Doug Pederson is back in the NFL.
There are reasons for mixed emotions when it comes to “Doug Pederson, Jaguars head coach.”
On one hand, it’s great to see Doug getting another opportunity. He deserved it after his success with the Eagles. Though he contributed to the team’s 2020 struggles, he was hardly the main culprit for their failures.
On the other hand, it’s fair to wonder if Pederson is getting a fair shake in Jacksonville. The Jaguars aren’t just merely bad; they’re downright disastrous. Good friend Noah Becker recently did a nice job of putting their dysfunction into perspective:
“Shad Khan bought the Jags in 2012. They have made the playoffs one time since then. They have one winning season since then. They have one season with more than 6 wins since then. Since 2012 they have made 8 picks in the Top 10, 6 of those 8 have been in the Top 5.”
I’m worried Pederson might be destined to fail due to factors outside of his control. The presence of both Khan and retained general manager Trent Baalke is troubling. Pederson himself reportedly has reservations about taking this job at first. It seems like he may have ultimately decided to take it because it was the only head coaching offer available to him this offseason.
Here’s hoping that Doug finds a way to succeed in Jacksonville. It’s possible that he can get Trevor Lawrence playing at a high level. It also doesn’t hurt that the Jags will have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to work with as well.
It’ll be interesting to see how Pederson fills out his staff. Will he be looking to get the band back together? Press Taylor as his offensive coordinator? Cory Undlin as his defensive coordinator? Those were reportedly his plans for his staff if he returned to the Eagles in 2021. Will Pederson be able to poach any assistants away from Philly’s current coaching staff?
Eagles fans will get an opportunity to give Pederson a warm welcome when he returns to Philly as the Jags’ head coach during the 2022 season. We’ll find out exactly when that game takes place when the NFL schedule is revealed in April or May.
Another interesting angle to consider about Pederson’s hire is that he’s joining the same division as Carson Wentz. That is, assuming the Indianapolis Colts retain their starting quarterback after he struggled in 2021. At the very least, Pederson will be going up against his old offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, twice per season.
Except for when he’s playing the Eagles, Philly fans should be rooting for Pederson to succeed with the Jags. There’s no Super Bowl parade up Broad Street and Vince Lombardi Trophy at the NovaCare Complex if it wasn’t for Doug.