Doug Pederson knew he had his work cut out for him when he decided to take the Jacksonville Jaguars’ open head coaching position. Not only would he be taking over a team that hasn’t had much success in recent memory, but he’d also be tasked with changing the entire culture within the organization after Urban Meyer ran it into the ground.
Although it was a less than ideal situation for the veteran NFL coach, he ultimately decided he was up for the challenge. Now, in just over three months as the Jaguars’ leader, he can already sense a positive vibe in the locker room.
Joining The Rich Eisen Show earlier this week, Pederson discussed the challenges of being the Jaguars’ head coach and how important it is to guide the team through the rebuilding process following the disaster that was Urban Meyer.
“Yeah, it was different, you know, and it’s a unique situation,” Pederson said. “Obviously, it’s unfortunate, and listen – there’s a lot of great people here and a lot of really good people in the front office and in football ops and everywhere. Nobody wants to ever go through a season like that. I wasn’t here, so it’s hard to really put words to it, but I can only just sort of empathize with them and build off of what we’re doing, build off of a culture that we’re trying to establish here, and really flip the page and breathe.”
Pederson Knows There’s a Healing Process for Jaguars
Everything Urban Meyer did during his short-lived tenure as the Jaguars’ head coach was negative. Literally all of it. He didn’t win. He had off-the-field issues. He treated his players like dirt. Heck, one former player says Meyer even kicked him.
It was really that bad in Jacksonville, and Doug Pederson knows his players are healing from their experience under Meyer’s leadership.
“I agree with that,” Pederson said. “I do. I know this is professional football but listen, it’s also life too and these kids and the people that are here have families outside of this business, in this organization. And I think part of the healing process is the best we can do is to flip the script and to try to gain the trust of these players.
“I do agree that there is some level of healing that has to take place and it has taken place and is taking place, but you know – we’re not where we need to be, obviously, right now and we’re gonna continue to work.”
If anyone can turn the Jacksonville Jaguars around, it’s Pederson. It’s just going to take some time.