Jags’ Griffin on defense: ‘We are definitely better than last year’

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a hard time getting turnovers last season. Jacksonville’s defense was last in takeaways in 2021.

As they enter this season, the defense, led by new defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, hopes to improve and create more turnovers. 

According to corner Shaquill Griffin, the defense’s goal is to lead the league in interceptions.

“I guarantee it’s going to be way better than last year,” Griffin said Monday about getting more interceptions. “The goal is to lead the whole NFL. I’m taking it definitely a point to myself to make sure I have every opportunity. I might not get the most opportunities on the defense, but opportunities I do get, I want to make sure I make the best of them. That’s everything I continue to say. I’m still out here trying to catch footballs every day. But it starts with me. That’s how I feel. Every time I make a play, I feel like it’s someone else getting a pick. I think about the first pick of the camp I get one day, you got Benjie [Franklin] getting one, and then I get another pick the day, and then you come back Rudy Ford have to pick it. You got to start with somebody. I feel like picks come in bunches, but someone’s got to get the first one. I definitely put that on myself. It will be better this year. I definitely think we will double. But the goal is to be the best in NFL.”

In this year’s draft, the Jaguars grabbed OLB Travon Walker with the number one overall pick. In addition, they grabbed another linebacker late in the first round when they selected Devin Lloyd at 27. Furthermore, they got some secondary help with the acquisition of corner Darious Williams in free agency. 

Griffin believes that the Jaguars’ defense will be much better in 2022.

“We are definitely better than last year, just the way we’ve been attacking the ball, for one,” he said. “The way we communicate, and our communication is so much better; the trust is so much better. Then you see the D-line running around. There are so many times where when we get to the ball; they’re already sacked before the ball even came out. So that shows a lot. I feel like one thing about it our defense is moving a lot faster. Our defense is well conditioned. Defense is talking a lot more. Our defense trusts each other a lot more than last year, and that’s why we’re a bit different than last year.”

Notes:

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson announced on Tuesday that quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Beathard would not play in the team’s preseason opener on Thursday against the Raiders(Hall of Fame Game) in Canton, Ohio.

Jake Luton will get the start.

“I can tell you Trevor(Lawrence) is not going to play,” Pederson said. “C.J. Beathard, with the injury is not going to play, and really the decision for that, too, has been Trevor has been getting a lot of great looks here in practice, and we feel like he’s in a good spot. And, and so we’re going to make those decisions this afternoon, tell our team later on today, so we can prepare for the game.”