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Jaguars week in quotes: ‘We do have the right quarterback’

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By: SimonCarroll

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A roundup of the best Jaguars soundbites from the past seven days

This week, the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves in enemy territory as they look at the stars of tomorrow at the combine in Indy. That’s not to say it was all draft talk though – here’s this week in quotes.

“We’re more focused on the player.”

NFL: Combine
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

We begin and end this week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. That’s right folks – draft season is well and truly here, and head coaches and general managers from around the league have descended on Indianapolis to prod, poke and peek at the best prospects in the nation. But not before they speak to the media it seems…

Trent Baalke faced a range of questions, mostly about the roster and who the team is prioritizing ahead of free agency. The most interesting snippet was when he was asked about the timing of any contract offer for Calvin Ridley – the Jaguars currently have exclusive negotiation rights with the wide receiver, but if they tie him down to a long term deal before the new league year, they give the Atlanta Falcons a second round pick. That turns into a third rounder if the deal comes after March 13th, but of course other teams may come in for him. For Baalke, the value of draft capital lost is second in importance to getting Ridley back:

“We’re not real concerned with that, whether it’s a second or third round. We’re just going to work with the player and see if we can come to an agreement. Whether that’s before the compensation changes or not, that remains to be seen. We’re more focused on the player. I had a great talk with Calvin, know exactly where he’s at and and he knows where we’re at. We’re just going to continue to work with all these players and try to come to some form of compromise, some form of resolution as the weeks go on.”

You can read about the rest of Baalke’s combine press conference courtesy of Gus Logue here.

“We do have the right quarterback”

NFL: Combine
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson also did his duty at the podium in Indianapolis, and was grilled on playcalling, personnel, and of course, Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars quarterback is going to command a large contract extension in the near future; always a tricky thing to negotiate for any franchise. Further complicating matters is Lawrence’s failure to make the improvements expected in 2023 – but Pederson is unconcerned:

“We do have the right quarterback. And, as coaches, it’s our job to make sure he takes the next step. I’m excited for the future with Trevor. He’s excited based on the conversations we’ve had since the season. I just know that our guy is the right guy, he’s got the right demeanor, he’s got the right leadership. This will be another big offseason for him and his development and growth. By no means is he where he wants to be or where we want him to be, but really looking forward to working another year with Trevor.”

Intriguing. The Jags head coach has retained the same narrative with Lawrence for the past 12 months, backing his franchise QB to succeed. Acknowledging there’s work to be done, he’s in no doubt it will get done – and also suggested it’s down to Baalke and the front office to decide how and when negotiations begin.

Once again, BCC have broken down the entire press conference for you to pick through, Travis Holmes this time bringing you every word from Doug Pederson here.

“The very best in what an Athletic Trainer should be”

A quick step away from the meat market now, but staying within the confines of Lucas Oil Stadium; the NFL Combine was also host to the annual NFL Team Physicians Scientific Meeting and Symposia on Wednesday. This yearly event brings together medical teams from all 32 franchises, sharing best practice and rewarding elite performance.

One Award – the FainCain Memorial Award – is given to the Most Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year. Named after Dr. Thomas Cain and Dr. Robert Fain (former Houston Oilers physicians), this award is given annually to an athletic trainer who demonstrates long-term commitment to the NFL and exemplary performance, whilst maintaining the highest level of professionalism. This year, the award was given to Jeff Ferguson, the Jaguars’ Vice President of Health and Performance. Head Team Physician Dr. Kevin Kaplan was delighted to present the award to his colleague ‘Ferg’:

“Ferg embodies the very best in what an Athletic Trainer should be in today’s NFL. His care for the players, medical knowledge, personality, ability to lead, while also helping his staff grow in their careers, is second to none. I’m honored to work with him and proud to present the prestigious 2023 FainCain Memorial award on behalf of our NFL Physicians’ Society.”

High praise, well earned. Congrats Ferg!

“That’s a whole lot of man right there”

And finally… we get to what the NFL Combine is ACTUALLY about. That’s right – the draft. And whilst it’s still two months away, Jaguars fans are itching to learn what the team might do with their first round pick. Jacksonville selects seventeenth overall on Day 1, and there is some consensus from different corners of the internet about what position the team could possibly address.

J.P. Shadrick, Bucky Brooks and John Oehser were joined by NFL Analyst Charles Davis on Wednesday to discuss different options for the team. Davis gave his thoughts on the trenches on both sides of the ball, along with some options in the secondary:

“Offensive tackle is a loaded position. I think you can get a real good one down at 17. And with a run on quarterbacks potentially pushing talent down the board, what if the big kid from Oregon State – [Taliese] Fuaga – what if he’s sitting there? Or Olu Fashanu from Penn State? JC Lathan seems like a right tackle to me, so if you want to go pure left tackle, one of those guys could be there…”

“You talk about run defense? I just sat down with Byron Murphy from Texas. Interior defensive line? That’s a whole lot of man right there. No doubt about it. And at cornerback? I don’t know if he makes it all the way down to you, but [Ennis] Rakestraw from Missouri… The reason why I say that? There’s a running back in Indy they’re going to get going again. Houston with a defensive head coach would like to run the ball a little more – and they started to do that towards the end.. ..Devin Singletary played really well. And Tennessee with Brian Callahan, I don’t rule that out. But Rakestraw, he will tackle!”

You heard it here first gang; get Googling the names Fuaga, Fashanu, Murphy and Rakestraw right now!

Originally posted on Big Cat Country – All Posts