The Jaguars took a big risk when they hired Urban Meyer as their next coach during the 2021 NFL offseason. It didn’t pan out.
Meyer was fired just 13 games into his rocky Jacksonville tenure and the Jaguars have gone back to the drawing board as a result. Their coaching search will start to heat up in the coming weeks, and after swinging for the fences with Meyer, it seems like Jacksonville is taking a more measured approach.
In particular, the Jaguars appear ready to take a long look at coaches with significant NFL experience, something that Meyer didn’t have. As such, it’s no surprise to hear that the Jaguars are interested in two of the more respected, veteran coaching options on the market: Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that the Jaguars are planning to interview both Pederson and Caldwell for their head coaching vacancy. And as La Canfora explained, there are a couple of reasons that Pederson and Caldwell appear to the Jaguars: their experience and work with quarterbacks.
Both Pederson and Caldwell have accomplished head coaching resumes and are both very interested in returning to the NFL this season. Both are heralded for their work with quarterbacks, of particular interest to Jacksonville with first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence struggling as a rookie, and they are able to be interviewed at any time, as they are currently coaching in the NFL.
Here’s a full breakdown of both Pederson and Caldwell’s experience as they emerge as potential candidates for the Jaguars’ coaching job.
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Doug Pederson 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 came to an end. He joined Andy Reid’s staff as a quality control coach before becoming the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2011.
When Reid was fired by the Eagles, Pederson followed him to Kansas City and served as his offensive coordinator for three years, from 2013 to 2015. He led the team to two top-10 scoring offenses and that was enough for Philadelphia to bring him in as head coach in 2016 after the Chip Kelly era came to a close.
Pederson coached the Eagles for five seasons. After a 7-9 season in his first year, he led the team to three consecutive winning seasons and a Super Bowl title in 2018. He was fired after the Eagles went 4-11-1 in 2020, as the front office and Pederson butted heads during the end of his tenure.
Pederson spent the 2020 season out of the NFL but he is expected to be a hot name on 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 backup Nick Foles starting.
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Doug Pederson coaching record
Pederson has posted a 42-37-1 record 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 win of all time in 2018.
|2017||Eagles||13-3||Won Super Bowl|
|2018||Eagles||9-7||Lost in Divisional Round|
|2019||Eagles||9-7||Lost in Wild Card Round|
Jim Caldwell coaching resume
Caldwell, 66, has a more extensive coaching resume than Pederson, as Caldwell didn’t play in the NFL like Pederson. Caldwell has been coaching since serving as a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1977. He coached in college until 2000, when he was hired by the Buccaneers as a quarterbacks coach after an eight-year stint as Wake Forest’s head coach.
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 nods under his watch, and Caldwell’s performance as Manning’s tutor earned him the promotion to head coach after Dungy retired before the 2009 season.
The Colts made the Super Bowl in Caldwell’s first season as head coach, but they lost to Sean Payton, Drew Brees and the Saints in that contest. Caldwell led the Colts to another winning season in 2010 before they fell off a cliff in 2011 when Manning missed the whole season. Indianapolis went 2-14 and they parted with Caldwell, despite the fact that he was forced to start Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins at quarterback during his final season.
Caldwell spent the next two seasons with the Ravens as a quarterbacks coach. He helped Joe Flacco turn in a quality 2012 season and ensured he got hot at the right time. Flacco threw for 1,140 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions during four postseason games and led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win. Caldwell was promoted to offensive coordinator for 2013 before taking the Lions’ head coaching job.
Matthew Stafford averaged 4,323 passing yards, 26.8 touchdowns and 11.3 interceptions per season during Caldwell’s four seasons with the Lions. He made his first Pro Bowl in Caldwell’s first year with the team.
However, Detroit had trouble running the ball and their defense struggled enough that they made just two playoff appearances. The Lions then moved on to Matt Patricia while Caldwell took a year off, spent a year with the Dolphins and then spent another year off in 2020.
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Jim Caldwell coaching record
Caldwell has posted a 62-50 record during his NFL career. He has a winning percentage of 55.4, which is better than Pederson’s mark of 53.1.
|2009||Colts||14-2||Lost Super Bowl|
|2010||Colts||10-6||Lost Wild Card|
|2014||Lions||11-5||Lost Wild Card|
|2016||Lions||9-7||Lost Wild Card|
Caldwell and Pederson won’t be the only candidates the Jaguars interview. La Canfora reports that Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will draw interest from the team while NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Buccaneers offensive coordinator (and former Jaguars quarterback) Byron Leftwich could also be a candidate.
But don’t be surprised if either of these veterans is tapped to take over for Meyer, as they are proven, respected winners.