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Pederson: Jaguars motivated by 2023 late-season collapse

Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson is optimistic Jacksonville will learn from its mistakes after a disappointing 2023 season.

"It's going to burn for a long time until we get to meaningful games again and start playing in September," Pederson said Wednesday when asked about his team's late-season collapse, according to's Michael Baca.

"But I think that's the same fuel and the motivating factor for our players that the way we ended is not us, and no matter what you go through as a football team, everybody goes through adversity. There's always going to be injuries, but you can't make excuses. You got to go play football. So, for us, we got to learn from that, roll up our sleeves during training camp, work hard, and just play it one game at a time."

The Jaguars were seemingly a playoff lock after starting last season 8-3. However, Jacksonville lost five of its last six games as injuries sidelined key starters, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence in Week 17. Lawrence returned for the club's must-win contest in Week 18, but the Jaguars ultimately fell short against the Tennessee Titans and finished as the AFC's No. 9 seed.

Pederson's outfit lost its leading receiver, Calvin Ridley, this offseason but added new starters on both sides of the ball. Jacksonville used a first-round pick on wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. and signed wideout Gabe Davis, center Mitch Morse, and defensive tackle Arik Armstead, among others.

Pederson likes the supporting cast his team put together around Lawrence this season after signing the 2021 No. 1 pick to a five-year, $275-million contract extension.

"We've got to integrate all that," Pederson said of the Jaguars' 2024 additions. "We got to get on the same page early as we head into training camp, but I'm excited for these guys and how they fit."

"The big thing is just a matter of working and working together and building the camaraderie and the team around our quarterback that can help us all be successful," he added.

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