Josh Allen shares surprising theory about the Jaguars' 2023 collapse

• The Jaguars fell apart in the 2nd half of the 2023 season

• Josh Allen discussed one potential reason for the collapse

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) wipes his face as he walks off the field after
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) wipes his face as he walks off the field after / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't make the playoffs in 2023. In the last few days, there have been reports about the things that might've played a role. Outside linebacker Josh Allen also shared his theory regarding the Jags' late-season collapse.

Allen told new teammate Arik Armstead on the Third and Long podcast that he thinks there was no longer trust among players and the coaching staff to end the season.

To be honest with you, brother, these are things that we, as a leadership group, need to still figure out," Allen told Armstead. "Last year I wasn't a captain, I was doing my thing aside but was still involved because I'm an involved player. This is something that I'm starting to move back into, to know what those guys were thinking day to day, or what they believe. In my mind, I'm thinking that we can win every game. We had the talent to compete against any and everybody."

Allen continued, "I can't make an excuse for why we lost, but I know that feeling that we went through and it was very... trust I think we lost a lot of trust between each other. I think that's one thing that we need to focus on this year. That togetherness. That's in all phases of the game. That's, first of all, that's the players because we play the game. That's also coaches."

"Our players having trust within the coaches, and the coaches, higher up or whatever, and knowing that we can go to any of these coaches in and just as a group, honestly, like, 'Hey, this is where we're at. Can we change this or can we modify or can we find a trust and a balance between?' Obviously, it's a business and we understand that. But having that balance, to go and build that trust within each other. And I do think it starts today. Training every phase, training camp it's a huge phase."

The Jaguars went 6-2 to start the 2023 season, and the defense played a role. However, they weren't able to build off of their early success and faltered in the second half, winning just one of their last six games. As Allen noted, he was doing his own thing and set a new franchise record for sacks in a season. However, the rest of the unit wasn't doing so great.

Whether it was broken tackles or blown assignments, the defense didn't look in sync to end in 2023. After the season ended, head coach Doug Pederson dismissed defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and brought in Ryan Nielsen to take his place. Here's the full conversation between Allen and Armstead in case you want to listen to it.

Josh Allen and Arik Armstead will help the Jaguars rebound in 2024

Just recently, Demetrius Harvey reported that Jaguars players weren't practicing at full speed late in 2023. Instead, they were focusing on alignments, assignments, and communications. Before that, Mia O'Brien of 1010 XL said that defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen found out that there was communication between position groups the last five weeks of the season. Allen's comments more or less confirm the reports.

On the bright side, the Jaguars have taken considerable steps to right the ship. Nielsen should be an immense upgrade on defense. His emphasis on fundamentals and technique has paid dividends everywhere he's gone, and most players will benefit from his arrival. Also, the front office has moved on from players who weren't making a difference, including safety Rayshawn Jenkins and defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi.

On the other hand, Jacksonville signed Arik Armstead, who won't only be an upgrade on the interior defensive line but will also provide off-field leadership, something the team was sorely missing last year.

As Josh Allen noted during his exchange with Arik Armstead, the talent was there but they had no direction. After undergoing changes in the offseason, it looks like the Jacksonville Jaguars are in a position to get back on track.

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