Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson opened up about the emotional meeting with his players the morning after Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest – and admitted the ‘coach is lost’ as they try to prepare for their own return to field after a terrifying incident
- Dama Hamlin remains in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest on Monday
- The Buffalo Bills safety had to be resuscitated twice after he collapsed on the field
- Doug Pederson opened up in support of his Jaguars players the following day
- Jacksonville faces the Tennessee Titans on Saturday with the AFC South on the line
- Click here for all your latest international Sports news from DailyMail.com
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said he ‘lost the coach’ for him following Damar Hamlin’s fall during Monday night’s Buffalo Bills game.
The Bills safety, 24, suffered cardiac arrest on the field following a big hit against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is said to be ‘trending upwards’, having been resuscitated twice but remains sedated in the ICU some 36 hours after the incident.
The NFL was stunned by the incident with players and coaches offering their prayers and wishes for Hamlin.
Doug Pederson says he ‘lost the coach’ for him following Damar Hamlin’s collapse
Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field following a big hit Monday night
Pederson said his focus has shifted from being a coach to Hamlin’s recovery after witnessing the tragic events Monday night but admitted he needs to quickly turn his attention to supporting his players in as much as he can before their AFC South showdown against the Tennessee Titans Saturday.
‘I’ve never seen a situation like this,’ he told Good Morning Football. ‘You know there’s more going on. All kinds have disappeared and life has become the most important thing.
‘Monday night, the coaching disappeared. I was thinking of Damar. Our men will arrive the next day. What do I say? We play for the AFC South. You have to be real. I want the players to know we’re here. I want my boys to talk; to be tomorrow.’
The safety remains in the hospital after collapsing on the field during the game against the Bengals
The Jaguars are scheduled to practice the next day and Pederson opened up about the emotional meeting with his players.
‘I’ve met with my players’ council and talked about it first to see where they’re at and get a bit of a gauge of the headspace of the football team,’ he added.
‘I was just honest with them. I share from my heart. I went through a situation with my brother a year ago and even though it was different, just seeing the struggle and the mental pain that the players were going through, you saw it Monday night from both teams.
‘How can I support my football team? We provide those resources through the psychologist, through the ministers, through other people even outside the organization to really help these players speak up.
Pederson opened up about addressing his team the next day before Saturday’s game
‘I don’t want our boys to hide any feelings. I want them to talk, I want them to be open because situations like this are quite different.’
On Tuesday, during his media availability, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also addressed Hamlin’s condition.
‘It’s a really personal thing for me, as a Pittsburgher,’ he said. ‘I’ve known that man probably since he was about 12.’
‘I just gained a lot of love and respect for him as a person, his commitment to pursuing his goals and dreams of doing what he’s doing now, playing in the NFL.
‘We lift him and that organization up in prayer.’