The Jacksonville Jaguars hope that Doug Pederson will be the head coach who turns the bottom-feeding swamp cat into an apex predator.
The Jaguars lost 10-plus games in 10 out of their 11 previous seasons, and they were so bad they were awarded the #1 pick in the NFL draft in consecutive seasons.
Pederson won a Super Bowl as the head coach of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. As a player, Pederson was a journeyman backup quarterback who won a Super Bowl ring with the 1996 Green Bay Packers as Brett Favre’s backup.
In five seasons with the Eagles, Pederson went 42-37-1 as a head coach with one Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots. The Eagles secured three postseason appearances under Pederson, but he wore out his welcome in the City of Brotherly Love despite winning them a Super Bowl.
“Doug Pederson four years ago won a Super Bowl as head coach of a franchise in pursuit of its first world championship,” said Jaguars owner Shad Khan. “I hope Doug can replicate that magic here in Jacksonville, but what is certain is his proven leadership and experience as a winning head coach in the National Football League. It’s exactly what our players deserve. Nothing less.”
Pederson was the first person the Jaguars interviewed for their head coaching vacancy back in late December. It took 35 more days before the Jaguars came to the ultimate conclusion that Pederson has the best chance to turn around the team and elevate them into a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Janky Jags bank on Pederson’s pedigree
The Jaguars made a huge error when they hired Urban Meyer last season. Khan thought an “outside the box” approach would be the best way to lift the Jaguars out of the muck. Meyer was a successful coach in the collegiate ranks, but his tyrannical philosophy didn’t jive with pro players. He started off on the wrong foot and quickly alienated the team in training camp. It was all downhill from there.
Meyer lost the locker room and was involved in numerous scandals before Khan finally fired him after 13 awful games as the head coach. Meyer went 2-11 in his first season as a rookie coach in NFL and, based on his performance, it’s most likely his last chance to coach in the pros.
Khan wanted to make sure he didn’t make another crucial error in hiring the next head coach, which is why it took so long to find the perfect candidate for the Jaguars. Other contenders included interim coach Darrell Bevell, Byron Leftwich, Todd Bowles, Matt Eberflus, and Nathaniel Hackett.
The Jaguars finished 3-14 in 2021 and secured the #1 pick in the NFL draft in back-to-back years. Last year, the Jaguars selected Trevor Lawrence with the #1 pick. Lawrence struggled at times during his rookie season, but now he has a former NFL quarterback in Pederson to help him navigate his second year in the league.
The Jaguars are a long shot at +8000 odds to win Super Bowl 57, according to a look-ahead line on the NFL futures board over at DraftKings.