Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the field before the start of Sunday's game against Buffalo. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Buffalo Bills at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, Sunday, November 7, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

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Jaguars owner pauses search for executive VP

The Jacksonville Jaguars pressed the pause button on a search for an executive vice president to oversee the football operation.

Team owner Shad Khan explained that he doesn’t want to impede the recent progress made by new head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Trent Baalke.

“I am pausing on the consideration of introducing an executive vice president of football,” Khan said in a statement. “In just over three weeks, Doug Pederson has instilled a structured and disciplined approach that is clearly making a difference in our culture and mindset.

“I feel we’re best served at this time by allowing Doug, Trent and their assistants to take ownership of our path forward. We will continue to explore the addition of personnel to other areas of our football operations to provide everyone the best chance to win.”

The Jaguars hired Pederson, 54, on Feb. 3. He previously coached the Philadelphia Eagles for five seasons, producing a 42-37-1 record from 2016-20 highlighted by a victory in Super Bowl LII.

Jacksonville finished 3-14 last season under former coach Urban Meyer (2-11) and interim coach Darrell Bevell. The Jaguars have made the playoffs only once (2017 season) in the past 14 seasons.

Some fans in the region were not supportive of the decision to retain Baalke to the extent they attended the team’s regular-season finale in clown masks as a form of protest.

NFL Network reported Khan was set to hire former Jaguars first-round pick Byron Leftwich away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Leftwich demanded say in hiring a new general manager.

–Field Level Media

Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy after a victory against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jaguars interviewing Doug Pederson on Thursday

The Jacksonville Jaguars will interview former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on Thursday, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Pederson, who guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl LII championship, will be the first candidate interviewed for the vacancy since Urban Meyer was fired on Dec. 16.

Pederson, 53, reached the playoffs three times in five seasons with the Eagles and posted a 42-37-1 overall record before being fired on Jan. 11, 2021.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles are among other reported candidates for the job, as are Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Jaguars interim coach Darrell Bevell is reportedly also under consideration.

Jacksonville (2-13) brings a seven-game losing streak into Sunday’s game at the New England Patriots (9-6).

–Field Level Media

Aug 8, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Eagles to name Nick Sirianni as head coach

The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to name Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni as their new head coach, ESPN reported on Thursday.

Sirianni, 39, has served as the offensive coordinator with the Colts for the last three seasons. He spent five seasons as an assistant with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2013-17) and four with the Kansas City Chiefs (2009-12).

Indianapolis went 11-5 during the 2020 regular season and lost 27-24 to the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round. Sirianni’s offense ranked ninth in the NFL in scoring and 10th in total offense (11th in passing, 11th in rushing).

The Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson earlier this month after a five-year run that included a 42-37-1 record and Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl championship. Since the win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, however, the Eagles are 22-25-1.

Philadelphia’s offense ranked 24th in the NFL in yards per game (334.6), 26th in scoring (20.9 points) and 28th in passing yards (207.9). Pederson removed Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback after 12 games and replaced him with rookie Jalen Hurts.

The Eagles are looking for a coach who can help Wentz bounce back from a disappointing season.

Sirianni was the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach from 2014-15 and the Chiefs’ assistant QBs coach in 2010.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson ‘leaning toward’ a year off from coaching

Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he is likely to take a year off from coaching.

Pederson was fired last week after a tumultuous season in Philadelphia, his fifth as head coach of the Eagles. Pederson posted a 46-39-1 record with the Eagles, including the postseason, and won the franchise’s first Super Bowl after the 2017 season. The team stumbled to a 4-11-1 mark in 2020.

Pederson reportedly spoke with the Seattle Seahawks last weekend about their offensive coordinator opening, but Pederson told the Inquirer on Tuesday night that he’s “leaning toward taking the next year off and preparing for next season.”

Every head coaching vacancy has been filled, save for the Houston Texans and Eagles.

–Field Level Media

Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson celebrates with owner Jeffrey Lurie after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Doug Pederson’s future uncertain in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson is set to meet with team owner Jeffrey Lurie again this week to discuss his future, ESPN reported Sunday.

Despite missing the playoffs, Pederson had expressed confidence he’d return to coach the Eagles in 2021. But ESPN said Pederson’s scheduled meeting last Tuesday with Lurie “did not go well.”

Lurie reportedly has concerns that include Pederson’s plan to fix an offense that underperformed in 2020, the future at the quarterback position and the makeup of the coaching staff. The contracts of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello and senior offensive consultant Marty Mornhinweg expired, and they will not be returning.

The Eagles’ offense ranked 24th in the NFL in yards per game (334.6), 26th in scoring (20.9 points) and 28th in passing yards (207.9). Pederson removed Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback after 12 games and replaced him with rookie Jalen Hurts.

Pederson led the Eagles to their only Super Bowl win in franchise history after the 2017 season, and he has a record of 42-37-1 in five seasons with the Eagles. Since the win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, however, the Eagles are 22-25-1.

Before the season-ending loss to the Washington Football Team that featured questionable coaching moves, Pederson said that he was sure he’d be back.

“I feel fully confident to be the head coach of the Eagles in 2021,” Pederson said. “The thing I’m most proud of this football team, we have been in the postseason three of the last five years since I’ve been here and that’s pretty good.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) takes the handoff from quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Miles Sanders: No players liked QB switch

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders said he wasn’t a fan of the team’s decision to bench quarterback Jalen Hurts during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s season finale against the Washington Football Team.

Sanders also said he wasn’t alone.

“If I’m being honest, nobody liked the decision, nobody,” Sanders said Tuesday on 94.1 WIP in Philadelphia. “That’s all I can say, really. I don’t know who was the main person behind that decision. All I know is that a lot of people on the team were confused.”

Sanders said he didn’t know whose decision it was to insert third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld into the game. The Eagles trailed by three points at the time and ultimately dropped a 20-14 decision to Washington.

Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson said that he planned to get Sudfeld some snaps in the season finale, although others were quick to point that the Eagles benefitted by losing that game. They landed the No. 6 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.

On Monday, New York Giants coach Joe Judge voiced his displeasure with the decision that played a role in his team being excluded from the playoffs. The Giants (6-10) would have captured the NFC East had the Eagles won on Sunday night.

“To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success in the National Football League, to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything they can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I am the head coach of the New York Giants,” Judge said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Pederson expected to remain coach of Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to retain coach Doug Pederson for a sixth season in 2021, despite a sub-.500 record since leading the team to its lone Super Bowl title, according to multiple reports Saturday.

Pederson is scheduled to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday, according to ESPN. Late last month, Pederson told SportsRadio 94 WPI in Philadelphia that he wasn’t expecting to be fired.

“I feel fully confident to be the head coach of the Eagles in 2021,” Pederson said. “The thing I’m most proud of this football team, we have been in the postseason three of the last five years since I’ve been here and that’s pretty good.”

The Eagles conclude their season Sunday night against the Washington Football Team. With a 4-10-1 record, the Eagles are assured of their second losing record in Pederson’s five seasons. They are 22-24-1 since the win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII following the 2017 season.

Pederson’s return to the sidelines, though, seemingly will come with changes to his coaching staff. Already it appears defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has chosen to allow his contract to expire, according to an NFL Network report Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson reacts after a field goal in the first quarter during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Pederson ‘fully confident’ he’ll coach Eagles in 2021

Doug Pederson has seen the Philadelphia Eagles muster all of four wins heading into their season finale.

Although the Eagles are set to miss the playoffs for the second time in his tenure, Pederson said Monday on SportsRadio 94 WIP in Philadelphia that he expects to be the team’s head coach next season.

“I feel fully confident to be the head coach of the Eagles in 2021,” Pederson said. “The thing I’m most proud of this football team, we have been in the postseason three of the last five years since I’ve been here and that’s pretty good. We have won a championship here. We have gone through a season where a lot of our veteran guys are not playing due to injury. We are playing with a lot of young players.

“There is always going to be evaluation in the offseason and my job is evaluated as well. I fully expected to be the coach next season and I welcome the opportunity to get things right, get things fixed and take this team into next season.”

Pederson, 52, spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Eagles prior to the 2016 campaign. He owns a 42-36-1 record during his five seasons in Philadelphia.

Pederson’s high-water mark came during the 2017 season, as the Eagles posted a 13-3 mark and went on to defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. A pair of 9-7 seasons followed before a distinct fall in 2020, with Philadelphia officially being eliminated from postseason contention following Sunday’s 37-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles (4-10-1) will have a say in who wins the NFC East when they host the Washington Football Team (6-9) on Sunday. Washington would win the division with a win, while Dallas (6-9) would need to defeat the New York Giants and have the Eagles emerge victorious to advance.

If both Washington and Dallas lose, they will be tied with the Giants at 6-10. In that case, the Giants would win the NFC East because of tiebreakers.

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) talks with head coach Doug Pederson (L) during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles QB Hurts named starter, Wentz benched

Rookie Jalen Hurts was named starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints.

He replaces veteran Carson Wentz, who has struggled for the Eagles, who have fallen from NFC East champion in 2019 to a 3-8-1 record this season.

“I have come to a decision and I am going to go with Jalen Hurts this week against New Orleans,” coach Doug Pederson told the team website. “We’re not where we want to be as an offense. I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump, to try to get everybody playing better.”

Wentz was benched Sunday in the third quarter of Sunday’s 30-16 loss to Green Bay after completing just six of 15 pass attempts for 79 yards. Hurts, the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2019, was 5-of-12 passing for 109 yards, throwing one touchdown pass and one interception as his replacement.

Wentz, 27, is in the midst of the worst season of his five-year career. He leads the league in interceptions (15) and sacks (50), and is 31st in completion percentage (57.4).

He will serve as the No. 2 quarterback for Philadelphia against the Saints (10-2).

“Carson is like all of us right now, he’s disappointed. He’s frustrated,” Pederson said. “He’s been a professional through it all. He supports his teammates and that’s what you want to see from him, the leader of the team. I know sometimes the quarterback gets a lot of the blame like the head coach does. It’s the good with the bad. It’s not about Carson Wentz. It’s not about one person. We know we have issues on offense and it has been a struggle for us all season. That’s where the frustration lies a little bit, but he’s been a pro and would expect nothing less.”

Hurts was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2019 after completing 69.7 percent of his passes for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his senior season at Oklahoma. He added 1,323 yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns as a runner and receiver.

He began his college career at Alabama in 2016 and was the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year that season.

The Eagles selected Hurts, 22, in the second round (No. 53 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Wentz signed a four-year, $128 million contract extension with the Eagles in July 2019.

–Field Level Media

Dec 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (L) and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz (R) in a game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. The Washington Redskins won 27-22. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Schwartz: Eagles coaches have Pederson’s back

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz says the entire coaching staff supports embattled head coach Doug Pederson.

“I think the whole staff has Doug’s back,” Schwartz said Tuesday, per NBC Sports Philadelphia. “We know what he’s going through and we feel the pressure on ourselves to go do our jobs better to take some of the heat off of him. I think that’s what a good staff does.

“Doug’s had our back in the past, we have his back. I think it all works together that way. I just think everybody needs to be more efficient at their job. I think everybody needs to recognize their part in it.”

The Eagles (3-8-1) have lost four in a row and have not scored more than 17 points since a 23-9 win against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8.

Pederson, who recently gave up some play-calling duties, is dealing with a quarterback controversy heading into Sunday’s home game against the New Orleans Saints (10-2).

Rookie Jalen Hurts took over for Carson Wentz in Sunday’s 30-16 loss in Green Bay and threw his first touchdown pass, completing 5 of 12 attempts for 109 yards with an interception.

Pederson, 52, is in his fifth season with Philadelphia and has a 41-34-1 record. He guided the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship after the 2017 season and led them to NFC East titles in 2017 and 2019.

–Field Level Media