Jaguars lean on postseason experience of veterans for playoff guidance

Young Jacksonville roster will look to players like Darious Williams, Mavin Jones as wild-card game looms

Darious Williams of the Jacksonville Jaguars in action during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on January 07, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) (Courtney Culbreath, 2023 Courtney Culbreath)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars haven’t been to the playoffs since 2017 and don’t exactly have a roster filled with postseason veterans.

Sure, Doug Pederson has been there, done that, but there isn’t a glut of playoff experience on Jacksonville (9-8) as it prepares to host the Chargers (10-7) on Saturday night at 8:15.

Is that as detrimental as it seems entering wild-card weekend, or is that blissful inexperience a perk because players don’t know what’s on the horizon? Pederson, who won a Super Bowl in his second season with the Eagles, said there’s no substitute for postseason reps. And as much of that insight as he can instill in players, Pederson said he’s going to do. That includes bringing in guys who have postseason experience to share that with the team.

“It’s always a possibility. I haven’t thought about that yet, but it is nice to have guys that have had some postseason experience. Guys that you can lean on and just kind of voice their feelings on how to handle situations. I did it back in 2017 and 2018 and had some of those guys talk to the team,” he said.

“Sometimes now, you get to this late in the year, they’re tired of listening to me. Listen to their teammates a little bit. Just too, how those guys prepare during the week and how they handle their week because for us, postseason started last week. Everything from last week on is a win-and-continue scenario. Guys like that can bring a lot of information to the rest of the team.”

Jaguars players on the active roster with playoff experience

Pos., PlayerPostseason experience
DB Darious Williams6 games
DL Corey Peters5 games
WR Marvin Jones4 games
RB JaMycal Hasty3 games
DL Arden Key3 games
OL Tyler Shatley3 games
OL Blake Hance2 games
DB Rayshawn Jenkins2 games
WR Zay Jones2 games
OL Brandon Scherff2 games
TE Dan Arnold1 game
WR Christian Kirk1 game
DL Roy Robertson-Harris1 game

As a whole, the Jaguars have little playoff experience.

Only 13 players have logged playoff reps. Jaguars star Trevor Lawrence, 23, is the youngest of the seven quarterbacks in a loaded AFC. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is 27 years old and the oldest quarterback among those seven. Lawrence said that while the Jaguars lack official postseason reps, the Week 18 clash against the Titans was essentially a playoff game.

“I hope it’s like that this weekend. And that’s kind of you know, what we expect our fans did a great job last weekend. But for us, I mean, that was a playoff game last week,” Lawrence said.

“I mean, you look at how everything ended up playing out, if we didn’t win that game, we’re not sitting here today, you know, everybody’s packing up going home. So, I mean, that was a playoff game for us. So, it’s the same mindset this week. It’s just official now. But I mean, for us, that was kind of like the first round of playoffs because we knew we had to win to get in.”

On the active roster, only Tyler Shatley has playoff experience with the Jaguars. Dawuane Smoot and Cam Robinson were on the 2017 playoff team, although both ended this season on injured reserve.

Darious Williams has the most postseason reps among Jaguars players. He was part of the Rams’ Super Bowl champ last year and has seen action in six playoff games.

“That’s all I can try to do. Just show them basically how the playoffs are,” said Williams, a Creekside High School graduate. “It’s a whole different season. Right now, we just going to focus. I mean, that’s the biggest thing is, when it comes to the playoffs, is a lot of focus. Just the young guys I tell them all the time, like, we had the regular season, and now it’s the postseason. And it’s postseason, it’s win or go home. So as much as we love to talk about, think of it as one game, we really need to think of that next game because that’s going to motivate us to beat this team. So I mean, it’s do or die, win or go home.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.