Doug Pederson, the Jacksonville Jaguars's home run hire, is the right coach to help Jacksonville become a winning franchise. For nearly a decade, the NFL Jaguars have been ridiculed by the NFL . A franchise that won six games in a single season since 2011, a record of 47-130 (.266 win rate) -- the worst in the NFL.
For a franchise such as Jacksonville, Pederson's credentials and record are extraordinary. In his five seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles coach, he went 42-37-1 and led the team to three consecutive playoff appearances (2017 through 2019). In his second season as a head coach, he turned the Eagles around quickly. He was one of only 11 coaches to win the Super Bowl.
Pederson is known for his ability to develop young quarterbacks. His arrival in Jacksonville will prove vital for Trevor Lawrence, a young quarterback who just finished one of the worst seasons in NFL history. The NFL's No. 1 pick. The first task of Pederson will be to develop Lawrence and make him an elite quarterback. This will determine his tenure and the direction of the Jaguars franchise for the next decade.
Fortunately, Pederson has been in similar situations before.
Doug's quarterback history
In 2016, the Eagles hired Pederson as their head coach. He was charged with finding Philadelphia a franchise quarterback who could lead them for a decade. Pederson, a former NFL quarterback, spent ten years learning the position under Brett Favre and Dan Marino before finally getting his chance to play for the Eagles in 1999. Andy Reid, then-Eagles head coaching, brought Pederson in to mentor Donovan McNabb. He held the fort until McNabb was ready.
Reid offered Pederson another chance a decade later when he hired him as the Eagles' offensive quality control coach and then quarterbacks coach from 2009 to 2012. Pederson was part the braintrust that transformed Michael Vick's role from a runner into a pocket passer. This happened less than two years after Vick was released from prison. Vick was second in MVP voting to Tom Brady 2010. He threw for 3,018 yard with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions, and ran for 676 yards and nine touchdowns.
Reid was appointed the Kansas City Chiefs head coach. He also hired his former quarterbacks coach to be the offensive coordinator. This was a well-deserved promotion. Pederson was assigned to Kansas City the task of continuing the development Alex Smith, who Reid and the Chiefs purchased from the San Francisco 49ers during the 2013 offseason.
Smith was a Pro Bowl Selection in his first season as a Chiefs player. He completed 60.6% of his passes for 313 yards and 23 touchdowns to only seven interceptions, improving his passer rating and completion percentage every season. Smith was 30-16 in 46 starts for the Chiefs with Pederson serving as his offensive coordinator. This led to Pederson being hired by the Eagles as their head coach.
Carson Wentz's development
Two separate deals were made by the Eagles to trade up from No. 13 to No. To select Wentz as their next franchise quarterback, they will move from No. 13 to No. 2. Pederson, a North Dakota State student with a raw talent, was tasked to develop Wentz into a franchise signal-caller. He had him learn from Sam Bradford during his rookie season.
Eight days before the start 2016 season, the Eagles traded Bradford and made Wentz the starting quarterback. Wentz had only played one preseason. The Eagles braintrust and Pederson believed Wentz was ready. Wentz had made great strides in his footwork and mechanics during the five months he spent working with Wentz.
Although White Wentz's 2016 season was not without its challenges (62.4 % and 3,782 yards) the Eagles had enough to see in a 7-9 season that they believed Wentz was ready for the next level towards the NFL's elite.
Wentz's delivery was long and Frank Reich, the offensive coordinator, and John DeFilippo, the quarterbacks coach, focused on it throughout the 2016 season as well as the 2017 offseason. Wentz's delivery was affected by an unsteady base and an open shoulder. This caused the ball to drop to his waist.
Wentz was a brilliant football player. Pederson and his coaching staff devised a quick release to allow Wentz to be used for his talents outside of the pocket. Wentz had a great ability to throw the ball on the run with power, and he also delivered the ball with a soft touch. He also demonstrated excellent footwork inside and outside the pocket.
These changes made Wentz the front-runner to win league MVP in 2017, just before his season was ended by a torn LCL and ACL. As a result, the Eagles were at 11-2 when Wentz was injured. He helped the team earn the No. The Eagles were 1st in the NFC and Wentz was a key component to Pederson's first Super Bowl victory.
How Pederson could turn Trevor Lawrence around
Lawrence's rookie season is a waste of time. It was a waste year due to Urban Meyer's dysfunction as head coach, and all the chaos he brought to Jaguars. No. 1 overall pick, the numbers were terrible. The No. 1 overall pick completed 59.6% of his passes for 3,641 yard with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions (71.9 rating). Lawrence was 29th among 31 qualified quarterbacks. He was also 31st for touchdown percentage (2.0%), 24th for interception percentage (2.8%) and 31st for yards per attempt (6.0). Lawrence is 30th in quarterback rating.
Pederson is getting Lawrence right at the right moment, as the quarterback could not possibly play worse than he did his first season. Lawrence managed his tumultuous rookie year with the leadership of a veteran. This will be huge for Pederson's offseason.
As Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde repeatedly pointed out, the mechanics are not the problem. One week Lawrence was assigned to run an offense similar to Dan Marino's, and the next week he was asked to orcharist the same offense by performing any type of checkdown. Lawrence was one of the worst wide receiver teams in the NFL, and his head coach refused to let him play to James Robinson when he was healthy. It didn't help that Lawrence had to throw to Jamal Agg, Tavon Travis and Laquon Treadwell.
Pederson can help Lawrence by passing on his extensive knowledge of the position. Installing a West Coast-based offense, like Pederson did in Philadelphia, will help Lawrence to get into a rhythm in games and improve his completion rate. Lawrence will reach his full potential by being an adult in the coach room.
Lawrence will be able to play without the need for heavy play-action, and he'll have a stronger offensive line. This will make 2022 a better year for the young quarterback. Pederson will be able to give Lawrence a lot of shotgun (not sure if it's a good thing), but his zone-read ability will be emphasized with the new run-pass option.
Trevor Lawrence 2022
The Jaguars are expected to have $59.4million available salary cap space in the 2022 offseason. This is the second-most NFL team. Jacksonville must rebuild its offensive line in order to protect its quarterback, and to give Lawrence better receivers for the second year. Pederson's offense was 2nd in the NFL for the use of 12 personnel (two tight ends) in 2020 (35%), and 3rd in the league for 2019 (52%). If Pederson wants to add that formation to his Jaguars offense, he will need to improve at the tight end. Lawrence will also need to have an option in middle of field.
Lawrence will benefit from the added run-pass option, which will help him read defenses better. Lawrence will have Travis as an option to pass the ball to him. He can also stretch to the outside to open up another area of the field. Lawrence will need to be able to catch passes from Etienne, a back Pederson can use to his strengths.
Lawrence will be able to make the big plays at Clemson again under Pederson. This is thanks to the run-pass option, Pederson's willingness and ability to extend the play outside of the pocket, and Lawrence's familiarity with them. With Pederson's offense, the Jaguars have only 21 passes of more than 25 yards. This is 27th in the NFL.
Lawrence's completion rate will increase and his interceptions decrease. With Pederson's West Coast-based plan, the yards per attempt will increase and the touchdown percentage will decrease.
Although the final product may not be visible until 2022, Lawrence will make significant progress towards the second half of the season. Lawrence's growth will take longer than one offseason with Pederson. However, he will make significant progress as a quarterback in the 18 months ahead.
Lawrence has much more to offer. The Jaguars need to be patient.