shoulders. On the bright side, the team’s brass spent the offseason rectifying that, revamping most position groups on defense. Besides selecting defensive lineman Travon Walker with the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Jags got a pair of off-linebacker in Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma.

Furthermore, Jacksonville signed defensive end Arden Key in free agency and brought back defensive lineman Adam Gostis. Allen will still have to play at a high level but he will be able to make more big plays now that there’s more talent around him.

Josh Allen is a franchise cornerstone and the Jaguars made sure he will be in a position to succeed by making upgrades to the defense. Don’t be surprise if he has a breakout season and joins the upper echelon of pass rushers in 2022.

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