Doug Pederson directs Jags against former mentor Andy Reid’s Chiefs

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Field-level media

Often the day comes when the student becomes the master. Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is just hoping that day doesn’t come anytime soon.

Reid will face off against one of his former students on Sunday when the Chiefs take on the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC showdown. Doug Pederson is in his freshman year coaching the Jaguars (3-6) but knows a thing or two about Reid, having served on his coaching staff at Kansas City and Philadelphia, having also played for him in 1999.

Reid knows Pederson will have his team ready. “They look organized and have good energy,” Reid said of Jacksonville. “If you watch enough videos, there’s a certain trust that you can indirectly see through the players towards the coaches.”

Pederson appreciates the lessons he learned from Reid, but on game day, winning comes first.

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“He taught me a lot about this game. It’s always fun playing him and his teams because you know they’re going to be well trained and disciplined,” said Pederson. “But once we’ve done it, we focus on the game.”

In an attempt to oust his former mentor, Pederson will likely draw heavily on running back Travis Etienne, who thrived midseason despite not starting in the first five games.

Etienne, who was out last season with a foot injury, has officially taken charge of Jacksonville after James Robinson left for the New York Jets. He has rushed for 100 yards in each of the last three games and has recorded all four of his touchdowns in that span.

Due to his increased workload, Etienne has also climbed the leaderboards and now has the fifth-most rushing yards in the league (680).

“If you don’t give that ball to one (Etienne) at least 25 times a game, what do you do?” Jaguars tight end Evan Engram said, according to the team’s website. “This boy is special. Our attacking line is also one of the best in the league, so we have to let the ball run. That’s our identity. We have to continue with that.”

After a performance he most recently rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns in Jacksonville’s 27-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders

On Sunday, Etienne now turns his attention to a Chiefs defense that has struggled to stem the run of late. Kansas City (6-2) conceded an average of 65.8 yards on the ground in their first four games but has since given up a 138.3 yards average in their last four games.

Derrick Henry went for 115 yards as part of the Tennessee Titans’ 172-yard rushing performance against the Chiefs last weekend, but Kansas City walked away with a 20-17 win in overtime.

The Chiefs will be looking for their third straight win but could be without wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who missed Wednesday’s practice with an abdominal injury.

Safety Rayshawn Jenkins (concussion) was absent from the Jaguars’ practice Wednesday while Engram (back) was restricted. – Field level media

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