JACKSONVILLE – Doug Pederson understands NFL reality.
As such, the Jaguars’ second-year head coach knows expectations will be much higher following a 2022 AFC South championship season than they were entering that season.
He also knows those expectations can’t be the focus.
“It’s one game, it’s one day, it’s one player at a time,” Pederson said Friday.
The Jaguars, after back-to-back seasons with the NFL’s worst record, won their final five regular-season games in 2022 to rally from a four-game second-half-of-the-season deficit and win their first AFC South title since 2017. They return much of the core of that team, including third-year veteran quarterback Trevor Lawrence – the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
If many observers and fans expect a second consecutive postseason appearance, Pederson said such expectations mean little – and that expectations within the team aren’t significantly different than this time last season.
“The expectation is to win,” Pederson said. “That was our expectation last year, and and even though parts of the year weren’t as good as other parts of the year, that still has to be a priority. You have to win games in this league.
“You guys know, you’ve heard it from me a million times. It’s about the team and we keep the team in front and focused. It’s the main thing and you have to keep the main thing the main thing, but yet expectations are to win games.”