Josh Allen ready to ‘move forward’ after first meeting with coach Doug Pederson

“We want to move forward, we want to put last year and the last couple years in the past,” Allen said.

Shortly before Doug Pederson was formally announced as the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in a press conference on Saturday, he had the opportunity to meet with several key players. One of those players was Josh Allen, a former top-10 pick who just finished up his third season in the league.

Though the pair weren’t able to get into the nitty-gritty, Allen had positive things to say about his first interaction with the new head coach.

“It went good,” he said. “It sucks that we can’t really talk football because I’m still kind of in that mode, wanting to move on and keep going. But great introduction meeting. Can’t wait to be around him a little bit more, just get to know him. He already seems like a good person, seems like somebody that’s going to help a lot of people build up.”

Allen wasn’t the only hopeful franchise player to meet with Pederson on Saturday. Among the others was quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who said he also had a productive first meeting with the coach.

The one-time Pro Bowler said that the enthusiasm among the team about Pederson’s arrival is a sign that the team is ready to look to the future and put a disastrous 2021 season, which saw a 3-14 record and the early firing of Urban Meyer, behind it.

“We want to move forward, we want to put last year and the last couple years in the past,” Allen said. “We want to move forward, we want to win now. We want to get this ball going… I’m excited about this.”

“Now we can move forward, now we can just stay focused on what we need to do.”

Pederson is the seventh full-time head coach in Jaguars history, and he doesn’t exactly have big shoes to fill. Of those seven, only inaugural coach Tom Coughlin has a winning record in Jacksonville, and Pederson is already just three wins away from passing Meyer and Mike Mularkey as the fifth-winningest coach in franchise history.

It’s been a rough decade for the Jags, but the players seem to think they’ve finally gotten it right with Pederson.

Will the Jaguars pick up Josh Allen’s fifth-year option?

The Jags have until May 3 to decide whether to pick up Allen’s option.

Some draft analysts had Josh Allen as the best prospect available in the 2019 class when he was coming out of Kentucky, and it was viewed as a steal when the talented edge rusher fell to Jacksonville with the No. 7 pick.

His rookie season certainly backed up that evaluation, as he burst onto the scene with 10.5 sacks. Injuries limited him to just eight games and 2.5 quarterback takedowns in Year 2, but he appeared in all but one game this season and was one of the team’s few bright spots. His sack total was 7.5, but he stepped up against the run with a career-high 71 tackles (including 12 for loss).

Now, it’s decision time. As Allen is poised to enter his fourth season, the team only has until May 3 to make a decision on whether it will pick up his fifth-year team option. Since joining the team, he’s gone to the Pro Bowl once (in 2019 as a rookie and alternate) and has been a Jags team captain from 2020-21, which clearly is a reflection of how his teammates view him. Per Over the Cap, his fifth-year option would cost the Jags $10.2 million, which may not be that steep for a team that has the cap space that the Jags have (at least for now).

While crazier things have happened, it seems almost certain that the team will look to pick up that option. He has been very productive when healthy, and this team has so few promising defensive players to build around. The Jaguars will likely look to hand Allen a long-term deal next season, let alone extend his contract to a fifth year, and he should be around in Jacksonville for a while, if he chooses to.

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Josh Allen lobbies for Joe Cullen to return as defensive coordinator

Allen said he wants Cullen to stick around so the defense can build on the system that was put in place in 2021.

Urban Meyer’s decision to hire Joe Cullen as defensive coordinator was certainly a bit of a questionable one. Cullen had no experience as a defensive play-caller, which made him a bit of a head-scratching choice for a coach that had no experience at the NFL level himself. However, the former Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach asserted himself as one of the most competent assistant coaches on the staff.

Despite still battling talent discrepancies, the Jaguars’ defense improved consistently throughout the season, especially rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell. Cullen got the most out of a unit that still needs to add more contributors, and for that reason, it’s been speculated that he could return under the new coach.

He has at least one supporter in the locker room in edge rusher Josh Allen, who said he wants to see Cullen retained by the new head coach.

“I would love to see [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Joe] Cullen [come back],” he said. “I feel like [it’s] just another thing that I feel like would be best for us. I know we might get the new coach or whatever, but with Coach Cullen, I feel like it’s the consistency. We have the team and majority of the defense is under contract to come back another year. So, it’s like if we have the same group, we have the same plays, we know the same philosophy.”

Allen said that the unit’s improvement throughout the year was a result of building on the systems that Cullen put into place, and he feels like the group could be set to take a big leap forward in 2022 if kept within the same scheme. He said he’d like to see several other defensive assistants return as well.

“Now we had that year to work at it, especially with all the younger guys, we know all the work so now we can improve just how we can play the game and install what Joe Cullen has already taught us in this system,” Allen said. “I feel like we can take that next step in becoming a way better defense. We can become the defense that you saw yesterday [against Indianapolis] every week, so I would love to see Coach Cullen back, I would love to see [Outside Linebackers Coach] Zach Orr, I would love to see [Assistant Defensive Line Coach] Sterling Lucas back. I wish [Defensive Line Coach] Tosh [Lupoi] nothing but the best in his journey, but I would love to see those guys come back and see how far we can grow.”

Coordinator retentions aren’t exactly common during coach changes, but if the Jaguars decided to hire an offensive head coach (which comprises the majority of the candidate pool), it would be more likely that Cullen sticks around. If they choose to go with a defensive coordinator like Indianapolis’ Matt Eberflus, that coach may want to make their own defensive coordinator hire.

Cullen’s unit was far from great in 2021, but it showed steady signs of progress, which is more than can be said for the offensive unit that was more or less a disaster throughout the entire season. The Jags could do worse than to give him another year to build off of those improvements.

Brian Baldinger breaks down Josh Allen’s stellar first half against the Colts

This film breakdown of Allen’s play shows why the stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story.

Just looking at the numbers from Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, it looks like Josh Allen had a bit of a pedestrian performance after notching the best game of his career against the Buffalo Bills. Though he was credited with three quarterback hits, he only had two tackles and didn’t manage to get a sack.

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story about how disruptive Allen was in this one, especially in the first half. In his film breakdown of his play during that period, NFL analyst Brian Baldinger said that Allen’s first half was “as good a half as any defensive end/outside linebacker in the NFL in Week 11 (note: It was actually Week 10).”

Watching the film breakdown, it’s hard to argue that point.

Baldinger also said that, in spite of Jonathan Taylor’s big game on the ground, the Jags’ defense outplayed the Colts’ offense. For a unit that began the year looking like one of the worst in the NFL, it’s playing much better in recent weeks and has held the opposing quarterback under 200 yards passing in two of the last three games.

While the offense, led by a rookie passer in Trevor Lawrence, has lagged behind a bit, the defense is making very real strides. Allen is a major reason for that, and he could be set up to have a monster second half of the season. If that happens, his sophomore slump in 2020 will feel like a distant memory.

Who is Jacksonville’s most improved player in 2021?

Josh Allen is having a fantastic third season after a bit of a sophomore slump in 2020.

Jacksonville entered the 2021 season with fairly low expectations. The team was coming off a franchise-worst 1-15 finish, and even with a new quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and a slew of additions on both sides of the ball, this is still a young team that needs to add more talent.

But the Jags are getting better play out of some of their players over the last few weeks, and when trying to answer the question of who the most improved player is on this roster from a season ago, there’s one clear-cut answer: third-year edge rusher Josh Allen.

Allen totaled 10.5 sacks in a stellar rookie campaign, but injuries limited his production in 2020, and he totaled just 2.5 sacks. However, he already has 5.5 sacks in 2021 with 12 quarterback hits (one more than he had last year), and he had the best game of his career in the win over Buffalo two weeks ago.

Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox agrees, naming Allen Jacksonville’s most improved player in 2021.

Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher Josh Allen experienced a sophomore slump last season, due in part to a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve. After amassing 10.5 sacks and making the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Allen appeared in only eight games and finished with just 2.5 sacks.

However, Allen is back on the rise this season and is becoming more than just the situational edge-rusher he was as a rookie. Allen has already produced 5.5 sacks, 17 quarterback pressures and eight tackles for loss.

Allen has also started all nine contests and has played a career-high 76 percent of the defensive snaps. He’s only three tackles shy of the 44 he had in 16 games as a rookie and has notched the first two takeaways (one interception, one fumble recovery) of his career.

While Allen isn’t regularly used in pass coverage, he’s held his own. He’s allowed an opposing passer rating of only 61.9 and has four batted balls after logging only one in his first two seasons.

The hope was that under new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s system, which mostly implements a 3-4 base defense, Allen would find success in a similar scheme to the one he ran in college. While he had a bit of a slow start to the season, he’s playing at a dominant level right now, and his sack numbers don’t even fully reflect how disruptive he’s been in the backfield.

This team doesn’t have many players it can build around, especially on defense, but Allen is proving to be one of them.

WATCH: Jags’ Josh Allen forgets he’s mic’d up during win over the Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen was mic’d up during Sunday’s win, a detail he unfortunately forgot in the middle of the game.

Jacksonville Jaguars’ edge rusher Josh Allen had a historic game on Sunday, and fans can get a firsthand look at what it was like to be on the field with him on Sunday, as the third-year player was “mic’d up” by the league. Unfortunately for Allen, that’s a detail that he forgot.

Allen notched an interception against Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen (who he made history by sacking, becoming the first player in NFL history to sack a player with the same name) despite lining up on the opposite side of the formation and having to move across the entire field in pass coverage to make a play.

Following the pick, Allen had a, shall we say, colorful exchange with his teammate, defensive tackle Malcom Brown, in the end zone. In a subsequent exchange on the sideline, Allen admitted he forgot he was mic’d up.

“Josh must be mic’d up,” someone said. Defensive end Dawuane Smoot asked Allen if he was the one who was mic’d up.

“I don’t think so,” Allen replied, before quickly realizing his mistake.

“Oh, s—, I am mic’d up.”

Allen apologized to Brown for his error, and while his teammates likely weren’t too pleased about being caught on a hot mic without warning, it’s hard to imagine much of a grudge was held considering the game Allen had.

Fans didn’t need a mic to hear Allen after his sack, as he stood on the bench and addressed them directly.

“What they talking about,” he said, “What they talking about? Come on!”

Allen was also a part of one of the biggest defensive plays of the afternoon when the Jags stopped the Bills after Allen recovered a fumble. He wasn’t particularly close to the ball, but he entered the scrum like a homing missile and came away with it.

“I got that s—,” he said when he recovered the ball. “I’m turning up, I’m turning up. We about to turn up.”

Sunday’s 9-6 win over the Bills was one of the biggest this franchise has had in a long time, and it will certainly have some memorable moments from Allen, even if he didn’t remember he was being recorded during them.

Jags DE/OLB Josh Allen named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

A dominant and historic Week 9 performance has earned the #Jaguars’ Josh Allen the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award.

After a stellar performance against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher Josh Allen has been named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week for Week 9.

Allen had already been playing great as of the last few weeks, but turned it up a notch Sunday with an MVP front-runner, also named Josh Allen, lining up at quarterback  on the opposite side of the field. In the process, the Jags’ Allen made history by being the first to sack, intercept, and recover a fumble from a player with the same first and last name.

Allen also had a busy day as a tackler, garnering a career-high of eight. That figure was good for a team-high Week 9.

Allen joins placekicker Matthew Wright as one of two Jags to win a conference Player of the Week award in 2021. Wright was named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 6 after he hit a walk-off game-winning field goal to give the Jags their first win of 2021 against Miami.

Jags Week 9 Player of Game vs. Bills: DE/LB Josh Allen

As you would expect, the #Jaguars’ Josh Allen was named the player of the game this week by us.

Another week, another impressive Josh Allen performance. In the infamous battle of the Josh Allens, it was the Jacksonville Jaguars’ former first-round pick who prevailed in a low-scoring, defensive battle.

There wasn’t much offense to speak of, despite the Buffalo Bills entering Sunday’s game as the No.1 scoring offense in the league. Through four quarters, neither team was able to put the ball inside the end-zone; in fact, just two times did the teams even reach the red-zone.

While both offenses were stagnant the majority of the game, the city of Jacksonville had quite the scare when quarterback Trevor Lawrence fell to the ground with an injured left ankle. Luckily, Lawrence was able to return shortly afterward to help put together one last scoring drive to help the team win.

Defensively, the Jaguars had by far their best outing of the season. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin locked down Pro Bowl receiver Stefon Diggs and the rest of the Jaguars secondary flew around the field, too, which made it a rough day for the Bills’ Josh Allen. On the day, the Bills mustered just 301 total yards and averaged 4.6 yards per play. Rudy Ford had the best day of his season as a nickel defender, flying around the field to record his first interception and three pass breakups.

In addition to the secondary, the Jaguars pass-rush repeatedly got home. Led by Josh Allen, the defensive line was all over the backfield, pressuring the Bills quarterback. Taven Bryan and Duwuane Smoot both had great days as Bryan recorded two sacks, while Smoot notched one, as well as a forced fumble.

It was Allen, however, that stole the show. Early on, it was evident, he had brought his A-game. Just before the half, Allen made sure the Bills didn’t grab the lead before intermission, sacking the other Josh Allen on a second-down play for a 10-yard loss.

The Jags’ Josh Allen wasn’t done yet though, as he came out fired up in the second half. Following an early Rudy Ford interception, the Jags former first-round pick jumped a check-down pass from the Bills’ Josh Allen to pick off the Pro Bowl quarterback for the second drive in a row.

Two drives later, the Jags’ Josh Allen finished off his defensive hat trick as Smoot stuffed the Bills’ Josh Allen on a short-run play, forcing a fumble in the process. It was none other than Jacksonville’s Josh Allen who recovered the ball, giving the Jags their third turnover of the day.


Allen now has 5.5 sacks on the year and his eight tackles led the team against the Bills. Right now, he is the team’s best player and his continued contribution and level of play will be crucial to keep the Jaguars in competitive games going forward. While Allen had a disappointing 2020 season, he looks locked in and ready to roll in 2021 and is set for a monster year.

Jags’ Josh Allen makes history by sacking Bills’ QB Josh Allen

The Jags’ Josh Allen has made history Sunday by sacking the Bills’ Josh Allen.

The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the third quarter of their game against the Buffalo Bills surprisingly knotted up at a score of 6-6. Much like they did last week against Miami, the Bills have gotten off to a slow start and the Jags have done a decent job of hanging around.

Needless to say, with there being a lack of scoring, there hasn’t been a lot of highlight moments in the game, but one did occur on defense for the Jags. While it wasn’t a turnover (which is what this team needs the most), their star edge rusher, Josh Allen, was able to make a historic sack by sacking the player on the opposite side of the ball who has the same name.

While the Bills’ Josh Allen has been having an MVP caliber season, the Jags’ Josh Allen hasn’t looked too bad either and came into Sunday’s game with a Pro Football Focus grade of 84.6. Earlier this week he said he was looking forward to the challenge of getting to the Bills quarterback, who has been playing well.

“I mean, like I said, I’m just looking forward to playing against this team and then looking forward to playing against him,” Allen said. “He’s been playing at a high level of recent. He’s been evading sacks recently, he’s been getting out of the pocket, his O-line does a really good job of protecting him. I love this challenge. We’re going to get after them but we have to do it early and throughout the whole game.”

Now with around two minutes left in the third quarter, the Jags will hope their Josh Allen has more highlight moments left in him as it’s shaping up to be a defensive game.

Update: Jags pass-rusher Josh Allen just picked off the Bills’ Josh Allen late in the third quarter.

Josh Allen reflects on his growth in Year 3

“You know, I definitely wanna be one of those guys that people talk about and people know about,” Allen said. “I want to be respected by my peers.”

On Sunday, Jacksonville edge rusher Josh Allen will be trying to bring down a quarterback who shares his name — albeit, in a more recognizable manner. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen is in the midst of a fantastic follow-up to his breakout season last year, and he’s a real MVP candidate once again. But he’ll be facing against the other Allen, who brought down Seattle quarterback Geno Smith twice last week in what was his best game of the year.

“I know we’re about to play against another freaking Josh [Allen]. Got a little beef with that but he’s been a helluva player,” Allen told Pro Football Focus. “You know, I definitely wanna be one of those guys that people talk about and people know about. I want to be respected by my peers. I know it’s not given. I know I have to work it and I’m gonna work my ass off just to be the best out there and get my name called as, ‘OK, this dude’s a top guy in the NFL that you need to keep an eye on.’ So, that’s one of my goals, earning the respect of my peers and go out there and have fun.”

Allen’s 91.4 grade from PFF over the last three games is the third-highest among defenders, and after an injury-plagued sophomore season in 2020, Allen could be in the middle of a breakout season. Per PFF, he also has a 25.3% pass-rushing win percentage (ranking sixth), 11.0 pass-rush productivity figure (sixth), and an 18.7% pressure rate (seventh).

“I know they know that I can rush, but I have to be the one to know, ‘OK, you can rush your ass off, Josh. Just go out there every play and just win your one-on-ones.’ And that’s what I try to do consistently, and when those opportunities come, I have to make a play,” Allen said.

Allen told PFF that getting better at finishing doesn’t just mean adding sacks to his stat sheet; he also wants to get his hand on the ball and force fumbles. That was a strength of his in college at Kentucky, where he forced 11 in his final three seasons. He forced three as a rookie but has none in the two years since.

“It’s all about the ball,” Allen said. “That’s the real focus for every top pass rusher that I’ve ever talked to. That’s the only reason why I’m here, that I got drafted in the top 10. It’s just all about the ball, especially when you’re rushing the passer.

“When you get the ball out, if you think about it, if you get the ball out it’s a strip, sack fumble, scoop and score, fumble recovery, you know what I’m saying? That’s giving your team back the ball, that’s putting points on the board for yourself, and that’s giving an opportunity for the offense to come back and the defense to get off the field. Finishing means a lot, you’ve got to get the ball. That’s how I look at it. The ball’s the game, whoever has the ball controls the game. So go get that ball back, control this game and win it.”

Allen’s play is starting to reflect the player he was drafted to be, and with K’Lavon Chaisson struggling on the other side, Allen must develop into a franchise pass rusher. Right now, he’s playing like a guy you can build a defense around, and if he can finish plays with just a bit more consistency, he has all the tools to be an elite edge rusher in this league.