Jacksonville Jaguars decision to keep OC Press Taylor will loom large in 2024

• The Jaguars moved on from DC Mike Caldwell

• They are keeping OC Press Taylor around though

• The decision could be under the microscope in 2024

Jul 27, 2023; Jacksonville, FL, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor gives
Jul 27, 2023; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor gives / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired Mike Caldwell Monday even though head coach Doug Pederson told the media earlier that day he wasn't planning on making changes to his staff. Following Caldwell's departure, it looks like offensive coordinator Press Taylor's job is safe. This could turn out to be one of the biggest storylines in 2024.

The Jags were 13th in the league in both points scored and total yards in 2023, a dip of three spots from the year before. Trevor Lawrence also regressed in most categories. And you could make the case Taylor played a role in the offense's backslide. His playcalling wasn't particularly dreadful but it wasn't creative either. The execution wasn't always there. Miscommunication, drops, and unnecessary penalties held Jacksonville back throughout most of the season.

Some of the offense's miscues fall on the players. After all, there's only so much a coach can do. Players are the ones who take the field. General manager Trent Baalke also deserves criticism for not making upgrades to the offensive line. Without good protection upfront, Trevor Lawrence didn't always have time to throw, and running back Travis Etienne had nowhere to go.

That said, Taylor was ultimately responsible for making sure players were in a position to deliver. That wasn't always the case in 2023. Similarly, he's supposed to work around his unit's shortcomings and get the most out of his personnel. He didn't, so it's fair to wonder why the Jaguars moved on from Mike Caldwell but not Press Taylor.

Doug Pederson, for one, thinks the team's issues have to do with execution. He also thinks Taylor has room for improvement but overall did a good job. Based on his comments to the media Monday, his job appears safe, but should it be?

Press Taylor has been a mixed bag for the Jaguars

Jeff McLane of Philly Inquirer wonders if there could be a repeat of the 2019-2020 Philadelphia Eagles. As the head coach in Philly, Doug Pederson wanted Press Taylor to be his offensive coordinator but owner Jeffrey Lurie didn't approve of the move. Ultimately, Pederson chose to resign, but if he had stayed and kept Taylor as his coordinator, it might not have been well received.

Taylor didn't coach quarterback Carson Wentz hard enough, and that rubbed other players the wrong way. Per Mike Kaye, then with NJ Advance Media, players, and coaches believed Taylor let his relationship with Wentz get in the way of critiquing him.

On the other hand, Taylor also got praise for his football knowledge. That also seems to be the case in Jacksonville, where players showed confidence in his coaching acumen throughout the 2023 season, according to John Shipley of Sports Illustrated. Conversely, the Jaguars grew frustrated with Taylor's and the team's inability to get the running game going late in the 2023 season.

As noted before, the offensive line couldn't block but the game plan wasn't optimal either, that's squarely on Taylor's shoulders. Yet, he isn't going anywhere based on Pederson's comments. Instead, the only offensive assistants that were let go on the offensive side of the ball were running backs coach Bernie Parmale and assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington.

Ultimately, the decision to keep Press Taylor around could make or break the Jaguars' 2024. Maybe Doug Pederson is right, and the offense will bounce back. But if he doesn't both of them should get flak. For the time being, both will be under scrutiny.

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