The Jaguars took a big risk when they hired Urban Meyer as their next coach during the 2021 NFL offseason. It didn’t work out.
Meyer was fired just 13 games in his difficult tenure at Jacksonville and the Jaguars have returned to the drawing board as a result. His search for a coach will start to heat up in the coming weeks, and after hitting the hurdles with Meyer, it appears Jacksonville is taking a more measured approach.
In particular, the Jaguars seem willing to take a hard look at coaches with significant NFL experience, something Meyer didn’t have. As such, it’s no surprise to learn that the Jaguars are interested in two of the most respected veteran coaching options on the market: Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell.
Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports reports that the Jaguars plan to interview both Pederson and Caldwell for their head coach vacancy. And as La Canfora explained, there are a couple of reasons Pederson and Caldwell appear against the Jaguars: their experience and work with quarterbacks.
Both Pederson and Caldwell have built head coaching resumes and are keen to return to the NFL this season. Both are recognized for their work with quarterbacks, of particular interest to Jacksonville, with Trevor Lawrence, the top overall pick, fighting as a rookie, and can be interviewed at any time as they are currently training in the NFL.
Here’s a full breakdown of Pederson and Caldwell’s experience as they emerge as potential candidates for the Jaguars coaching job.
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Coach resume of Doug Pederson
The 53-year-old Pederson broke into the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Eagles in 2009, five years after his 14-year career as an NFL quarterback ended. He joined Andy Reid’s staff as a quality control coach before becoming the team’s quarterback coach in 2011.
When Reid was fired by the Eagles, Pederson followed him to Kansas City and served as their offensive coordinator for three years, from 2013 to 2015. He led the team to two top-10 scoring offenses and that was enough for Philadelphia to bring him in. as head coach in 2016 after the Chip Kelly era came to an end.
Pederson coached the Eagles for five seasons. After a 7-9 season in his freshman year, he led the team to three consecutive winning seasons and a Super Bowl title in 2018. He was fired after the Eagles went 4-11-1 in 2020, as the Central office and Pederson collided bosses during the end of his tenure.
Pederson spent the 2020 season outside of the NFL, but is expected to be a buzzword in the coaching market thanks to his ability to develop quarterbacks. He helped lead Michael Vick’s resurgence to the NFL, led Alex Smith to his first Pro Bowl season in 2015, helped Carson Wentz become an MVP candidate, and won Super Bowl 52 with backup Nick Foles as headline.
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Doug Pederson’s Coach Record
Pederson has posted a 42-37-1 record as a head coach during his five seasons with the Eagles. He led the team to three winning seasons, three playoff appearances and his first Super Bowl victory of all time in 2018.
|2017||Eagles||13-3||Won the super bowl|
|2018||Eagles||9-7||Lost in Divisional Round|
|2019||Eagles||9-7||Lost in the wild card round|
Jim Caldwell Coaching Resume
The 66-year-old Caldwell has a more extensive coaching resume than Pederson, as Caldwell didn’t play in the NFL like Pederson. Caldwell has been a coach since he served as a graduate assistant in Iowa in 1977. He was a college coach until 2000, when he was hired by the Buccaneers as a quarterback coach after an eight-year stint as Wake’s head coach. Forest.
Caldwell worked with Tony Dungy with the Buccaneers and eventually followed him to Indianapolis, where he served as the team’s assistant head coach and quarterback coach for Peyton Manning. Manning earned five All-Pro nominations under his supervision, and Caldwell’s performance as Manning’s tutor earned him promotion to head coach after Dungy retired before the 2009 season.
The Colts made it to the Super Bowl in Caldwell’s first season as head coach, but lost to Sean Payton, Drew Brees and the Saints in that contest. Caldwell led the Colts to another winning season in 2010 before falling off a cliff in 2011 when Manning missed the entire season. Indianapolis went 2-14 and parted ways with Caldwell, even though he was forced to start Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins at quarterbacks during his final season.
Caldwell spent the next two seasons with the Ravens as a quarterback coach. He helped Joe Flacco convert a quality 2012 season and made sure it warmed up at the right time. Flacco threw for 1,140 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions during four postseason games and led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. Caldwell was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2013 before assuming the Lions head coach job.
Matthew Stafford averaged 4,323 passing yards, 26.8 touchdowns and 11.3 interceptions per season during Caldwell’s four seasons with the Lions. He made his first Pro Bowl in Caldwell’s first year with the team.
However, Detroit had trouble running the ball and its defense struggled enough to make just two playoff appearances. The Lions then passed Matt Patricia, while Caldwell took a year off, spent a year with the Dolphins, and then spent another year off in 2020.
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Jim Caldwell’s Coaching Record
Caldwell has posted a 62-50 record during his NFL career. He has a 55.4 winning percentage, which is better than Pederson’s mark of 53.1.
|2009||Colts||14-2||Lost super bowl|
Caldwell and Pederson won’t be the only candidates interviewed by the Jaguars. La Canfora reports that Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will attract the team’s interest as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports Buccaneers offensive coordinator (and former Jaguars quarterback) Byron Leftwich could also be a candidate.
But don’t be surprised if any of these veterans are chosen to replace Meyer, as they are respected and proven winners.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.