Months of dysfunction and one of the worst seasons in franchise history led the Jacksonville Jaguars to cut ties with Urban Meyer after less than a year on the job. Knowing they had to get the right head coach this time around, their search for a head coach lasted more than a month. While the Jags were reportedly close to hiring Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, they ultimately chose Doug Pederson.
Leftwich was a popular figure in Jacksonville, having played quarterback for the Jaguars in the 2000s. However, Pederson might turn out to be the better choice in the long run. After all, he’s already shown he can turn a team around, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to three playoff trips and winning Super Bowl 52 during his five-year tenure as their head coach.
In a way, Pederson is the polar opposite of Meyer. The former is known for having a good rapport with his players and having the emotional intelligence to face the challenges the NFL presents. Meanwhile, Meyer had no concise plan to rebuild the Jags and often antagonized his players and the coaching staff he handpicked.
So far, the Jaguars have been very active this offseason, acquiring playmakers in free agency and the draft to ensure Pederson has enough talent at hand to make meaningful progress in his first year in Jacksonville. Keep in mind that the Jags have only won 15 games over the last four seasons, so it won’t be an easy task. On the bright side, these four moves will go a long way toward helping the head coach.