Jaguars HC Doug Pederson discusses biggest challenge Josh Allen is facing in 2024

• Josh Allen is coming off a career season and the Jaguars expect him to have a massive impact once again in 2024.
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have opened mandatory minicamp. Outside linebacker Josh Allen will be one of the few veterans who will be in attendance. Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media and discussed what it meant to have the pass rusher around.

Pederson says that everyone will benefit from Allen partaking in minicamp, pointing out that this will be the first time that he'll be working with the new coaching staff.

"The fact that he's here, his leadership, veteran guy. He appears to be in great shape like he always is," Pederson said. "For him, he's gonna be learning new stuff. These next couple of days are going to be great for him, for the young guys to see him, and for the coaching staff to finally get their hands on him to start coaching and teaching. It'll be a good two and a half days with Josh here," Pederson said.

Allen spent the offseason working out in Arizona. Pederson says that the biggest challenge he's facing will be to once again have success. Last year, the former Kentucky Wildcat set a new team record for sacks in a season with 17.5.

"The challenge, for any player in that position, that's had success the year before is, can you do it again? And you have to do it again. The fact that the contract is behind him now and he can just focus on ball. That's his main focus, helping us. He has to understand too that he doesn't have to do it by himself. There's 10 of the guys on the field that can help him get to where he wants to be too. But taking a step in the right direction being here this week. For him, I know the type of person he is, and the way he works, puts himself in a position to be successful as he moves forward.

Pederson goes on to say that the Jags won't ask any more or less from Allen in 2024. They just want him to be himself.

"He's still Josh, he's still a big part of the football team, is a leader of the football team. I don't have to ask him any more, any less. I want him to be him. He doesn't have to put any more pressure or stress on himself. Go play and help us win games.

Allen had previously had success for the Jaguars but entered 2023 needing to prove he could consistently play at a high level. He delivered and then some. He and Travon Walker went on to combine for 27.5 sacks between the two. Moreover, he ranked third in the NFL in converting pass rush to sacks, with one sack per 28.1 pass rushes.

Having a banner year helped Allen secure a five-year deal worth $150 million, with $88 million guaranteed. As Pederson noted, having checked off that box will allow the Virginia native to have another successful campaign in 2024. Here's the head coach's full exchange with the media.

The Jaguars are counting on Josh Allen to have a huge impact in 2024

Josh Allen is looking to have another strong season. Moreover, he wants to have a bigger impact off the field. He hasn't been named team captain since 2021 but he says he'll embrace an even bigger leadership role next season.

On the field, Allen will need to make the adjustment to defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen's 4-3 system. After playing in a standup position the last three years, he'll now be playing with his hand on the ground like he did in his rookie year.

One thing that will help Allen with the switch is that his defensive coordinator in college, Matt House, is now part of the Jaguars' coaching staff. Similarly, one of Nielsen's strongest suits is getting the most out of his defensive linemen. It won't be any different with the star pass rusher.

Repeating the success Allen had last year won't be easy. However, the Jaguars will put him in a position to help him pull it off.

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