Every now and then, NFL head coaches take over teams that are already built and ready to compete. But more often than not, they get hired by clubs in need of serious changes. This was the case when the Jaguars hired Doug Pederson to fill the void left by Urban Meyer and based on the early results, it looks like the decision paid off.
Pederson quickly got to work, and by all accounts, it looks like things are running smoothly with him at the helm. In fact, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports thinks that hiring him was the Jags’ best move this offseason. Benjamin argues that the head coach will help Trevor Lawrence and the team. Furthermore, he praises his personality and his approach to the game.
"Adding Brandon Scherff to help protect Trevor Lawrence was smart, and their top rookie (DE Travon Walker, LB Devin Lloyd) should help fortify the defense. But nothing matters as much as getting it right up after Urban Meyer instantly flamed out as the figurehead of their rebuild. Pederson’s proven, lovable approach should at least revive the spirit of the QB and organization."
Benjamin isn’t the only person to praise Pederson’s style. Lawrence himself is pleased and believes he’s the kind of head coach he needs. And pretty much every Jaguars player would agree with the second-year quarterback. Similarly, Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report believes Jacksonville is at last led by a capable head coach.
HC Doug Pederson is quickly leaving his stamp with the Jaguars
At this point last year, the Jaguars were giving Tim Tebow a tryout, and reports about Meyer’s outdated methods to coach were starting to surface. This turned out to be just the beginning of everything the organization would have to endure the following months. Pederson could have made excuses from the get-go and say that it would take years to clean the mess he inherited from his predecessor left. Instead, he got to work right away and it seems like he got the Jags on the right path.
Sure, Pederson did say this is won’t be an overnight fix and he refrained from proclaiming that Jacksonville will make the playoffs in a recent sitdown with fans. Instead, he talked about the work the organization is putting in and the effort the team will put on the field in every game. And that’s the right way to approach things. Why would he make any guarantees and put additional pressure on his shoulders?
Also, qualifying for the postseason in 2022 shouldn’t and probably isn’t Pederson’s end goal. He wants to build sustained success and is aiming for long-term stability. Would it be nice to earn a playoff berth this upcoming season? Definitely but it would be even better if Jacksonville becomes a perennial contender, which is precisely what Pederson and the Jaguars must strive for, even if it takes a couple years to get there.
Pederson has his work cut out with the Jaguars and although he faces an uphill to turn around a team that has struggled to win in previous years. But so far, the early results are encouraging.