Jaguars hire Doug Pederson, owner Shad Khan makes news official
After weeks of uncertainty and several twists and turns, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head-coaching search has come to an end, as former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is filling the vacancy left by Urban Meyer. Adam Schefter of ESPN and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media first reported the news and the organization later made it official. Here’s owner Shad Kahn’s announcement regarding the hiring of Pederson, via Rapoport:
"“Doug Pederson four years ago won a Super Bowl as head coach of a franchise in pursuit of its first world championship. I hope Doug can replicate that magic here in Jacksonville, but what is certain is his proven leadership and experience as a winning head coach in the National Football League. It’s exactly what our players deserve. Nothing less. Combine this with his acumen on the offensive side of the ball, and you have why I am proud to name Doug Pederson the new head coach of the Jacksonvile Jaguars. I know our fans will warmly welcome Doug and his family to Duval and I personally look forward to having Doug as part of everything we envision for the team, downtown and community in years ahead.”"
Just to be clear, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history in 2017 but they won championships in 1948, 1949, and 1960. Just a week ago, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich seemed to be the favorite to land the job and it looked like he was close to reaching an agreement but the presence of general manager Trent Baalke might have complicated things. Similarly, Pederson didn’t seem in the mix for the Jaguars’ head coaching job because it took the organization one month before they scheduled a second meeting with him. Moreover, he was reportedly ‘lukewarm‘ about joining the Jags but it looks like has now changed his mind.
A former NFL quarterback, Pederson joined the Eagles’ coaching staff as an offensive quality control coach and got promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2011. He would follow head coach Andy Reid to the Kansas City Chiefs and would serve as his offensive coordinator from 2013 to 2015. His work with the Chiefs helped him become the head coach in Philly in 2016. Although he went 7-9 in his first season at the helm, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history in 2017. Nevertheless, he was let go after the 2020 season and took a year off last year.
During his five-year stint in Philadelphia, Pederson compiled a 42-37-1 record and made the playoffs three times. While Leftwich was a very capable candidate that could have turned the Jaguars around if given the chance, Pederson should do a good job of helping the Jaguars win more games in 2022 and get on the right track. Also, this might be inconsequential and won’t likely add much but he was this writer’s favorite choice for the job.
What can Doug Pederson do for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The biggest beneficiary of Pederson will be Trevor Lawrence, who should make a significant leap under his tutelage. Back in Philly, Pederson helped quarterback Carson Wentz play at an MVP level in just his second season in the league. Furthermore, he guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl despite the fact that Wentz tore his ACL that year.
Also, the Eagles made the playoffs in 2019 and Wentz was pretty efficient even though they had no wide receivers to throw to and tight end Zach Ertz was his only reliable target in the passing game. There’s a good chance Pederson can do something similar with whatever personnel he has at hand in Jacksonville.
It shouldn’t have taken the Jaguars this long to wrap up their head-coaching search but they can check it off their offseason to-do list and can now turn their attention to getting as much talent as possible and making sure Trevor Lawrence is in a position to succeed in Year 2.