A year after making a disastrous hire, the Jaguars made a great one

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars
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In 2021, the Jaguars made one of the worst hires in recent NFL history, naming Urban Meyer the team’s head coach. In 2022, the Jaguars made one of the best.

A Super Bowl-winning coach was available, in Doug Pederson. He was a coach who won a championship under unique circumstances. His starting quarterback was lost for the season in December, turning the NFC’s No. 1 seed into an underdog to win it all. But win it all they did, riding Nick Foles to a highly unlikely Super Bowl win over Tom Brady and the Patriots.

But only the Jaguars hired Pederson. Others interviewed him. There was never a land rush for his services, however. No Sean Payton-style clamoring. Several teams with openings didn’t even talk to Pederson, including the Texans, Broncos, Raiders, Giants, and Dolphins.

The Broncos, at a minimum, may be wondering what might have been.

After a fast start followed by a sluggish run in the middle of the season, the Jaguars under Pederson found their groove. Coinciding with a collapse by the Titans, Pederson and the Jaguars pushed their way to the front of the AFC South line. Last weekend, they scored one of the  most memorable comebacks in league history to land in the divisional round.

The ride quite possibly ends this week, at Arrowhead Stadium. Unless it doesn’t. Last year, both No. 1 seeds lost in the divisional round. It’s not as rare as you’d assume. The lower seed throws a lucky punch early, catches the favorite flat-footed, and all of a sudden we have a real fight.

Pederson knows what he’s doing. He learned it from Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Now, with the season on the line and an AFC championship berth in the balance, Pederson has a chance to turn the tables on Big Red, and to complete a turnaround even more stunning than Jacksonville’s post-2017 disintegration.

54 responses to “A year after making a disastrous hire, the Jaguars made a great one

  1. I’m an Eagles fan and thought the team did him wrong firing him after one bad season. I love seeing him doing so well with the Jags.

  2. Good football teams make good coaches more than good coaches make good football teams. Any hall of fame coach in Denver this year would quickly be getting run out of town

  3. I was hoping the Dolphins would have hired him but the Grier/Ross combo thought otherwise….no wonder the team is inept.

  4. “ Several teams with openings didn’t even talk to Pederson, including the Texans, Broncos, Raiders, Giants, and Dolphins.”

    Not a surprise, we as people tend to confuse wealth and job titles with intelligence. And one thing the sports have shown is that being a billionaire dollar owner, team president, and/or general manager does not mean they are the smartest person in the room. Doug Peterson should’ve been a hot commodity. There’s a reason why three of those five teams have been in years of turmoil,.

  5. There are so many self-entitled/self-obsessed people walking around and doing damage to everyone else on the daily like Urban Meyer; it’s pretty sweet when the normal guy comes in and shows everyone how it can and should be done.

  6. Indeed, this is why you correct your head coaching mistakes asap and move on!

    Right Bears, Raiders and Dolphins?

  7. And Sean Payton, with the same number of SB wins (with a HOF QB for more than a decade) is deemed to be worth $20 mil and a first round draft pick. Why???

  8. And yet the Houston Texans under Nick Caserio make back to back (one year each!) hires and Texans dunce, I mean owner, Cal McNair has “full confidence” in Caserio.

    This is the same Caserio that selected Daryl Stingley who played 1 out 3 yrs at LSU, missed 1/2 this season.

    This is the same Caserio that selected Daryl Stingley over Sauce (1st time in 41 yrs a rook CB makes all-pro team) Gardner.

    This is the same Caserio that gave up 3 picks to draft a player who just tore his ACL in John Metchie, didn’t play 1 down this year.

    This is the same Caserio that gave up 3 picks to draft WR Nico Collins, who has played in maybe 1/2 the games in the last 2 yrs.

    Caserio just whizzed away 7 draft picks for guys that don’t play, on a team that needs players literally at every positional group.

    Yet Cal McNair has “full confidence”. It boggles the mind.

  9. The Jaguars are a team on the rise regardless of the outcome of the game tomorrow. Well done Coach Pederson and company.

  10. Not just the super bowl, he also had a big hand in keeping Alex Smith on the positive trajectory Jim Harbaugh set him on. He’s definitely proven to be a successful branch of the Reid tree, not just taking his playbook and trying it elsewhere like Nagy did in Chicago. You could tell he’s added his own spin on things in just last weeks playoff game, as well as his Philly post season run. I’m not rooting for him this week obviously, but every other game of the year I hope he has success.

  11. I love the Holmgren-Reid-Pederson lineage. As well as Holmgren-Gruden and other Holmgren proteges. More successful than Belichick lineage thus far. Go Jags and Go Eagles. And it’s a great elite 8 this year, except for Cowboys.

  12. Doug Peterson is awesome! The Philly special only worked because it was an illegal formation though

  13. The author of the post makes Sean Payton into the second coming of Vince Lombardi. Payton has won exactly the same number of Super Bowls as head coach as Pederson has won: one.

  14. correctingerrors says:
    January 20, 2023 at 5:16 pm
    Doug Peterson is awesome! The Philly special only worked because it was an illegal formation though
    ———————————————————-

    Incorrect. They checked their alignment with the official prior to the play. They also aren’t the first ones to run that exact same play.

  15. The Jags run MIGHT end in KC tomorrow…HOWEVER…Andy Reid has had a habit of shall we say “underperforming” in big games. We shall see.

  16. There are a lot of coaches – probably most of them – where it’s a bit hard to tell what impact they really have on a team’s success. (Sometimes their role in failure is more obvious.)

    But Pederson is one of those guys where it’s clear. He was a huge part of them winning that Super Bowl – he had to keep making bold and smart decisions all throughout the game to keep up and keep the Pats at bay. As the pressure escalated, he escalated right along with it.

    And the Chargers game showed that he still has that ability. Once again, it was a game defined by smart and bold decisions, along with holding a team together after falling in a deep hole.

    If my team was in a big game, there isn’t a coach in the league I’d rather have on the sidelines for it than Pederson.

  17. I’m probably speaking for most eagles fans in that we are happy with how things have panned out, but all of us love Dougie P. And we will always root for him.

  18. “Payton has won exactly the same number of Super Bowls as head coach as Pederson has won: one.”

    He also served a year suspension, and deserved it.

  19. Just to revisit Urban Meyers complete toxicity: He landed the Jags job and not a single former assistants from Ohio State was willing to come work for him. Guys spend their whole lives dreaming of the NFL and EVERYBODY said, “Nah, that’s okay, Urb. Thanks anyway.”

  20. And Sean Payton, with the same number of SB wins (with a HOF QB for more than a decade) is deemed to be worth $20 mil and a first round draft pick. Why???

    ________________
    Go to college and grab the Econ 101 text book. Scan to the chapter titled Supply and Demand. Read it. Hopefully.it will sink in.

  21. It’s also worth noting that Byron Leftwich was apparently the Jags first choice according to reports at the time. After they couldn’t work out a deal, they went with Pederson. So they kind of lucked in to the right choice.

  22. Meyer couldn’t act like an adult working with men. Why let him be an influence on young people at the collegiate level? I think a University should be ashamed for hiring that clown to overlook a major sports program, and then hitting the club that night.

  23. I was screaming for the Jets to get him when they could, but no one listened. And us and our stupid meaningless top 3 defense are sitting home out of the playoffs, again.

  24. Congrats to Pederson for winning a playoff game during this rebuilding season. I’m kinda hoping to see Kansas City advance so we can watch more videos of Andy Reid compete in the Punt Pass and Kick competition as a gigantic 12-year old.

  25. Something finally went the Jags way, that’s for sure. How they thought Meyer was going to be a success at the NFL level is beyond me…What a tool.
    Right now you can’t help but root for the Jags going from worst to first and playing like they’re legit. They haven’t had this kind of buzz since the Mark Brunell days, so they better have their ducks in a row when they face off with KC.

  26. Loved doug and Andy in Philly, but their time was over. Nicky has done a marvelous job in his second year.

  27. His departure from Philly was so bizarre. He stood by Wence as the Eagles soured on him. So they fired Peterson while Wence left anyway.

    Peterson’s loyalty to his team over the owner may have prevented him from being hired quickly. Billionaire egos are fragile.

    Good for Jacksonville!

  28. It was a head scratcher when Philly fired him. Somehow both parties seem to have come out ok. The Eagles have Sirianni and Hurts while Pederson gets to coach Lawrence.

  29. MortimerInMiami says:
    January 20, 2023 at 4:35 pm
    Indeed, this is why you correct your head coaching mistakes asap and move on!

    Right Bears, Raiders and Dolphins?
    ——————————————————-
    Should Miami fire their coach too? He inherited a 9-8 team and had multiple first and third round picks coming in. They finished the regular season 9-8. Wow! Can him too. Right MortimerInMiami?

  30. Mark Davis was so moronic for not even giving him a interview smh I’m willing to give McDaniels the benefit of the doubt this year but come next season no more excuses especially after watching what the Jags and Giants both are doing with first year head coaches….

  31. I’m not saying Pederson is Don Shula, but imagine hiring Nathanial Hackett (and a team of coaches to help him… coach) over a guy that won a Super Bowl with his backup QB. Oof

  32. Jags and Giants in Superbowl is not impossible. It would not only make for a great story, it would make for a GREAT game.

  33. Philly did him dirty cuz he didn’t want wentz. How’d that work out? They seem to have gotten pretty lucky in Sirianni but they had the genuine article already in house. Dumb

  34. The Jaguars were quite fortunate to be able to hire Pederson. The Eagles probably let him go too soon, but Jacksonville isn’t complaining. They’ll give KC all they can handle and no knowledgeable fan will be surprised if they win.

  35. Pretty impressive Shahid Khan checked his ego and fired Urban after 1 year. Most billionaires would never admit they made a mistake and double down to keep him 2-3 years.

  36. txdr says:
    January 20, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    This is the same Caserio that gave up 3 picks to draft a player who just tore his ACL in John Metchie, didn’t play 1 down this year.

    ———————

    John Metchie has been battling leukemia.

    I get it, you’re furious Caserio didn’t hire Peterson, but listing this as one of his missteps is a gross overreach. Calm down, friend.

    I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure blood cancers aren’t a side effect of ACL tears.

  37. I like both teams but officiating will have a lot to do with the outcome. If the refs don’t screw this up, i favor KC because of their playoff experience.

  38. Bills should have hired him after McDermott threw away his team’s effort in his horrific mismanagement of the Chiefs game last year.

  39. pftancelledme says:
    January 20, 2023 at 5:12 pm
    But they almost didn’t, Jags tried to hire Byron Leftwich, before hiring Pederson.

    ================

    I wonder if Leftwich regrets the decision?

    As far as Pederson in Philly, while generally loved among the fanbase, it was a toxic situation in the front office that made it best that they part ways. Roseman had control over Pederson’s staff (and I think game day roster but not sure). Pederson didn’t continue to evolve his offense in Philly causing it to get stale and the whole Wentz/Hurts situation.

    I think both Roseman and Pederson have grown since then and am happy that both teams are in the playoffs. 3 of the 4 Eagles head coaches since 1999 are still alive and 3 of the 4 NFC East teams are still alive.

  40. Should be the coach of the year with what hes done there in Jax. Dougie P. is an awesome players coach. Eagles never should have dumped him after winning the only Super Bowl for them.

  41. Great? The Chargers lost that last game more than anything Visor Boy did. What a pathetic blather – and the same cad who has hyped Dog Face as the next Joe Montana.

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