The Jacksonville Jaguars thought when they hired Urban Meyer that they had gotten a coach that would help them turn things around and become a playoff contender. Instead, they got someone that became involved in a series of controversies that set them back further. Outside linebacker Josh Allen is glad Doug Pederson is now in charge and can notice the difference between him and his predecessor.
Allen spoke to the local media after Day 2 of Jaguars training camp and touched on several topics, including the positive influence Pederson has had on the team since being hired. The fourth-year linebacker says he feels good he’s now in a professional locker room and adds that likes the fact that he and his teammates are treated like grown men.
"It feels good to be a part of a professional locker room. Not only in the locker room, but when you talk to the coaches, it’s a professional setting. You got to hold onto the details, you don’t say if you’re not listening to details, it’s not getting on you, it’s telling you what’s right and what’s wrong. As grown men, we need to understand that he’s putting it in a way we can understand it and grow. He’s not getting on us, he’s letting us know what’s real, and he’s talking to us like grown men."
While Allen is clearly highlighting the positives Doug Pederson brings to the table, it’s not hard to read between the lines. It’s telling that he had to say he is now in a professional environment, implying that he previously wasn’t.
Similarly, when the 2019 first-round pick notes Pederson doesn’t scold or berate players, he’s basically saying that’s precisely what Meyer use to do. Here’s the whole sitdown in case you want to give it a listen.
The Jaguars have a leader and a class act in Josh Allen
Allen’s comments aren’t particularly shocking. Every single Jaguars player and member of the coaching staff that was part of the organization last year will surely agree. By now, Meyer’s abuse of authority is well-documented.
What was surprising was that Allen acknowledged Meyer’s negative influence on the organization. After all, he was one of his biggest supporters and had his back even after the nightclub incident in Ohio after the Jags’ Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. This speaks highly of Allen, who could have thrown Meyer into the bus at any point last year but decided not to. Instead, he respected him because he was his head coach, even if he didn’t deserve it.
Allen could have gone public about the Meyer debacle but instead focused on being the best leader he could for the Jaguars. Fortunately, the Jaguars have a new head coach in Pederson, one that commands respect and admiration precisely because that’s what he gives to his players. And Allen and every other player that was with the team last year can see the night-and-day difference between him and Meyer.