It didn’t end the way Doug Pederson wanted it to in Philadelphia. The former Eagles quarterback figured he would ride off into the “new normal” sunset as a Super Bowl conquering hero. And, in many ways, Pederson did that.
Sure, he was technically fired for finally putting his foot down and pushing back against the front office. That 4-11-1 season overshadowed three straight playoff appearances and the only Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. Now Pederson is the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars following a much-needed year away from football.
The 53-year-old sounded energized and recharged by the Florida sun during his introductory press conference as he promised to build “that championship culture.” Pederson – sitting next to Jaguars owner Shad Khan and general manager Trent Baalke – spoke of using the same collaborative approach he used in Philly, a place he had fitted for a parade in only his second year in charge.
“The thing I learned just coming out of Philadelphia – and Shad has alluded to it, and even Trent – we had such a collaborative approach,” Pederson said. “We have open dialogue and we have tough conversations. That’s why we get put in these positions, right? To make hard, hard choices. It’s never going to be in my favor and it’s probably never going to be in Trent’s favor or in Shad’s favor, but at the end of the day when we walk out onto that practice field or that game field, we’re Jaguars.
“And that’s the way the structure was where I came from in Philadelphia, and I see that same structure [here]. Even the conversations through this process and it wasn’t just me being interviewed several weeks ago in December and then again, a couple days ago. These were conversations that were ongoing throughout the entire process.
“And that’s what draws you to certain situations, the head coach has some say in picking the ingredients, so to speak. And I think that’s important because we’re the ones out there coaching these players and getting them right on game day, and I just love the fact that we can get in a room, and we can dialogue and make these hard decisions.”
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Other Interviews: ‘Win Another One’
Pederson confirmed he had other interviews this offseason but didn’t rattle off which teams. Various reports had him making trips to Minnesota, Chicago, New Orleans before he circled back to Jacksonville to sign a contact.
“I was ready to go and I was excited for whatever the opportunity came before me,” Pederson said. “I had opportunities to interview with other clubs, but this one drew me and I’m ready to go.”
Seven NFL head coaches have guided two different teams to the Super Bowl, including former Eagles bosses Andy Reid and Dick Vermeil. Pederson is thinking bigger: no one has ever won two Lomardis for two different organizations.
“I want to win another one, quite frankly,” Pederson said. “I’ve been fortunate and blessed as a player and coach to go to three Super Bowls and when it gets in your system and your bloodstream it’s hard to give that up.”
Trevor Lawrence Promises Ice Cream Treat
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was a big reason why Pederson chose Jacksonville. The No. 1 overall pick in 2021 has enormous potential and Urban Meyer couldn’t tap it. Lawrence chatted with his new coach on the night the Super Bowl champion was hired. And the two already have plans to eat ice cream together (hint: Pederson’s favorite brand is Haagen-Dazs).