The Jacksonville Jaguars were owners of the No. 1 pick in back-to-back NFL drafts before Doug Pederson was hired, but in his first year as head coach, the team is a win away from a division title.
That turnaround should be enough to earn Pederson consideration for the NFL Coach of the Year Award, if you ask quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
“I think Coach [Pederson] 100 percent should be in the conversation and could win the award,” Lawrence said Wednesday. “You look at what he’s done here, just the energy, not only the Xs and Os and football stuff, but just the energy, the culture that we’ve created here that, obviously, he’s had a huge part in bringing here.
“It’s tough to do, especially in the first year and a bunch of new people. I just can’t say enough about the job he’s done and how much I love playing for him and appreciate him, so 100 percent, I think he should be in that conversation.”
According to the oddsmakers at BetMGM, Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is still the favorite for the award. In his second season, Sirianni has led the Eagles to an NFL-best 13-3 record. Not far behind Sirianni are Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers and Brian Daboll of the New York Giants with Pederson in a distant fourth.
While Pederson’s chances at winning Coach of the Year are likely slim, there’s no denying his impact in Jacksonville. On Saturday, the Jaguars have a chance to earn their second ever AFC South title and finish with a winning record for only the second time in the last 15 years.