The Jacksonville Jaguars made some noise last season behind strong play for players like Travis Etienne. Led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the team was able to take down the Chargers in the playoffs and go toe-to-toe with the Chiefs. The expectations are high this year. Head coach Doug Pederson is excited about 2023 and has a massive goal for Etienne.
Jacksonville Jaguars Travis Etienne Working On Downhill Running
Pederson talked in length about Etienne’s work on running downhill. The shifty running back would often get going side-to-side too much and give up yards. The head coach is looking to change that.
“That’s the next step for him, I mean it was his rookie year. You don’t just hand a guy a ball and let him go run, sometimes that happens but there’s that skill and ability to anticipate a hole. We always talk about speed through the hole, not to the hole type of thing. He’s really embraced that this training camp. That, to me, is the next step for him and that 11-12-13, now the yards start creeping up, and maybe he’s pushing 1,600-1,700 yards as a rusher.”
You read that last part right. A 1,600-1,700 yard rusher. This would put Etienne as one of the top backs in the league. Pederson is confident he can do it with the work he has put in this offseason.
Expectations For 2023
The AFC is tough but the Jaguars have the easiest path to the playoffs. The Colts and the Texans are still rebuilding. While they may provide some resistance in a couple of years, this year they simply don’t have the juice. The Titans are an enigma. Mike Vrabel often gets more out of this roster but they have lost a lot of pieces from last year. Still, the Jaguars should be a heavy favorite in the division. If they can dominate the AFC South, there is no telling what can happen when they get into the playoffs.
If Travis Etienne has a year like Doug Pederson thinks he can, the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have a huge year.