No one will ever accuse Trent Baalke of resting on his laurels, particularly not anybody who has seen what the Jaguars normal supervisor retains on his desk.
Baalke just lately revealed that he retains a clown figurine on his desk that was given to him on the finish of the 2021 season. The “present” was a part of an ongoing joke by some elements of the fan base at Baalke’s expense throughout a tumultuous interval in franchise historical past.
“Some fan despatched that to me,” Baalke stated throughout “The Hunt,” a sequence produced by the group. “It was somewhat clown figurine.
“I stated, ‘You know what? I’m going to place it there to remind myself daily why I come to work,’ what my objective is, I assume. It’s to show them unsuitable.”
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Baalke has definitely carried out that following a dismal 2021 season. Last 12 months, the Jaguars have been one of many NFL’s greatest surprises. Jacksonville gained the AFC South earlier than overcoming a 27-0 deficit to shock the Chargers within the AFC wild-card spherical. The Jaguars then put up a gamely struggle of their divisional spherical playoff loss to the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs.
The Jaguars’ fast turnaround can largely be attributed to Baalke, who together with Doug Pederson helped Jacksonville get again to being a playoff group in 2022. Pederson, a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Eagles, rapidly restored what had been a damaged tradition in Jacksonville.
“The success, I feel, that a few of our gamers had individually, the success we had as a soccer group collectively, [having] the suitable basis, it was an incredible first 12 months,” Pederson stated of his first season as Jaguars coach. “I sit up for 2023.”
A roster largely devoid of expertise just a few years in the past, the Jaguars have loads of it heading into 2023. Leading the way in which is quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who earned his first Pro Bowl nod final 12 months after throwing thrice as many landing passes as interceptions. He was complemented final season by 1,100-yard rusher Travis Etienne and 1,100-yard receiver Christian Kirk. The Jaguars additionally posses a proficient protection that’s anchored by linebacker Josh Allen.
Finding a participant that matches the Jaguars’ tradition is among the issues Baalke confused when requested in regards to the group’s plans with the twenty fourth total decide within the NFL Draft. Baalke stated one among his main objectives is to maintain the Jaguars’ present nucleus in tact for the lengthy haul. Along with re-signing a number of of their very own free brokers, the Jaguars signed a number of exterior free brokers this offseason. Plus, the group labored out a midseason commerce with the Falcons to accumulate Calvin Ridley.
“We’re simply glad that the gamers which can be right here,” Baalke stated, “the bulk need to keep right here.”
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