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Jacksonville Jaguars hire Doug Pederson as head coach

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The long, difficult and frustrating coaching search for the Jacksonville Jaguars has finally come to an end. Jacksonville has hired Doug Pederson as the franchise’s seventh full-time head coach and ninth overall (including two interim head coaches).

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news late on Thursday night before the Jaguars officially announced the move shortly afterward.

“Doug Pederson four years ago won a Super Bowl as head coach of a franchise in pursuit of its first world championship,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. “I hope Doug can replicate that magic here in Jacksonville, but what is certain is his proven leadership and experience as a winning head coach in the National Football League. It’s exactly what our players deserve. Nothing less.

“Combine this with his acumen on the offensive side of the ball, and you have why I am proud to name Doug Pederson the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I know our fans will warmly welcome Doug and his family to Duval and I personally look forward to having Doug as part of everything we envision for the team, downtown and community in the years ahead.”

Following the firing of Urban Meyer on Dec. 16, Pederson initially interviewed for the job with the Jaguars during the regular season back in late December. Oddly, Pederson did not have a second interview with Jacksonville until Feb. 1, more than a month after his first interview. Pederson was reportedly “lukewarm” about the prospect of working under the Jaguars’ current power structure with general manager Trent Baalke, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

The 54-year-old Pederson did not coach in 2021. He served as head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016 through 2020, winning Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots on Feb. 4, 2018. Pederson would lead the Eagles to two more playoff appearances during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, however, he was fired from Philadelphia in January 2021 after a 4-11-1 campaign in 2020. He finished his coaching stint with the Eagles with an overall record of 46-39-1 (.541), including a postseason mark of 4-2.

Prior to his time as the head man in Philadelphia, Pederson worked under Andy Reid as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013 through 2015. Before that, he was also with the Eagles, working under Reid as an offensive quality control coach (2009 and 2010) and as quarterbacks coach (2011 and 2012). Pederson also served as the head coach at Calvary Baptist Academy in Louisiana from 2005 through 2008.

Before getting into coaching, Pederson spent several years playing in the NFL as a quarterback. He also spent time in the World League of American Football(WLAF)/NFL Europe. Pederson went undrafted out of Northeast Louisiana University (Now Louisiana-Monroe) and signed with the Miami Dolphins in 1991, but was waived before the regular season.

Pederson then signed with the New York/New Jersey Knights of the WLAF in 1992. Later that year, he was re-signed by the Dolphins and spent 1992 through 1994 bouncing around between Miami’s practice squad and active roster. After being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 NFL expansion draft, and then being subsequently released before the season, Pederson then returned to the WLAF to play with the Rhein Fire.

Later in 1995, Pederson returned to the Dolphins for a brief stint before joining the Green Bay Packers later in the season. Pederson remained in Green Bay, playing behind Brett Favre and others, through the 1998 season. He won a Super Bowl ring for the Packers’ victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

Pederson then spent the 1999 season with the Eagles, starting the first seven games of the campaign before being replaced by Donovan McNabb. He then spent the 2000 season with the Cleveland Browns. Pederson returned to Green Bay from 2001 through 2004 before retiring from his playing career. Throughout his time in the NFL, Pederson played in 100 games with 17 starts. He completed 286 passes on 522 attempts (54.8 percent) for 2,762 yards with 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, according to Pro Football Reference.

In late January, Big Cat Country reported that Byron Leftwich was expected to be named head coach of the Jaguars. However, talks broke down between the parties before Leftwich officially signed with the team, as Leftwich reportedly did not want to work with Trent Baalke and wanted to bring his own hand-picked general manager in with Adrian Wilson — vice president of pro scouting for the Arizona Cardinals — potentially taking on that role. Jaguars owner Shad Khan apparently did not agree to this plan, and moved on from Leftwich. Now, Pederson will be the head man in Duval.

Pederson becomes the third different head coach for the Jaguars in the past three years: Doug Marrone took over the job in Jacksonville in 2017, with his final season coming in 2020; Urban Meyer didn’t make it out of 2021, the same year he was hired; and Pederson now takes over for 2022 and hopefully beyond.