Trevor Lawrence and HC Doug Pederson a marriage made in heaven
The Jacksonville Jaguars found their franchise quarterback when they selected Trevor Lawrence first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, Urban Meyer was the head coach when the Jags made the pick and it’s an understatement to say that Lawrence and the team were severely affected by it.
After a lengthy search, Jacksonville hired Doug Pederson to fix the mess his predecessor left and one player that benefited greatly was Lawrence. The former Clemson Tiger became the first player in franchise history to throw 25 passing touchdowns and score five rushing touchdowns. Moreover, he came big in the clutch and played a huge role in comeback wins against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Las Vegas Raiders Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Chargers (Wild Card Round).
General manager Trent Baalke met with the local media after the end of the 2022 season and talked about how much Lawrence grew in his first year with Pederson, “I think you saw the development of him mentally as well as physically throughout the course of this season and I think it’s only going to trend upward from there”
Balkee’s praise wasn’t limited to Lawrence. He also credited Doug Pederson and believes the pair are the perfect fit.
“One thing about him, he’s really a lot like Doug in the sense that he’s very steady. He’s very even-kneeled. And that’s a marriage made in heaven because they relate to each other that way, they’re both fearless. Trevor doesn’t fear anything, they’re very authentic, so when you have leaders in a quarterback position, at the head coach position that are like that, everyone else just kind of falls in line”.
The Jaguars have a great QB/HC tandem in Doug Pederson and Trevor Lawrence
One common theme among most perennial playoff clubs is having a good quarterback/head coach tandem. Even now and then, teams with mediocre quarterback play but a great defense will raise the Lombardi Trophy (Baltimore Ravens, 2000). However, they won’t be able to keep their defense together for much time due to salary cap rules. Similarly, teams can get to the Super Bowl but come crashing down not long after without the right head coach in place (Dallas Cowboys 1995).
Meanwhile, having stability at both quarterback and head coach will ensure your team is in a position to make the playoffs on a consistent basis. The Cincinnati Bengals found the right duo in Zach Taylor and Joe Burrow and have qualified for the postseason in back-to-back years. Similarly, the Kansas City Chiefs were good under Andy Reid but only got to the top after they drafted Patrick Mahomes.
This isn’t to say you can win it all without a top 5 quarterback or a great coach but your chances will increase considerably if you do. That’s why it’s hard to see the Jaguars being one-and-done in the playoffs like they did in 2017, when they played in the AFC Championship on the strength of their defense.
The Jaguars have done a good job of revamping their roster and have enough talent in place to return to the playoffs in 2023. Having Doug Pederson and Trevor Lawrence certainly helps.