EX-EAGLES

Now we know why Pederson's second Jags interview was stalled

EX-EAGLES

The NFL head coaching world is an odd one. Guys like Jonathan Gannon are viewed as hot commodities, guys like Eric Bienemy can't seem to get a shot, and for a while Super Bowl champion Doug Pederson didn't appear to be on any team's radar despite a bevy of open positions.

Pederson, the man who led the Eagles to their only Super Bowl, was quickly tied to a few head coach jobs when the season ended - including the Jacksonville Jaguars opening, one I implored him to ignore.

The buzz around Pederson subsided a bit after early January, but the action is returning now. Pederson interviewed with the Saints on Sunday, and now he's headed back for a second interview with Jacksonville.

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Why'd it take so long? Sports Illustrated's NFL insider Albert Breer has an idea.

Breer explored the problems swirling around Jacksonville's still-vacant head coach job in a new column Monday, and detailed one part of why Pederson took so long to get a second look from the Jags:

"Dan Quinn said thanks but no thanks early in the process. Doug Pederson, I’m told, was lukewarm about the chance to go there, given what he’d gone through in Philly and the structure in place in Jacksonville."

Intriguing.

The role, initially, simply wasn't attractive enough for a guy with Pederson's pedigree to make a hard push, it seems. Having to work with Trent Baalke as your general manager? Dealing with ownership that has time and time again displayed questionable decision-making skills and dubious character evaluation ability? No thanks, see ya later.

 

As I wrote in late December:

"Doug Pederson isn't your run-of-the-mill head coaching candidate. He's not a typical retread looking to get back in the game after being fired after years of mediocrity, or a fresh-faced coordinator looking for his first shot.

"This is a Super Bowl-winning head coach, a guy who went toe-to-toe with Bill Belichick in the biggest game on the planet and out-creative'd him, who most agree was forced out of his last job prematurely and without much cause.

"Pederson doesn't need to hard charge into this offseason and desperately try to land whichever job calls first."

But now, Pederson's situation - or his evaluation of the landscape - has shifted and he's expected to undergo a second interview on Tuesday.

There are still five head coach openings around the league, a startling number considering it's almost February. I wouldn't rule Pederson out for any of those jobs. With a pair of recent interviews, it sounds like he's firmly in the mix for at least two.

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I also think he might be well-served taking an offensive coordinator role for a year or two. The Bills' OC spot is open, and while they might like Ken Dorsey as an internal option, you have to admit: pairing Pederson with Josh Allen is mighty tempting.

We'll see where the Eagles icon lands.