After the failed hire by the Jacksonville Jaguars of former head coach Urban Meyer, the Jaguars hired a top guy in this year’s head coaching cycle.
Pederson is a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. General Manager Trent Baalke struck a massive win after many thought should be fired after multiple bad moves. He traded a top-10 draft pick In 2020 in C.J. Henderson, and he drafted Travis Etienne when they already had a stud running back in James Robinson.
Pederson will get this Jaguars offense under control with stud rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back James Robinson, running back Travis Etienne, wide receiver DJ Chark, and wide receiver Laviska Shenault as the most notable players on the offense.
The main reason why Pederson is coming to Jacksonville is to get Lawrence developing after a terrible start in the NFL. Coming out of college at Clemson, NFL scouts raved that Lawrence might be one of if not the best quarterbacks coming out of college ever, or in recent years.
Lawrence’s stats were not good at all, completing only 59.6% of his passes. He averaged 214 yards per game, posting 3,641 total passing yards, 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and fumbling the football nine times. Lawrence’s rookie year was a disaster.
Pederson’s Ups and Downs
Doug Pederson is a very good head coach in this league, although he was pretty bad, meaning one of the bottom two head coaches in 2020. He won Super Bowl LII versus the New England Patriots in 2018, and that was his best year yet in the NFL.
The next year in the 2019 Playoffs, Pederson knocked off the 12-4, third-seeded Chicago Bears, and then went into New Orleans to almost knock off the top-seeded Saints.
So what happened to Doug Pederson in 2020?
They drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round even though they had Carson Wentz, and Wentz did not like that one bit. The game plan going into the game was not good, and there was no hesitation to switch it up mid-game and try something new. The players didn’t know the plays and their assignments at all, which is embarrassing.
Pederson’s attack has taken on different forms depending on the talent he has at his disposal. In 2017, the Eagles employed play-action and designed roll-outs, wanted to establish the run, and attempted to take long shots down the field with a completely healthy Wentz.
This is most likely the closest thing to what Pederson intends to be doing. When Wentz tore his ACL, the offense restructured his strategy to help Nick Foles out who had a completely different skill set compared with Wentz.
The Pederson offense uses a lot of RPOs (run-pass option) in his offense. When done effectively, the RPO is a never-ending set of concepts that provide quarterbacks freedom during and pre-snap — and it keeps defenses guessing almost all of the time.
The mesh concept is a critical component of the Air Raid offense as well. Against zone coverage, this is an excellent strategy to push the linebackers to play to the mesh, potentially resulting in large gains on deeper routes between the linebackers and safeties or fast outside passes to a running back or receiver past the numbers.
Dual crossers may take underneath defenders out of the action against man coverage if they stick to their assignments. The mesh idea is also used because of the speed differential between linebackers and corners versus wide receivers.
There are several methods for confusing defenders with crossing routes. In a quick passing game, the mesh idea is a terrific play call for quick easy yards. The bunch formation is a close grouping of three receivers used to generate mismatches, which is critical.
It crowds defenders if they try to press all three receivers at once while generating a numbers advantage if the defense is in the zone. This results in a crisp release off the line and makes it simpler for the wide receivers to run their routes.
Quarterbacks and coaches utilize pre-snap motion to determine if the defense is primarily playing man versus zone coverage based on the compensating movement of the defenders. If a defender pursues your receiver across the formation, you’re almost certainly in man coverage.
It’s a zone if more than one defender passes off the response to the motion. Pre-snap motion is essential to an offense, and it is becoming increasingly important in the NFL. All three things, RPOs, mesh, and pre-snap motion are what Pederson will do with the Jaguars.
Why Hire Pederson?
So why hire Pederson now in 2021 knowing what happened in 2020 may happen again?
Peterson and Mike McCarthy have the same pathway. McCarthy was fired from the Green Bay Packers for not being an innovative head coach and him not having the same juice as he did in years past. Then, McCarthy took a year off to get a new thing going for him, similar to Pedersonas not having the same juice as he did before 2020.
A team like the Jaguars is a great team for this. Pederson can come in and develop Lawrence and help his growth get back on track without Meyer’s idiocy as the lead guy. The Jaguars also have 60 million dollars worth of salary cap to play with, pending re-signings and cuts. He also gets the number one overall pick in the 2022 draft.
He has lots to play with down in Jacksonville.
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