New York Jets Head Coach Should Not be Doug Pederson

On Monday, the New York Jets completed their ninth head coach interview. Of the nine who have interviewed, three are defensive coordinators, four are offensive coordinators, one is a former NFL head coach, and one is a defensive backs coach. General manager Joe Douglas has said the team would cast a wide in their head coach search this off-season. After all, with the team looking for a culture-builder, there are plenty who could fit that build.

However, a new candidate has emerged. One that not long ago had a head coaching job in the NFL. On Monday the Philadelphia Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson, who was on the hot seat in recent weeks and there were rumors the Jets could trade for Pederson if the opportunity arose. But, even though they would no longer have to trade for him, the New York Jets head coach search cannot end with them hiring Doug Pederson.

New York Jets Head Coach Should Not be Doug Pederson

There Is a Reason Why Pederson Got Fired

Entering the 2020 season, Pederson owned a 38-26 record as a coach, with a miraculous Super Bowl run in 2017. The Eagles entered the season with playoff aspirations, given the talent on the roster. However, things quickly went south. Quarterback Carson Wentz once again looked like a shell of his old self, and his status with the team going forward is up in the air. Wentz was struggling so much that Pederson benched him in favor of Jalen Hurts prior to the conclusion of the season. It led to a supposedly fractured relationship with the one-time definitive franchise quarterback.

Then came the apparent in-game tanking stunt pulled in Week 17. The Eagles had a chance to knock out division rivals the Washington Football Team from a playoff spot if they won. The entire league watched as that game determined whether Washington or the New York Giants would represent the woeful NFC East in the playoffs. With over 12 minutes in the fourth quarter, it was a 17-14 game, Washington leading. Hurts was struggling, but he clearly gave the Eagles their best chance to win. Except, Pederson put in backup Nate Sudfeld, and the Eagles went onto lose the game. Pederson’s in-game decisions during that Week 17 matchup drew mass criticism and caused a huge rift in the locker room, and made the hot seat even hotter. Ultimately, owner Jeffrey Lurie was not impressed with Pederson’s vision in his exit interview. Pederson was fired, as it was even cited that there potentially was a power struggle in play.

Pederson’s Fallout Sounds Familiar

There is a reason the Jets are searching for a head coach right now and it is because they decided to employ Adam Gase in the first place. Gase was already a failed NFL head coach when the Jets hired him. Despite a promising start to his tenure with the Miami Dolphins, he was fired after three seasons. He had locker room issues, saw his best players demand to be traded out of Miami, had a power struggle, and simply did not produce enough wins. All of those same issues followed Gase to New York, only to be amplified in the bigger market. While Pederson’s issues, for the most part, didn’t appear until the last two weeks. But Pederson did have this fallout with the Eagles, and it was one that does kind of mirror Gase’s departure from Miami and New York. The Jets must avoid the potential of that happening again.

Connection To New York

Nonetheless, do not be surprised if the Jets truly consider hiring Pederson. He is different from Gase in the sense that he was successful as a head coach until the very end. He won a Super Bowl in 2017 with Nick Foles under center and led the Eagles to three playoff appearances. There is also his past with Joe Douglas. During the glory days of Pederson’s Eagles from 2016-2018, Douglas was the team’s VP of Player Personnel. The two have a history, and it could lead to Pederson getting a good hard look in New York.

Hiring Pederson as Head Coach Would be a Mistake

Two years ago, Pederson would have been seen as a phenomenal hire. Again, the Jets wanted an offensive guru at the time. Now, the Jets want a guy who can establish a culture and help Joe Douglas build a roster. While Pederson was vital in Philadelphia’s retooling back then, recent events should make the Jets wary of him as a culture builder. He may be a proven head coach who deserves another shot elsewhere, But he simply is not the best fit available for the Jets.

But Pederson could be a fantastic offensive coordinator hire.

Assuming he does not land a head coaching job, Pederson will be an in-demand coordinator. Since 2013, he has had an above-average offense in all but two seasons. He also runs a west coast offense and oversaw Alex Smith’s best seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. Taking his past with Douglas into consideration, Pederson would be an excellent offensive coordinator for Gang Green.

He just shouldn’t be their next head coach.

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