While Doug Pederson isn’t a top 5 head coach in the NFL, his spot in a recent ranking raised a few eyebrows. After all, he’s already won a Super Bowl and made the playoffs three times during his five-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles. On the bright side, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach landed in a more favorable spot in Pro Football Network’s ranking.
Mike Kaye of PFN was tasked with ranking all 32 head coaches in the NFL, and Pederson popped up at No. 11, one spot outside the top 10. Andy Reid and Bill Belichick once again got the top spots but Mike Tomlin finished third and Sean McVay earned the fourth spot. Regarding Pederson, Kaye believes Pederson is “the right leader” to get the Jags on the right path.
Doug Pederson essentially fired himself when he recommended an underwhelming staff to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie last year. Now, after one year on the sidelines, Pederson is getting a second chance to lead a team to the Super Bowl. Following the awful Urban Meyer era, Pederson is the right leader to mend fences in Jacksonville’s locker room. Pederson is only a year removed from a five-year tenure that saw him make the playoffs three times, win two divison titles, and a Lombardi Trophy.
The Jaguars had their fair share of head-coaching candidates to choose from when looking to fill the vacancy left by Urban Meyer. Many of the candidates the organization interviewed went on to get jobs with other teams, but several months after the fact, it looks like Jacksonville got it right. So far, Pederson has done a good job of earning his players’ trust, with cornerback Shaquill Griffin going as far as saying that they’re willing to “run through a brick wall” for him. Similarly, veteran safety Rayshawn Jenkins can notice the difference between last year and now and has nothing but good things to say about his head coach.
HC Doug Pederson now needs to win games for the Jaguars
It’s important to note that neither ranking is inherently better. Simply, PFF and PFN see things differently. This writer prefers the one Kaye put together but that doesn’t make it right. In fact, ask 10 people to rank all 32 head coaches, and you will get 10 different lists. Also, PFF and PFN got the two spots right and that should account for something.
Having said that, Pederson needs to win games for the Jaguars. He has a bright resume and has done a good job trying to install his vision over the last few months but it won’t matter much if he isn’t able to rack up victories. He doesn’t have to win right away. After all, the Jaguars are coming off one of the worst stretches in franchise history, so the bar won’t be particularly high in 2022, and getting seven or eight wins would be solid. However, expectations will soar in Year 2, and if he doesn’t make the playoffs, his seat might start to get a bit hot.
It’s too early to tell how Pederson’s tenure will play out but so far, he’s done everything he needed so far. Depending on how the 2022 season goes, he might make the top 10 or fall in next year’s head coaching ranking.