NFL.com lists Jags among 5 teams who will make the biggest net gain in wins

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The Jacksonville Jaguars may not have registered the worst record in franchise history last season, but it certainly felt like the organization hit a low under former coach Urban Meyer. As many expected, the NFL proved to be too much for him despite the success he had on the college level, and he was fired before last season ended.

Meyer was a key reason behind distractions and dysfunction within the organization last season, making it hard for the team to garner wins, which already is a hard task to achieve for even a focused team. As a result, they earned just two more wins than they did in 2020, putting them at a 3-14 record overall.

However, with the bar being so low, many are high on the Jags’ chances to drastically improve this season. A key reason for that is because they hired Doug Pederson in the place of Meyer, who has a lot of NFL coaching experience, has won a Super Bowl, and played in the NFL. He also is respected as a bright offensive mind after years under Andy Reid.

Many believe the Jags should make strides due to the things Pederson brings to the table. NFL.com’s Jim Trotter is among those who believe the Jags will look significantly better and think they could at least double their win total. In a recent post, he ranked the Jags third on his list of teams who could see the biggest net gain in victories, giving them a net improvement figure of five.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

2021 record: 3-14

Net improvement: Five wins

A lack of talent was not the issue for Jacksonville last season; dysfunction at the top of the coaching ladder was. Thankfully for the Jaguars, Urban Meyer and his arrogance are gone. Replacing him is Doug Pederson, a coach who has a history of relating to players. He went to the playoffs three times in five seasons with the Eagles, winning a Super Bowl during the 2017 season. I don’t expect the Jags to hit the ground running in full stride; it will take time to break through the scar tissue associated with only one winning season since 2007 and five last-place finishes in the past six seasons. They also will need time to develop the type of trust that only comes with walking through the fire together. But by the end of the 2022 season, I expect Jacksonville to find its rhythm and be a team that no one wants to play, particularly if that opponent needs a win to reach the playoffs. Look for Pederson to work wonders not only instilling a positive culture, but also helping second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence show why he was considered a generational talent coming out of Clemson. I could go into all the personnel upgrades, including the addition of No. 1 overall draft pick Travon Walker, but as I previously said: talent was not the issue with this team a year ago.

It’s hard to argue with Trotter here, though the Jags’ 2021 roster had a lot of holes. But as he said, the cupboard wasn’t necessarily bare either in terms of talent because the roster at least had James Robinson, D.J. Chark Jr., Josh Allen, and a few other rookies who proved they were starters like Tyson Campbell and Andre Cisco. That said, it’s clear that the biggest issue was Meyer, who was the reason behind several incidents on and off the field.

As for Pederson, one thing that Trotter didn’t mention was the fact that he hired a staff that’s loaded with former players like Richard Angulo, Cody Grimm, and Mike Caldwell, to name a few. That’s huge, because like Pederson, they seem to know how to communicate better with the roster.

So far, it seems the team likes their new head coach as several players like Lawrence and Robinson have spoken highly of him. In fact, the team took in the coaching so well during organized team activities that Pederson gave many of the veterans the third phase off.

With training camp less than a month away, there will be no better time for the team to continue bonding. Everything that they’ve shown so far seems to indicate that the player-to-coach relationship should only get stronger, and if it does, the Jags would be on the right path to push for seven to eight wins.