Jaguars coaching rumors: Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell emerge as possible Urban Meyer replacements
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The Jaguars took a big risk by hiring Urban Meyer as their next coach during the 2021 NFL offseason. It did not work.
Meyer was only sacked 13 games during his rocky tenure at Jacksonville, so the Jaguars have returned to the drawing board. Their search for coaches will start to intensify in the coming weeks, and after swinging the fences with Meyer, it looks like Jacksonville is taking a more measured approach.
In particular, the Jaguars seem set to take a long look at coaches with significant NFL experience, something Meyer did not 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.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that the Jaguars plan to interview both Pederson and Caldwell for their vacant head coach positions. And as La Canfora explained, there are several reasons Pederson and Caldwell appear at the Jaguars: their experience and their work with quarterbacks.
Both Pederson and Caldwell have completed head coaching resumes and are both very interested in returning to the NFL this season. Both are being lauded for their work with quarterbacks, of particular interest to Jacksonville with first overall pick Trevor Lawrence struggling as a rookie, and they can be interviewed anytime as they currently coach 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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Doug Pederson’s Coaching Resume
Pederson, 53, broke into the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Eagles in 2009, five years after his 14-season career as an NFL quarterback ended. He joined Andy Reid’s team as a quality control coach before becoming the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2011.
When Reid was sacked by the Eagles, Pederson followed him to Kansas City and was their offensive coordinator for three years, from 2013 to 2015. He led the team to two Top 10 offenses and that was enough for Philadelphia to bring him in. as head coach in 2016 after the end of the Chip Kelly era.
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 got 4-11-1 in 2020, as the front office and Pederson clashed heads during the end of his tenure.
Pederson spent the 2020 season outside the NFL, but he is expected to be a prominent name in the coaching market thanks to his ability to develop quarterbacks. He helped lead Michael Vick’s resurgent return to the NFL, he led Alex Smith to his first Pro Bowl season in 2015, he helped Carson Wentz become an MVP candidate, and he won Super Bowl 52 with the replacement. Nick Foles to leave.
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Doug Pederson’s Coaching File
Pederson was 42-37-1 as a head coach during his five seasons with the Eagles. He led the team to three winning seasons, three playoff appearances and their first Super Bowl victory of all time in 2018.
|2017||Eagles||13-3||Won the Super Bowl|
|2018||Eagles||9-7||Divisional round loss|
|2019||Eagles||9-7||Lost in the turn of the jokers|
Jim Caldwell’s Coaching Resume
Caldwell, 66, has a more comprehensive coaching resume than Pederson because Caldwell didn’t play in the NFL like Pederson. Caldwell has been a coach since he graduated from Iowa as an assistant in 1977. He coached in college until 2000 when he was hired by the Buccaneers as a quarterback coach after a stint from eight years as the head coach of Wake Forest.
Caldwell worked under Tony Dungy with the Buccaneers and eventually followed him to Indianapolis, where he worked as the team’s assistant head coach and Peyton Manning’s quarterbacks coach. Manning earned five All-Pro nominations under his leadership, and Caldwell’s performance as Manning’s tutor earned him promotion to head coach after Dungy’s retirement prior to the 2009 season.
The Colts reached the Super Bowl in Caldwell’s first season as a head coach, but they lost to Sean Payton, Drew Brees and the Saints in that competition. 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 they parted ways with Caldwell, despite being forced to start Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins as quarterback in his final season.
Caldwell spent the next two seasons with the Ravens as a quarterback coach. He helped Joe Flacco have a quality 2012 season and made sure he was warm at the right time. Flacco threw for 1,140 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in four playoff games and led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. Caldwell was promoted to offensive coordinator for 2013 before taking the position of head coach of the Lions.
Matthew Stafford averaged 4,323 passing yards, 26.8 touchdowns and 11.3 interceptions per season over Caldwell’s four seasons with the Lions. He made his first Pro Bowl in Caldwell’s first year with the team.
However, Detroit struggled to lead the ball and its defense struggled enough to make just two playoff appearances. The Lions then moved on to Matt Patricia while Caldwell took a year off, spent a year with the Dolphins, then took another year off in 2020.
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Jim Caldwell’s Coaching File
Caldwell posted a 62-50 record during his NFL career. He has a winning percentage of 55.4, which is better than Pederson’s 53.1 rating.
|2009||Foals||14-2||Super Bowl Lost|
|2010||Foals||10-6||Wild Card lost|
|2014||the Lions||11-5||Wild Card lost|
|2015||the Lions||7-9||Missed playoffs|
|2016||the Lions||9-7||Wild Card lost|
|2017||the Lions||9-7||Missed playoffs|
Caldwell and Pederson won’t be the only candidates interviewed by the Jaguars. La Canfora report that Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will spark the team’s interest while Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Buccaneers offensive coordinator (and former Jaguars quarterback) Byron Leftwich could also be a candidate.
But don’t be surprised if one of these veterans is asked to succeed Meyer, as they are proven and respected winners.
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