JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After hiring Urban Meyer, Shad Khan infamously said “this time I got it right.”
That confidence proved to be short-lived. Following the hire of Doug Pederson, Khan said “I was just a year premature. So, I did get it right.”
Better a year late than never I suppose. This time I do believe Khan got it right. But if Pederson is going to get the Jaguars turned around he won’t be able to do it alone. He needs to fill out his coaching staff with some smart coaches. Pederson did a good job building his staff in Philadelphia. Now, he gets a chance to do the same in Jacksonville.
So, here is a look at Pederson’s connections and some of the names who could be in play to join his staff with the Jaguars.
Yes, 2021 Jaguars interim head coach Bevell. Bevell and Pederson crossed paths back when Pederson was a player with the Packers. Bevell was Pederson’s QB coach in 2003 and 2004. It is unlikely that Bevell will stick around to join Pederson’s staff with the Jaguars, but the two have crossed paths before and that would provide some familiarity for Trevor Lawrence.
Staley is currently the Lions assistant head coach and running backs coach but maybe he would consider a move for an offensive coordinator title. Pederson and Staley’s relationship goes back to their days as players when they both were on the Eagles roster together in 1999. When Pederson landed the head coaching gig in Philly, he retained Staley and even promoted him to assistant head coach in 2018. Staley is considered a rising star. He interviewed for the Eagles job after Pederson was fired.
After the Jaguars hired Pederson, there were almost immediately reports that Taylor could join him in Jacksonville as his offensive coordinator. Taylor and Pederson worked together in Philly. Taylor started on Pederson’s staff as an offensive quality control and assistant quarterbacks coach. He worked his way up the ladder. In 2020, Pederson’s final year with the Eagles, Taylor was the passing game coordinator and QB coach. After Pederson was fired, Taylor joined the Colts staff as a senior offensive assistant under Frank Reich, who worked as Pederson’s OC before getting the Colts gig. Taylor could fill the role of QB or OC.
Schwartz is another name that has been connected to Pederson’s staff in Jacksonville. Schwartz is currently a senior defensive assistant with the Titans. Schwartz has been around the NFL for a while and has had multiple successful stints as a defensive coordinator. One of those was on Pederson’s staff in Philly where he helped them to a Super Bowl win. Schwartz favors an aggressive 4-3 style of defense. It is worth noting that Schwartz resigned from the Eagles staff before Pederson was fired.
Vasso is not likely a name on most radars. He spent last season on David Culley’s staff in Houston as a cornerbacks coach. Vasso and Pederson first worked together in 2013 on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City. Vasso was just a coaching assistant it was his first NFL job. I’d say Pederson must have liked what he saw from Vasso. When Pederson left for the Eagles job, he brought Vasso with him as a defensive quality control/assistant secondary coach. In 2020, Pederson’s final year in Philly, he promoted Vasso to assistant defensive coordinator. With the Texans turning over their staff, Vasso would make sense as a secondary coach or even as a defensive coordinator candidate.
Speaking of Cully, he and Pederson have crossed paths throughout their careers as well. Culley coached Pederson back in 1999 when Pederson was with the Eagles and Culley was a wide receivers coach. The pair later worked together on Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Culley would fit in a role as a receiver coach and as an assistant head coach.
Nagy and Pederson go back to when Nagy was a coaching intern and Pederson was an offensive quality control coach on the Eagles staff in 2009. The pair worked together until Pederson left Kansas City to become a head coach where Nagy then was promoted to replace him as offensive coordinator. Former Bears head coach Nagy would make sense as a candidate for the Jaguars QB coach position and offensive coordinator job.
Caldwell has been mentioned in reports as a candidate for the Jaguars defensive coordinator spot. Caldwell and Pederson both played together with the Eagles in 1999. They also coached together on Andy Reid’s staff in Philly. Caldwell is currently an inside linebacker coach for the Buccaneers.
Harris is currently the Cowboys defensive backs coach. Harris is a former NFL player and that is where he and Pederson first crossed paths. Pederson and Harris were teammates in Green Bay in 2003 and 2004. Harris and Pederson then worked together in Kansas City.
Fangio is worth including because reports have mentioned him as a candidate for the Jaguars defensive coordinator job. Fangio and Pederson never formally crossed paths but Fangio did work with Trent Baalke in San Francisco.