One of the biggest plotlines surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars heading into the 2023 season was that head coach Doug Pederson handed full control of the playcalling duty to offensive coordinator Press Taylor. So far, the decision hasn't paid off and it looks like the Jags have put the plan on hold, at least temporarily.
Following the 37-17 loss to the Houston Texans, Mia O'Brien of 1010 XL reported that Pederson took over the offensive playcalling in the second half. This makes sense when you take into account that the Jags were trailing 17-0 at halftime. Once Pederson reportedly took over, the offense showed signs of competency and quickly put 10 points on the scoreboard.
A pick thrown by Trevor Lawrence eventually killed whatever momentum the offense had and the Jaguars' comeback attempt fell short. However, it was clear the unit was performing much better than in the first half.
Pederson told the media after the game that he let his players know at halftime that their performance was unacceptable. He went on to say that the talent is there but they haven't been able to execute.
"Grabbing their attention at halftime and just letting them know the first 30 minutes was unacceptable," Pederson said when he was asked what changed in the second half. "It's not up to what our standards are, and our expectations my expectations for this football team. I say were too good, we got we got the pieces, but we're not playing well.
"And so they came out they executed extremely well. We got it back to that 17-10 mark, and then the kickoff return happened. And those are just the moments that right now are just keeping us from pushing through this wall of getting over this hump. And those are the things, those are the moments that every man in there, takes ownership, accountability. And we just can't let those happen," Pederson said.
In the first half, the Jaguars ran 31 plays for a measly 158 yards, eight first downs and no points. Once Pederson took over the offense, they looked much better. But by then, the deficit was too much to overcome.
Should HC Doug Pederson take over the offensive playcalling full-time moving forward?
Instead of doubling down on what currently seems to be a mistake, Doug Pederson took back playcalling responsibilities from Taylor. The early results paid off but it's fair to see what he decides to do next.
Maybe Pederson has already seen enough from Taylor to think he's not fit to run the offense. On the other hand, it's possible that Pederson was just assisting Taylor. Either way, it's clear that the offense is better when Pederson is calling plays.
Following the loss to the Texans, the Jaguars are 1-2 and the slim grip they had on the AFC South is gone. If Jacksonville wants to get back on track, they'll need to do what's best for the team, and if stripping Taylor from playcalling duty helps, so be it.
The Jaguars aren't a very good team right now but they have enough time to right the ship. That said, the margin for error is gone, and they need to do whatever is necessary to get back into the win column.