Edge rusher Josh Allen has been a cornerstone of the Jacksonville Jaguars defense since 2019, the year he was drafted seventh overall. He started the 2021 season strong and played at an elite level at one point but his production faded down the stretch. The former Kentucky Wildcat knows he has to be more consistent and has set the bar pretty high for 2022.
Allen recently had talked to Hays Carlyon of 1010 XL and discussed several topics, including his relationship with Jaguars linebacker coach Bill Shuey, his vacation trip to California, rookie Travon Walker and what he expects for the 2022 season. The former first-round pick told Carlyon that he had to reassert himself during the offseason and “really remember how he was”. He also believes the sky’s the limit and has “super high expectations“.
"So I felt I had to reassert myself. I really had to dig down and really remember who I really was. And I got to a point now where the sky’s the limit. I have super high expectations. I really don’t want to put it out there in the universe, except for my universe, but in the season when those goals do get accomplished. In the season, I’ll let you know what those were and if I did achieve them."
Allen had 10.5 sacks as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl. However, a knee injury slowed him down in 2020 and ended up appearing in just eight games and logging 2.5 sacks. He registered 5.5 in the first eight games of the 2022 campaign but made only two in the last nine games. Here’s his full conversation with Carlyon.
The Jaguars are counting on Josh Allen to make an impact on defense.
As Allen himself said, he won’t share his expectations publicly but he surely wants to perform better than he did last year and probably have a career year. 12 sacks and a couple of forced fumbles are a reasonable goal if he can play the way he did against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9 of the 2021 season. In that game, he sacked quarterback Josh Allen, scooped a fumble, and snagged an interception. For his efforts, he earned the AFC Player of the Week award.
While it’s unreasonable to think Allen can log a sack and an interception every week, he should be better thanks to all the additions the team’s brass made to the defensive front in the offseason. Besides selecting Travon Walker with the No. 1 pick in this year’s selection meeting, they also brought back defensive lineman Adam Gotsis and signed defensive end Arden Key in free agency.
As head coach Doug Pederson recently said, when you surround great players with talent, they will be in a better position to succeed, and Allen will benefit from the defensive acquisitions. Moreover, head coach Doug Pederson is trying to instill a healthy workplace and foster trust after a tough and taxing year.
The Jaguars show they see Allen as a building block when they picked up the fifth-year option in his rookie year. The edge defender will soon have the chance to prove they made the right decision.