On Thursday, the search for the Jacksonville Jaguars new head coach was completed. Doug Peterson, the former Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl winner, was named as Urban Meyer’s replacement.
Meyer was sacked after leading the Jaguars to just two wins in his 13 games in charge and after a series of poor judgement calls, including being filmed in a compromising position in a restaurant with someone that wasn’t his wife, as well as hiring a strength and conditioning coach who was alleged to have made racist remarks to players at Iowa.
Meyer was also accused of slamming his assistant coaches, kicking former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo during a pre-season practice and bringing in a somewhat immature and collegiate atmosphere at the NFL team that rubbed players and staff up the wrong way.
His attempt to curry favor with Jags fans by bringing in local hero Tim Tebow to try out for the team also ended in failure with Tebow being cut before the season started.
With the Jaguars winning just three games this season and owning the number 1 pick in the forthcoming NFL Draft, Pederson has his work cut out to turn around the ailing franchise.
What Does Pederson Have To Work With In Jacksonville?
The Jaguar interviewed a number of candidates for the role, but it was the man they
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interviewed first on December 30th that eventually got the position.
Called back in for a second interview on Tuesday, Pederson accepted Shad Khan’s offer of the role and he takes over a franchise that has been the worst in the NFL for the last two seasons.
“Doug Pederson four years ago won a Super Bowl as head coach of a franchise in pursuit of its first World Championship,” stated Shad Khan after announcing the new head coach.
“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.”
Khan also pointedly referenced Pederson’s “acumen on the offensive side of the ball” which seems to translate that he has brought in Pederson to work on their number 1 pick from last year’s draft, quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence had few bright moments in his rookie year as the Jags struggles continued, although there were sparks of brilliance in his play at times.
Khan will be hoping Pederson, a former quarterback and quarterback coach, can help Lawrence elevate his play and the play of those around him.
The Jaguars Rebuild
Certainly, the Jaguars have plenty of cap space and four picks on the first two days of the draft, including the first pick, in order to build a better team around Lawrence.
Many are speculating that the Jags may seek to protect Lawrence by drafting Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal first, but there are those that suggest pass rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchison could also be in the picture here if Pederson wants to go defense first.
And with a number of talented Free Agents set to be available this summer, and the Jags having effective cap space of almost $47 million, there is scope for Pederson to make major changes this year.
Whether he will or not remains to be seen but it is clear that the Jaguars are trying to get rid of the label of the NFL’s worst team.
It could certainly be an interesting off season for the AFC South team and their fans.