Doug Pederson named finalist for NFL Coach of the Year honor

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson walks the turf before an NFL wild-card football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Chargers, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The honors for Jaguars coach Doug Pederson continue to roll in.

Pederson was named one of the three finalists for the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year honors on Wednesday morning, the second accolade in as many days for Jacksonville’s leader.

Pederson joins Brian Daboll (Giants) and Kyle Shanahan (Niners) as the three finalists for the award. Sean McDermott (Bills) and Nick Sirianni (Eagles) also finished in the top five of the balloting.

The winner will be announced on Feb. 9 at the NFL Honors ceremony.

Pederson led Jacksonville out of a 3-7 start to a 9-8 finish in the regular season and won the AFC South title for the first time in 2017. The Jaguars beat the Chargers in an epic wild-card round playoff game and then came up short against the Chiefs in the divisional round.

Pederson was named the AFC Coach of the Year on Monday by the 101 Awards, becoming just the second Jaguars coach to receive that honor. Doug Marrone won the award in 2017 after leading the Jaguars to the AFC championship game.

It’s no surprise for Pederson’s inclusion in the top coach category. He was hired on Feb. 4 after a lengthy coaching search and clicked immediately with a franchise that was starved for leadership.

Jacksonville hadn’t reached the playoffs since 2017, steadily freefalling in morale and performance by the season. Pederson had to clean up the damage following the disastrous one-year tenure of Urban Meyer and regain trust among players and in the building. It was evident during training camp that players had warmed up to Pederson. They responded by turning in one of the most memorable seasons in Jacksonville history, ripping off a five-game winning streak to end the regular season.

The Jaguars became just the third team in NFL history to go from No. 1 pick in the draft to winning their division the following year.

Among other notable award finalists:

For Most Valuable Player honors: Josh Allen (Bills), Joe Burrow (Bengals), Jalen Hurts (Eagles), Justin Jefferson (Vikings) and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs).

For Offensive Rookie of the Year: Brock Purdy (Niners), Kenneth Walker (Seahawks) and Garrett Wilson (Jets).

For Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner (Jets), Aidan Hutchinson (Lions) and Tariq Woolen (Seahawks).

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.