The Eagles fired coach Doug Pederson, which immediately led fans and the media to speculate that the Jets might be interested in him. The connection is easy to make. Jets general manager Joe Douglas worked in Philadelphia with Pederson from 2016-19 and the two won a Super Bowl together in 2017.
Douglas has praised Pederson publicly, but there is nothing more than speculation at this time that Douglas would be interested in hiring Pederson. The Jets concluded talks with Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn on Monday. This brings the total to nine known candidates who interviewed.
The Jets set out to conduct a major search and acted on it. They interviewed candidates with experience on both sides of the ball. They only interviewed one candidate with lead coaching experience – Marvin Lewis.
The belief that the Jets would jump at the chance to hire Pederson is incorrect. That doesn’t mean he won’t be a candidate. They could interview him and eventually hire him. But it’s not a slam dunk that Pederson will be the Jets’ next coach, as some suggest. Just because Douglas and Pederson have worked closely together doesn’t mean Douglas wants him as a coach.
There have been several reports that Douglas and Pederson have a strong relationship, and Douglas praised Pederson on the Adam Schefter podcast in 2019.
“Just like Doug handled his freshman year,” Douglas said. “We started 3-0, things were going well, we lost guys, we hit some potholes along the way, we finished the season 7-9 and the way he’s attacked this offseason and how he was able to unify the team. with his messaging. And the type of guy he is, he’s as genuine and genuine of a person you’ll ever meet. He’s a guy who says what he wants to say and thinks what he says, and the players believe in him and they believe in his aggressive mindset, and I love the way he handled it. ‘team.
Pederson, 52, is more of a well-known entity than most coaches the Jets interviewed. He’s gone 42-37-1 in five years with the Eagles and 4-2 in the playoffs, including the team’s only Super Bowl victory after the 2017 season.
The Eagles have hit rock bottom this season going 4-11-1 and quarterback Carson Wentz has had a terrible year. The Eagles’ property is said to have concerns about the direction of the offense and Pederson’s vision for the future, particularly with his staff. There has also been reported a discord between Wentz and Pederson and a belief that the two could no longer coexist. Pederson ended the season with one of the most curious coaching decisions in memory, quarterback Jalen Hurts against Washington as the game was still close at hand for substitute Nate Sudfeld. It looked like Pederson was trying to lose the game on purpose, which infuriated a lot of people, including some of his players and many Giants fans and their coach, Joe Judge.
The Jets may be reluctant to hire a coach who has just been fired. They did it two years ago with Adam Gase and the fan reaction has been overwhelmingly negative. The Jets shouldn’t get caught up in the perception of this rental, but they could after the past two years’ experience with Gase’s unpopularity.
The Eagles’ opening now means there are seven teams in the NFL with a vacant head coach position. The Jets are not known to have any other scheduled maintenance. It looks like they’ll now regroup and decide whether to add more candidates, including Pederson, or invite coaches for a second interview. The first series of interviews took place remotely. It is believed the Jets will bring a few finalists for in-person interviews at Florham Park, but coaches of teams that are still alive in the playoffs cannot yet meet in person.