The Jaguars' first season under head coach Doug Pederson hasn't been without its hiccups, but the team was understandably on cloud nine after a rousing upset win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12.
Perhaps no player was feeling better than defensive back Andrew Wingard, who after the game took time to praise Pederson as well as quarterback Trevor Lawrence -- and to take a cheap shot at former head coach Urban Meyer.
Speaking with reporters, Wingard said he was thrilled to see Lawrence, who has struggled at times in his second season, excel in the win over Baltimore.
"I'm so happy for Trevor because A. he had to deal with Urban Meyer last year as a rookie, and I don't even know if he had a rookie year," Wingard said. "And to see the growth he's made -- not just on the field, but his preparation, his demeanor, all of that ... I'm so happy for him."
For Lawrence, who was drafted first overall in 2021, success has not come as quickly or as easily as some predicted. Surely some of that can be attributed to what has largely been described as a lost season of development under Meyer, who was fired amid a series of controversies after just 13 games.
By many accounts, Meyer had lost the Jaguars' locker room, and it seems safe to count Wingard among his critics.
In any event, Wingard appears to be a huge fan of Pederson, who seems to have earned some additional respect in the locker room after calling for a go-ahead two-point conversion rather than settling for a game-tying kick following a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
"The stones on that guy," Wingard joked. "I would die for Doug Pederson, I swear. I would run into battle with Doug Pederson, 100 percent. I love the guy. It's just, his attitude -- you go 3-7, and you want to make the playoffs, but he hasn't changed his attitude whatsoever. We come into work, we keep working, we keep chipping away, and eventually it's going to pay off, and it did today. The feeling in that locker room is awesome. I love this team."
With the win, the Jags improved to 4-7 -- already one win better than they had in 2021 -- with six games remaining. They finish the season with games against the Lions, Cowboys, Jets and Texans, and two against the division-rival Tennessee Titans.