Effective communication is key to a successful relationship regardless of its nature. And you could argue that the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t on the same wavelength for several years. But that has changed since the arrival of head coach Doug Pederson earlier this year.
Pederson met with the local media ahead of the Jags’ Week 7 matchup versus the New York Giants and touched on several topics, including the coaching staff’s ability to share their input in personnel decisions.
“Even my own experience, we were a little more open and transparent and had dialogue across the board at all positions”, Pederson said. “And I think it’s a credit to [general manager] Trent Baalke and his staff for allowing my guys, the position coaches, to be in there and voice their opinions on players. I believe it’s a collaborative effort, we coach them, they scout them all year, and we get a chance to come together in the offseason and make decisions that way”.
Pederson knows that in order to make a relationship work, both sides have to be willing to compromise.
“We also understand that’s not always going to be my way, or Trent’s way or the coach may not get his player that he wants but at least we have that conversation, and that’s one process that we go through in the offseason, where we’ve got to make sure that we’re right on all those draft picks and felt like we had a really good draft his past year, our first draft together, and something we can build off as a staff moving forward”, Pederson said.
The Jaguars have made it work with Trent Baalke leading the front office
Even though the Jags sank to a new low under Urban Meyer last year, general manager Trent Baalke also played a role. Sure, Meyer was the one making questionable decisions but Baalke didn’t do anything (at least from an outside perspective) to stop him.
Granted, Meyer was not a teenager, even if he behaved like one. But there must be some sort of checks and balances in place in a work environment, and nobody set limits for Meyer. That led fans to demand Jacksonville kick Baalke to the curve just one year after promoting him to general manager full-time.
Nevertheless, owner Shad Khan didn’t cave to public pressure and kept Baalke around even though the general manager had a reputation around the league for being difficult to work with. So far, the decision has paid off and both Baalke and Pederson have worked well. They probably argue behind the scenes just like any other coworkers would but you will no longer hear talks about the Jags having a dysfunctional leadership in place.
Now, both Baalke, Pederson, and to a certain extent Khan, must keep making a collaborative effort. After all, this is their first year together but can their partnership last beyond this season? That’s something the Jaguars’ brass will need to work on if they really want to turn things around and have sustained success for years to come.