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JACKSONVILLE – The search is over.

Doug Pederson, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles to a victory in Super Bowl LII following the 2017 season, is the Jaguars' new head coach. The team released the news late Thursday night.

The announcement ended the head-coach search that began following the dismissal of Urban Meyer on December 16. It also made Pederson the seventh head coach in Jaguars history.

It was a long search. It was an emotional one for Jaguars fans, and it was perhaps the most-scrutinized head-coach search in franchise history.

It's done now, and the reaction in the inbox was immediate.

Let's get to it …

Sean from Jacksonville

Doug Pederson, eh? What are your initial thoughts? For me? Meh. I was still hoping for an Eric Bieniemy surprise.

My initial thoughts when hearing that Pederson indeed would be the head coach circled back to my initial thoughts when the franchise dismissed Meyer – that what the franchise needed moving forward was an experienced NFL head coach who understood the league and how it worked. Pederson, 54, appears absolutely to be just that. He played quarterback for 13 NFL seasons. He has coached in the NFL 12 seasons. He coached the Eagles to the postseason three times. He worked under Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid seven seasons. I wrote early in the process that I thought either Pederson or former Indianapolis Colts/Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell made the most sense because of their head-coaching experience – and because their reputations for leadership and setting an organizational tone. I leaned toward Caldwell because I know him well, but I have heard nothing but outstanding things about Pederson in this vein. You were hoping for Bieniemy. Many Jaguars fans were hoping for former Jaguars quarterback and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Byron Leftwich. Many other fans undoubtedly had their own ideas about the candidate. For me, Pederson is far from a "meh" hire. He fits what the Jaguars need and is a very capable head coach. He seems a very good hire. Now, his work begins.

Decarlos from Jacksonville

Did the Jacksonville Jaguars deliberately trying to run their fans away with this whole coaching carousel?

Absolutely not. Remember: While fans in the Twitter/minute-by-minute news age hang desperately – and understandably – on every Tweeted rumor and "report," growing edgier and more frustrated with every fruitless "refresh," teams are conducting searches that may or may not match the rumors and reports. I sense much angst, anger and panic among the fan base. That's understandable considering a lot of the commentary around the team and this search. It's also understandable considering the team's record over much of the last decade. But contrary to the "Jacksonville Jaguars deliberately trying to run their fans away," what the team is in fact was doing was trying to get the head-coach search right. Perception notwithstanding.

David from Orangedale

John, I have always been of the opinion that coaches and players were too prideful in their profession to ever "throw" a game, but with the recent lawsuit by former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores a new dimension has been added: team owners. For the most part I have always thought the owners to be shrewd businessmen. What do you think will be the fallout throughout the league should any of his allegations are proven?


_Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD     _

I don't think I understand a current "standard" in the NFL – that head coaches should not choose their own general manager. Why wouldn't this make sense? The GM's job would still be to be responsible for all decisions with the roster, but the head coach knows his players more intimately since he works with them daily and also understands his playbook and team philosophies more intimately than the general manager. Why wouldn't the head coach identifying a general manager with whom he feels he can work with best be good for team structure? It kinda seems like an arbitrary 'truth' of NFL team structure.

The NFL often is described as a "copycat" league, and that has some influence here. There have been eras in which head coaches typically set the tone, and there have been eras in which it was common for head coaches to have final say overall things football. The LeagueThink over the last two decades or so has veered toward believing that was too much for one person, which led to the general manager/head coach model being common during that time. If a few franchises have big-time success as so-called "coach-centric" organizations, I expect the league will trend toward that model. Success follows success.

Brandon from Louisville, KY

Perception becomes reality at some point. The Jaguars coaching search looked ridiculous. It looked completely dysfunctional.

Perception only becomes reality when perception is correct. When it's based on speculation – much of which is based on reports and incomplete information – it's not reality. Though it admittedly perhaps is the new normal.

CAPT Bob from Jacksonville

So you neatly in all your responses to head-coach search avoided – skillfully, I might add – whether Tony Khan was involved in the head-coach selection as heir apparent to our franchise. Additionally, didn't the delay getting the best staff together as they might already be committed to other teams in the meantime?

Tony Khan was involved. The delay certainly doesn't help Pederson's search for a coaching staff. At the same time, an early start doesn't guarantee a good staff, either.

Nathan from Utah, US

Zone, what's your take on the Super Bowl matchup? I'm all-in on the Cinderella Bengals. Who you got?

I can't call myself all-in on either team because to see either lose would cause me no angst and no walls would be dented in Casa O-Zone. That said, I like a lot about the Bengals. I like their aggressiveness and their attitude, and I find myself liking a lot about quarterback Joe Burrow. So, sure … Who Dey?

Big Tonya from Jax Beach

Long-time reader, all-time fan. So is this the lowest point in franchise history? I think so! A lot of longtime ticket holders I know are out. The misery is constant and awful. I'm Big Tonya, signing off.

The past two seasons were the lowest point(s) in franchise history; the Jaguars finished with the NFL's worst record in each of those two seasons. The coaching search that ended Thursday was not the lowest point. There was a lot of anger and angst over the search, but if Pederson was the right hire this period will have been very much and in no way a failure or low point.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I don't get it, Zone. I honestly don't get it. Why not Byron. Please explain. I'm heartbroken.

You're referencing reports Thursday afternoon that former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich – now the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – had withdrawn his name from consideration for the Jaguars' head coaching position. This came before reports that Pederson had been named the head coach and not unexpectedly caused sadness and anger among many Jaguars fans, who had grown increasingly passionate and vocal about the idea of Leftwich succeeding Meyer. There was not unexpectedly much inbox and Twitter outrage Thursday, with the day marking the culmination of a week in which it became increasingly apparent that it wasn't going to work out between Leftwich and the Jaguars. I don't know details of what went wrong, though there were enough reports and speculation to fuel Jaguars Twitter for a long time. I do know Pederson is very well-respected and more experienced with head-coaching experience. That was part of Khan's thinking in making the hire.

Matt from Lafayette, IN

Could be good! Still feels like the process needlessly took the wind out of the sails for the fanbase.

Many fans were frustrated with the process. Many fans are frustrated after 10 seasons mostly losing. Frustration and disappointment have been too much the norm around here. The hope in hiring Pederson is the frustration is the past. That's his task. It's the task of the organization. It won't be easy. Many fans won't believe it possible. It's up to the Jaguas and Pederson to prove those fans wrong and change perception. That it. That's the job. It starts now.

Antony from Columbia, SC

Wanted him since the second the Eagles released him. LET'S GOOOOO!!

Hey, one fer Pederson.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

I was genuinely bummed when Leftwich took his name out of the running, but Doug Pederson is a proven, SB winning coach. It's taken far to long. I do wonder about something though John. He had issues with management in Philly and that is part of the reason why he was let go. Our management makes me wonder if there are other changes on the horizon?

Khan has yet to announce the decision-making structure of the organization. Trent Baalke is the Jaguars' general manager and I've heard nothing to make me think that won't be the case moving forward.

Andy Boy from Halifax

Proven winner. No issues with this at all. Back to football.