Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars have lost two straight games, there’s a day and night difference between this year’s squad and their 2021 counterpart. Head coach Doug Pederson is a big reason why and this hasn’t been lost on Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports.
Sullivan recently put together a list of winners and losers of Week 1 of the NFL preseason and he dubbed Pederson a winner. He argues that the contrast between him and his predecessor, Urban Meyer, is stark and goes on to say that there’s now a competent head coach running the Jags.
"Already, the Jaguars are looking like a more well-run organization with a capable head coach manning the sidelines, and, most importantly, Trevor Lawrence looks to be back on track. While most of the starters didn’t play in the Hall of Fame game, Jacksonville did roll them out in their matchup against Cleveland. Lawrence played the first three series and led the offense to scoring drives in each of them while completing 6 of his 12 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown."
Sullivan then adds that Trevor Lawrence now resembles the quarterback everyone saw at Clemson, the one the Jaguars drafted first overall coming out of college, and argues that Pederson deserves credit for it.
It seems like the Jaguars made the right call with Doug Pederson
After the mess Urban Meyer created and several years of minimal results, the Jaguars had to get their head-coaching search right. Looking back, it’s not surprising that it took them nearly two months to hire Doug Pederson despite the fact that he was the very first candidate they interviewed.
Sure, the presence of general manager Trent Baalke might have hindered the process and probably scared away several quality candidates. Having said that, Pederson was from the very beginning one of the best fits for the Jags. Not only did he help the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl in franchise history but he’s shown the ability to develop quarterbacks, something Jacksonville needed.
So far, Pederson has proven to be as good as advertised and players that were on the team last year seem to be happy playing for their new head coach. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin says players will run through a brick wall for their head coach, and there are no longer reports of dysfunction, something that was basically a weekly occurrence during Meyer’s short stint.
Also, Lawrence has looked in control of the huddle and although he only threw 12 passes against the Cleveland Browns, he’s shown out throughout training camp. While he might not make a leap as big as the one Carson Wentz (Pederson’s starting quarterback in Philadelphia) made in his sophomore campaign, he should be significantly better in 2022.
The Jaguars have yet to play a game in the regular season this year but Pederson’s influence is notable. The head coach is aware there’s no overnight fix but Jacksonville is trending in the right direction because of him.