All eyes are on Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence ahead of the 2023 season. More specifically, pundits wonder if he and the offense can get to the next level. However, the defense also needs to take a step forward if the Jags want to keep up with other AFC powerhouses.
Working in Jacksonville's favor is that there Mike Caldwell is entering his second season as the defensive coordinator and most of the starters from last year are back in the fold. Having continuity will help Caldwell's unit be even better than they were in 2022. He met with the local media on Day 3 of training camp and addressed questions surrounding the group. Here are three takeaways from the exchange.
3. The Jaguars are emphasizing competition in training camp
There aren't many starting jobs up for grabs on defense but the rest of the Jaguars' depth chart is still taking shape, and players will be battling for a handful of spots ahead of the regular season. Throughout his presser, Mike Caldwell talked about competition and how they can get better because of it.
"There's competition up and down the whole roster", Caldwell said. "So when you look at competition, guys know that if I'm not at the bar, then there's somebody behind me is pushing me. That's how teams become better, that's how players become better. The more you have competition, the better you're going to be."
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley will give the offense a huge boost but Caldwell said that having to go against him in practice will also benefit cornerback Tyson Campbell and the defense.
"When you go against a good one, it helps you out, and Calvin's a good one. He's one of the ones, so it's all about competition within your group or on offense. Competition is what makes us the team we're gonna be. We're out there every day going against the offense. They'll hit a play, we'll hit a play. So it's going back and forth. You learn from that, and that carries over into game situations. When something happens in the game, you can get muscle memory back to what happened in training camp and be able to perform that way," Caldwell said.