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"Presser-"vations: Introducing Pederson


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars presented Doug Pederson as their new head coach Saturday.

Pederson, a Super Bowl champion as a head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles (2017) and as a player with the Green Bay Packers (1996), was presented as the Jaguars' seventh head coach in a press conference at TIAA Bank Field Saturday afternoon.

Owner Shad Khan made the announcement along with General Manager Trent Baalke.

Four members of Jaguars Media – senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton, team reporter Ashlyn Sullivan and senior reporter/editor J.P. Shadrick – each share an observation regarding the day. Here are Saturday's "presser"-vations:


There will be ample time to discuss multiple topics from Saturday's announcement, including the significant news from Jaguars Owner Shad Khan that the team will hire an executive vice president of football operations moving forward. But Saturday primarily was about Pederson, and the initial thought here is that Pederson very much feels like the right coach at the right time for this organization. The Jaguars' struggled through a 3-14 season last season, with the last 12 months pretty much defined by the idea that former Head Coach Urban Meyer essentially was learning the details of professional football while on the job. After that, it felt as if heavy NFL experience would be a major positive for the next head coach. Pederson, who coached the Eagles to the Super Bowl LII title following the 2017 season and who has 25 years' experience as player and coach, brings that experience – along with past success and a reputation for developing offenses and quarterbacks. Khan drew laughter Saturday when asked about his statement last January upon Meyer's hiring: This time, I got it right. Said Khan Saturday: "Well, I was just a year premature." Here's hoping.


The Pederson hire just feels right. He's the first Jaguars head coach who played quarterback in the NFL – and his 13 years on the field and 12 on the sidelines couldn't be any more valuable for a franchise that has Trevor Lawrence at quarterback. He's calm, which is something this franchise desperately needs. He's confident, which he displayed when asked about getting his coaching staff together. And he's certain about the job ahead. That certainty is important, and he has been there and done that. Khan on Saturday said the Jaguars interviewed many impressive candidates – and Pederson acknowledged that many could have been sitting in the seat he occupied Saturday. But while former Indianapolis Colts/Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell brought a wealth of experience, he's in his late 60s. And while Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator and former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich has exploded on the coaching scene in recent seasons, he hasn't been a head coach and hasn't been through a building process such as the one facing the Jaguars. Pederson wasn't the hot candidate and he wasn't the candidate with a connection to the franchise. But he was the right candidate and now he's the right head coach.


Pederson on Saturday was as advertised: poised, experienced, smooth, humble, but driven to win another Super Bowl. That's all great news for an organization that needs to find its direction after wandering for so long. To have a leader at the front of the room that has instant credibility is one thing, but that person must then deliver and be able to make players better. Khan said that they have filed with the league for interviews for an executive vice president role, and that they would be "strengthening the front office." That's significant, because that means more additions and leaders could be on the way soon. Saturday was a good day for the Jaguars, and hopefully the start of a stable period.

Sullivan …

Head coaches normally win their first press conference; that was especially true Saturday with Pederson. From the moment he stepped off the plane this morning, you could see how excited he was for this opportunity. He stopped and asked everyone their names throughout his tour of the stadium, wanting to know their role with the team. Multiple players also drove to the stadium to meet Pederson Saturday. During the press conference, it was obvious this is a guy who has done this before. He said all the right things and was not shy addressing the fans, understanding what they have been through the past couple of years. The best quote of the day came from Khan: "We wanted someone to know exactly what it feels like to be the last team standing in February; that man is the new head coach of the Jaguars." There was a sense of relief and optimism in the building Saturday. After what everyone went through this past year, it was needed.

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