Just one year after getting fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson has found a new home down in Jacksonville as the new head coach of the Jaguars.
Shad Khan and the Jags went through an extensive interviewing process to find their guy. Reportedly, Pederson was not the first choice. That belonged to former Jacksonville quarterback and current Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who removed his name from consideration earlier this week.
While he may not have been their first choice, Pederson is undoubtedly the right man for the job.
After the absolute dumpster fire that was Urban Meyer, Pederson will provide a stabilizing force from the get-go. Despite having some up-and-down seasons after winning the Super Bowl in Philly, he always managed to finish the season strong and find his way into the postseason (except for his final year with the team).
For Jacksonville, their top priority when finding a head coach was obvious — find someone who can get the most out of Trevor Lawrence. Pederson’s track record with young quarterbacks speaks for itself. He helped develop Carson Wentz into an MVP candidate in year two, and still managed to win a Super Bowl and multiple playoff games with backup Nick Foles under center. Pederson’s biggest strength has always been identifying what a quarterback does best and building his offense around it.
Of course, there will justifiably be some questions about how it all got so bad in Philadelphia in 2020. Wentz just couldn’t do anything right that season and he was expected to carry the offense. It’s clear now that Wentz isn’t capable of doing that, even in Indianapolis where he’s surrounded by Pro Bowl talent.
Giving Pederson the opportunity to work with one of the most athletically gifted young quarterbacks in the game will be fun to watch. If he can amplify what Lawrence does well, Jacksonville should be back in playoff contention in no time.
The Eagles will actually face the Jaguars at home in 2022. The Doug Pederson homecoming should be a fun one.