The Jaguars’ decision to keep Trent Baalke as their General Manager after firing head coach Urban Meyer during the 2021 season was met with criticism in some corners.
Baalke’s presence was believed to be a negative for some head coaching candidates who didn’t want to work with him because of how things played out with the 49ers when Baalke was their G.M. in the early 2010s. While that might have been an issue for some potential coaches, it didn’t stop Doug Pederson from taking the job.
Pederson told Albert Breer of SI.com that he isn’t letting the opinions of others color his view of someone he’ll be working closely with in Jacksonville.
“A lot of these reports that are out there are from a lot of unnamed sources,” Pederson said. “I can remember my time in Philly, back in ’16, there were a lot of unnamed sources that thought I wasn’t very good as a head coach. But they never put their name to it. And I’m like, ‘Well, what good is that? If you’re gonna say something, at least own up to it.’’And so my philosophy with things like that is I want to get to know the person. I want to get to know Trent Baalke, what makes him tick, his family, his likes, his dislikes and his history as a GM. All those things. He’s had a lot of success in this league. And I’ll tell you something — we’ve connected from day one, all the way back to my first interview with the Jaguars. . . . I can go sit in his office, he can come sit in mine and we don’t even have to talk ball. We just tell stories and that’s how you get to know people.”
Pederson’s said that he doesn’t see the Jaguars as an overnight fix and that will likely mean some tough sledding at points early in his tenure with the team. Staying on the same page with Baalke during that sledding will be essential to the working relationship being a positive one for both men.