The Jacksonville Jaguars are rightfully making several changes to the coaching staff after a disappointing end to the 2023 season. They dismissed defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and several defensive coaches Monday and moved on from assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington and running backs coach Bernie Parmalee Tuesday.
The Jags announced the departure of Caldwell and other defensive assistants Monday afternoon. On early Tuesday, they posted a message by Pederson explaining the moves, noting he felt it was in the team's best interest.
Urban Meyer brought in Bernie Parmalee in 2021. The fact that Doug Pederson kept him around showed how valuable he was. Under Parmalee, James Robinson was having a career year before his questionable benching and later an Achilles tear cut his season short. Also, Travis Etienne became a 1,000-yard rusher under his tutelage. On the other hand, Paramalee couldn't get much out of 2022 fifth-round pick Snoop Conner, and Tank Bigsby struggled in his rookie season.
In 2023, the Jaguars ranked 24th in rushing yards and ninth in rushing touchdowns. While Etienne tallied 1,008 rushing yards, he averaged 3.8 yards per carry, a dip of 1.2 yards from 2022. Similarly, Bigsby struggled with turnovers throughout the season. Then again, most of the team's struggles to run the ball effectively came from the offensive line's inability to block.
Todd Washington, for his part, was an assistant line coach for the Baltimore Ravens, the Chicago Bears, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets before joining Pederson's coaching staff in 2022. As a player, Washington suited up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans. He joined the Cleveland Browns in 2006 but retired before the seasons started due to injuries.
The only three holdovers on defense are quality control coach Patrick Reilly, assistant defensive line coach Rory Segrest outside linebackers coach Billy Shuey.
The Jaguars are confident the offense can bounce back with Press Taylor at the helm
Based on Pederson's comments, the team needed to make changes if they wanted to bounce back from a disappointing season. However, they felt offensive coordinator Press Taylor was part of the solution. Just one year after qualifying for the postseason and winning the AFC South, the Jags went 9-7 and were eliminated from playoff contention in the finale.
Although Jacksonville started 6-2 in 2023, they managed to win just three games the rest of the way. Part of it was the offense's inability to score due to miscommunication, drops, and lack of execution. While there's no denying general manager Trent Baalke did a poor job of addressing the offensive line in the offseason, Taylor failed to get the most out of his players and his unimaginative playmaking didn't help matters.
Yet, the Jaguars feel the only offensive assistants that had to go were Bernie Parmalee and Todd Washington. Maybe Doug Pederson is right, and Press Taylor is the right man calling the shots on offense moving forward. Perhaps they'll rebound if they properly address the offensive line. But if the Jaguars don't show improvement in 2024, the decision will come into question.