By Max Harper

Doug Pederson has gotten praise all season for his masterful job of jockeying the Jags into playoff contention, just a year after the Urban Meyer fiasco.

Peter King of NBC Sports joins in:

When a coach gets fired 35 months after leading his franchise to its first-ever Super Bowl win, that coach is going to have a stain on him.

How bad did this coach let it get in three years for him to be fired?

Luckily, Jags GM Trent Baalke didn’t let that overly influence his search.

Baalke (plus Shad and Tony Khan) saw a coach who is a teacher, who is a leader, who is very good for a young team that had just been battered by the failed Urban Meyer experiment, and who would be great for Trevor Lawrence.

His leadership helped when the Jags were 2-6 and flying home from London in what looked like a lost season.

They’re 5-2 since, with wins over Vegas, Baltimore, Tennessee, Dallas and the defensively stout Jets in a monsoon.

“We’ve got a smart coach and coaching staff,’’ safety Rayshawn Jenkins said. “We lose in London, we’re 2-6, but there was no panic—just the attitude of, ‘We’re a good team, and we’re going to fix it.’ And at this time of year, he (Pederson) is playing it smart as far as the schedule. He gets us off our feet, he takes care of us, and he makes sure our mental is right. He’s been a player. He knows.”

Who would have ever thought we’d be saying 15 games into Pederson’s tenure:

You do not want to be playing the Jaguars in January. Pederson and his staff, and Baalke’s personnel decisions, have made that happen.

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