Doug Pederson on Jags’ running game in 2024: ‘We have to get Tank going, bottom line’

Earlier in the offseason, Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said he wants to “knock the reps down” for Travis Etienne Jr. after the running back finished third in the NFL in touches. The solution sounds like it’ll be a lot more opportunities for 2023 third-round pick Tank Bigsby.

“We have to get Tank going, bottom line,” Pederson said in March. “He is too good — that’s why we drafted him. I think early he had some ‘what is that?’-type plays for whatever reason, right or wrong. Again, in and out of the lineup. He is a young player that we’re excited about. Like we talked about last year, we take some burden off of Etienne a little bit, keep him healthy for the remainder of the season.”

Bigsby had seven carries and one passing target in the Jaguars’ Week 1 game against the Indianapolis Colts. But a mental error by the rookie in his debut resulted in a fumble that was returned for a go-ahead touchdown by the Colts, forcing the Jaguars to pull off a fourth-quarter comeback.

After that, Bigsby had no more than three rushing attempts in the Jaguars’ next eight games. That stretch included another fumble in Jacksonville’s October game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and an interception that bounced off Bigsby’s hands against the San Francisco 49ers.

By the end of the year, Bigsby had 132 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 50 attempts.

So far in the 2024 offseason, the Jaguars haven’t done anything to change up their running backs room. They brought back D’Ernest Johnson on another one-year deal and didn’t acquire any additional talent at the position. While there’s still a chance the Jaguars will add a back in the 2024 NFL draft, it sure looks like Jacksonville is planning big things for Bigsby.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire