Interview candidates for the Jaguars
Jacksonville’s head coach job is up for grabs and the prospect of training a young quarterback with star potential should be appealing to a number of candidates looking to lead the Jaguars. From a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, two of the candidates they want to interview for the job are former NFL head coaches Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell.
Pederson has been an offensive spirit in the NFL since 2009, spending 6 years as an assistant coach under Andy Reid. He started as an offensive quality control coach for the Eagles until he took charge of the quarterback when James Urban was promoted to assistant offensive coordinator for Philadelphia. Pederson followed Reid to Kansas City as the offensive coordinator in 2013, with Reid retaining the offensive caller role. After a 1-5 start to the season, Reid gave Pederson responsibility for play calls and the Chiefs ended the season on a 10-game winning streak.
This made Pederson a prime candidate for NFL head coaching positions in the offseason and he was hired to replace Chip Kelly where his NFL career began in Philadelphia. The first-year head coach was paired with second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, quarterback Carson Wentz outside of the state of North Dakota. The team’s record did not improve in 2016 despite a three-game winning streak to kick off the Pederson-Wentz marriage. Pederson’s second year in office, however, improved slightly with the Eagles winning Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots. Pederson had Wentz play at MVP level for 14 weeks when Wentz suffered an ACL tear, ending the best season of his young NFL career earlier. backup quarterback Nick foles helped the team clinch home ground advantage in the playoffs and led the team to victories over the Falcons and Vikings en route to their Super Bowl appearance and victory. The following year, Wentz struggled to stay healthy and Foles continued to complete as the Eagles went 9-7 and won a playoff game as a wild card team. A healthy Wentz helped Pederson lead the team to a 9-7 Division victory the following year, but they lost their first and only playoff game with Wentz at the helm. Pederson’s final season in Philadelphia saw the Eagles go 4-11-1 after a few injuries and poor play from Wentz. Pederson was fired immediately after the regular season with a 42-37-1 regular season record and a 4-2 playoff record despite the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory and first NFL championship since before. the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
Jim Caldwell entered the NFL in 2001 as quarterbacks coach of the Buccaneers under then-head coach Tony Dungy. Caldwell followed Dungy to Indianapolis and was announced as Dungy’s pending successor after the 2007 season. Exactly one year later, Caldwell was introduced as the Colts’ head coach following Dungy’s retirement. Caldwell took over a Colts team led by Peyton Manning and broke a 14-0 record, equaling former 49ers coach George Seifert for most consecutive wins to start a coaching career. He suffered his controversial starting players two losses to end the season, with a playoff field advantage already secured. The Caldwell Colts won their first two playoff games against the Ravens and Jets before losing to the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. The two playoff wins would end up being the only playoff wins in Caldwell’s head coaching career so far, but he was only the fifth head coach to reach the Super Bowl in their rookie season. and is the last rookie head coach to do so. Caldwell’s next season saw the Colts finish 10-6, winning the AFC South but losing their Wild Card game to the Jets. The Wild Card loss would be Manning’s last game in a Colts uniform, as neck surgeries would keep him out of the entire 2011-12 NFL season. The Colts without Caldwell’s Manning would be 2-14 with quarterbacks Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins all starting games. Caldwell was fired immediately after the season.
Caldwell was selected by the Ravens as quarterbacks coach but, when the Ravens sacked Cam Cameron mid-season, Caldwell was named the Ravens’ offensive playoff coordinator and helped lead. Joe flacco to a flawless playoff in which Flacco tied Joe Montana for most non-interception touchdowns in a single playoff series. Caldwell saw his quarterback win Super Bowl XLVII MVP after beating the 49ers with a “lights out” performance.
After a successful tenure in Baltimore, Caldwell was hired for his second head coaching job in 2014, this time for the Lions. Caldwell led Detroit to an 11-5 record in its first season and a playoff berth, losing to the Cowboys. The Lions would finish 9-7 twice over the next three seasons, losing another playoff game in 2016. Despite finishing 2017 with a winning record and a career record with the Lions 36-28 , Caldwell was let go and replaced by Matt Patricia. Caldwell was hired by the Dolphins to join Brian Flores’ staff as an assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach, but he took time off for health reasons and was not retained by Miami after the season. 2019.
Either head coach would be an intriguing addition due to their success in building offensive systems. Caldwell has shown an aptitude for winning football games, but has often been criticized for his inability to take that next step in the playoffs, evidenced by his career 2-4 playoff record. Pederson showed his ability to help young quarterbacks level up in the NFL with Wentz and the then rookie Jalen hurts, but he drew criticism for controversially pulling the Hurts out in the final game of the season in what some have accused of being an attempt to improve the Eagles’ draft position. The Jaguars are sure to do their due diligence in their search for coaches, but they clearly have a few ideas in mind of what to expect from their new head coach.