There wasn’t a mincing of words when it came to who will be calling plays in Jacksonville for head coach Doug Pederson - it will be him, and him alone.
Pederson was asked specifically about his intentions to do so, something he says he prides himself in. It’s part of the appeal Pederson had during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, leading one of the best offenses into the Super Bowl to defeat the New England Patriots in the 2017 season.
“I will say right now that I want to call the plays,” Pederson said when asked about it. “I want to put myself in position to help this football team. That’s my — not only lead the team but I’ve done that in my five years in Philadelphia, and I feel really comfortable doing that.”
During his time with the Eagles, Pederson-led offenses ranked 7th (2017) in yards, ranking 14th in yards two other times (2018, 2019).
While the offense dropped off during his final year in 2020, ranked 24th in yards, overall his offenses have impressed due to the adaptability the team has shown offensively to work with a variety of personnel, and quarterbacks.
While he is certain in his ability to call plays and uplift the team as a whole in doing so, Pederson says he understands that there are certain instances when it’s appropriate to turn those duties over to someone else if the situation calls for it.
“Listen, there are times when you get stuck in games and you turn things over. I’m going to be the first one to tell you that you get stuck as a play caller, and you turn it over to some different eyes. That’s just where I’m at. I want to do it. I want to continue to do it and be successful at it.”
The Jaguars were ranked as one of the worst offenses in the NFL last season, ranking 32nd in points and 27th in yards. Pederson’s presence will certainly uplift that aspect of the team.
An important part of the team’s offense will certainly be quarterback Trevor Lawrence who will be the expected to lead the team for years to come. Entering his second season in the NFL, Lawrence will learn from Pederson, a coach that has had plenty of success in developing quarterbacks in the past.
“As far as Trevor goes, it’s something that obviously, as I get in here and really start diving into the film — I’ve been able to watch him not only on TV but look at him on tape and watch him and kind of know who he is, a little bit about him, but the more now that I get to come in here and really study him and study the game.
“Obviously, listen, he’s one player on this team. He’s a good player. But also watching the entire team — offense, defense, and special teams. Our job moving forward is to find more good pieces to put around him. So I’m excited from that standpoint.”
Finding new pieces to surround him with will become the first of many responsibilities Pederson will have during his tenure as the Jaguars’ head coach. Being able to accomplish the ultimate goal - winning the Super Bowl - is something that will take time, but is certainly what he’s seeking to bring to the city of Jacksonville.
“The players here want to win. I want to win. And that’s what I can bring to the Jacksonville Jaguars, to this community, and to our fan base.”