Andrew Wingard credits general Doug Pederson for Jaguars turnaround
The Jacksonville Jaguars completed their 2022 turnaround when they beat the Tennessee Titans 20-13 in Week 18. Not only did the Jags finish 9-8 this season but they also won the AFC Sout and advanced to the playoffs for first the time since 2017. Safety Andrew Wingard believes head coach Doug Pederson is the man that made this possible.
Wingard met with Bucky Brooks after the win and credited Pederson for the team’s significant improvement in his first season at the helm.
“It’s good to have a general leading the way in Doug Pederson”, Wingard said. “You go out with so much confidence as a player knowing he’s leading this ship, and he’s gonna get us right and it’s just on us to go out and play. We don’t get to do anything more than that”.
“And winning is contagious. When guys reflect on the process that breeds good outcomes, they can build on that process and keep it going. The sky’s the limit for this team”, Wingard said.
Wingard appeared in all 17 games and made two starts this season. Although he played less than 20 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, he’s become a key contributor on special teams and a veteran presence in the locker room. Following the win, the player known as Dewey delivered his signature line, “It was always the Jags!”.
Doug Pederson has played a huge role in the Jaguars’ success
In Pederson’s first year on the job, the Jags have ended several undesirable streaks. They beat the Titans on the road for the first time since 2013 and swept them for the first time since 2005. Similarly, their five-game winning streak to end the year was their longest one since 2005. Moreover, they snapped a 20-game losing skid against NFC teams when they beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15.
Trevor Lawrence playing at a high level has helped the Jaguars. The same is true for a roster stacked with talent on offense, defense, and special teams. But as Wingard noted, Pederson has put his players in a position and helped them heal following the Urban Meyer debacle.
The Jags will next face either the Baltimore Ravens or the Los Angeles Chargers — teams they’ve already beaten in 2022 — in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. And if they keep playing the way they have under Pederson, they should be able to advance to the division round.