The season is over and one of the most anticipated designations is Coach of the Year. Several weeks ago, many opted for Brian Daboll, the rookie coach of the New York Giants, and although there were others who led his first season as head coach, such is the case of Kevin O’Connell, strategist for the Minnesota Vikings. , who did not do anything wrong, I issue my humble vote for another for whom few bet or gave hope, I mean Doug Pederson, for what he did in Jacksonville.
When the campaign started, no one, perhaps only the Jaguares board, believed in him. Pederson took a gray team, without spirit, that did not command respect even for rivals and even less for fans, and what is worse, with a talented quarterback like Trevor Lawrence who had completely lost confidence in himself, which already put him in trouble. the line of those collegiate star players who fail in the NFL.
Last season, under the tutelage of renowned college coach Urban Meyer, Jacksonville was a beautiful, headless mess, and after his departure from the team well before the end of the 2021 season, he left the Jaguars in a basket. of garbage.
Pederson had an uphill task for the entire team to regain confidence and, above all, in the quarterback, since Lawrence was more than lost and even frustrated. Something very similar to what happened in Detroit with Dan Campbell and that began to bear fruit this season with the entire squad and their passer Jared Goff, who also had a low self-esteem in sports.
When Jacksonville’s management hired Pederson, most dismissed the move as a no-win hire for a coach they thought was over, but few wanted to acknowledge that he was an offensive, winning-minded coach who even earned a Super. Bowl.
His downfall in Philadelphia was largely due to the fact that quarterback Carson Wentz could never be the same after that knee injury, and thus everything fell with the Eagles, including Pederson’s job.
Now, days before the Coach of the Year award is announced, many believe that it should go to Daboll of the Giants or O’Conell of the Vikings, and although both did a great job with their teams to get them to the playoffs, What is certain is that both took squads that were already armed in a certain way. In New York there was a base, in Minnesota they had already tried the postseason recently. For that reason, I consider Perderson to have more merit.
And if you are looking for proof, I think the last game was eloquent, because the reality is that the Jaguars played a true postseason game against the Titans in week 18, since whoever won would stay with the AFC South Division . That is mentality, because let’s not forget that Tennessee had already been in the playoffs in recent years and, therefore, its players had more temper for a game of that nature.
For that reason, Pederson should be Coach of the Year, but whether or not he wins the nomination, he proved his quality as a leader who knows how to win in the league.
Although it seems premature, we can point out that there will be very interesting coaching movements this offseason. Many will think that what does it matter at the start of the postseason that begins this Saturday, but in the NFL everything is so meticulously cared for that, since Monday, several teams have begun their search for a new coach.
The candidates that already sound strong are Sean Payton, who has already interviewed with Denver; Kliff Kingbury, fired by Arizona but who is a great offensive mind; Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan, the same Frank Reich, who left Indianapolis by the back door but is very bright and will soon find a job; as well as offensive coordinators Byron Letwich of Tampa Bay and Eric Bienemy of Kansas City.
It is true, the battle to reach Suoer Bowl 57 begins, but it is also true that for several teams the preparation stage has already begun to face the 2023 campaign.