The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the 2023 season with high expectations. Although they were far from perfect, they got off to an encouraging start, going 6-2 before their BYE. Unfortunately, they weren't able to build on their early success and came crumbling down in the second half, winning just three of their last nine games. Looking back, it was not just one thing that led to their collapse but rather a combination of a few.
For starters, the offensive line couldn't block. Without enough time to throw, Trevor Lawrence found himself having to push harder than he should have. The fact that he dealt with a myriad of injuries throughout the year didn't help matters. Also, the Jags couldn't get the running game going because they routinely lost the battle in the trenches. Things weren't much better on defense, with the group routinely blowing assignments and missing tackles at an alarming rate, especially down the stretch.
Not surprisingly, the organization moved on from defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and most of his assistants once the season concluded. While they won't make changes to the front office or the offensive staff, the Jaguars do need to modify their approach if they want to bounce back in 2024. In particular, they need to make these three changes.
3. Jaguars owner Shad Khan must demand results from Doug Pederson and Trent Baalke
Shad Khan routinely has shown patience throughout his stint as the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He stuck with Dave Caldwell too long. The same is true for Gus Bradley and Doug Marrone. Even though he deserves praise for not being impulsive, he must demand more from Doug Pederson and Trent Baalke moving forward.
The Jags had a shot at making the playoffs in 2023 and fell short. That should no longer be acceptable. They have a franchise quarterback in place and more than enough talent at several position groups. While flawed, the roster was good enough to qualify for the postseason. It's Pederson's task to get the most out of the players he has. He didn't in the second half of the season. Similarly, Baalke failed to load up on talent last year.
Gene Frenette of The Florida-Times Union recently wrote a column in which he argues that both Pederson and Baalke should be on the hot seat in 2023, and he's right. Whether Khan issues a decree or sets goals, he cannot afford a repeat of last year. He needs to pull rank, and let it be known that failing to win the AFC South won't be acceptable.