As the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson went for it on fourth down 99 times during the regular season from 2016-20.
His team converted 67 of them, or 67.6 percent, to give his offense more opportunities. The Eagles led the NFL in fourth-down attempts during the 2016 (27) and 2020 (35) seasons. The team's best season converting fourth downs came during the 2017 regular season, the year the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl.
Pederson and his offense converted a staggering 17 out of 26 (65.4 percent) that year. The team ranked third in the league on fourth-down conversions that year behind the New Orleans Saints (80 percent) and Doug Marrone's Jaguars (76.9 percent) that season.
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His most-popular fourth-down conversion would also come during the Eagles' Super Bowl victory that year, the iconic "Philly Special" play.
He's self-admittedly aggressive by nature. Some of his aggressiveness comes from his background, growing up in what he once called a "rigid household," his dad a member of the Air Force.
“His aggressive nature in the way he coached us and the way he raised us to stand on our own two feet," Pederson said on an appearance with Angelo Cataldi and the 94 WIP Morning Show in 2018.
Some of it comes from the fact that he's always been an underdog, never touted as a top athlete, always having to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get the upper hand.
“I made up my mind two years ago that really, given this opportunity being the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles or wherever it might be that you only get one chance and one opportunity to do this so I want to make sure I do it right,"
He hasn't shown any signs of letting that mentality go, either.
Jaguars already show aggressiveness under Pederson's leadership
In Jacksonville, Pederson has already shown off his aggressive nature, going for it on fourth down seven times, converting four. The team currently ranks fourth, tied with the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers in fourth-down conversion attempts.
All four fourth-down conversions have resulted in touchdowns, a total of 28 added points.
During the Eagles' Super Bowl run, Pederson's offenses totaled 59 points on drives that included a successful fourth down conversion during the regular season, as researched by Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.
On Monday, Pederson was asked if he had a specific percentage or conversion rate in mind that would be ideal. Though he said that there wasn't any particular rate, he believes the Jaguars are on the right track thus far this season.
"If you're four out of six and you're in that range at the end of the year, it means you've done your job, you stayed on the field, and most of the time those drives end in points for us," Pederson said.
The Jaguars currently rank second in the NFL with an average time of possession of 34:35. In the team's victory against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the Jaguars retained the football for just over 38 minutes, at 38:27.
"I keep talking to the team about that. We're going to maintain aggressiveness both offensively and defensively and our guys are excited about it."
Both units of football, offense and defense, have to be confident when a team is going for it on fourth down. The offense because it shows the coach's belief in their ability to convert, and the defense because it shows the coach's belief in the team's ability to stop the opposing offense if they don't convert.
The latter situation occurred during the team's win on Sunday. The Jaguars went for it on fourth-and-five from the Chargers' 39-yard-line, no man's land for an offensive play caller. Though they weren't able to convert, the team's defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession.
"It's a confidence booster for the team ultimately. The fourth-and-one that sprung for the touchdown was a beautiful thing, and we're going to get opportunities like that. But at the same time, I think it does show confidence in the rest of the team that it doesn't matter what's going to happen, the next unit's going to step up."
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) September 25, 2022
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars players appreciate aggressive mindset
Pederson's confidence has a trickle-down effect on his players. That's been proven through the first three weeks of the season where the Jaguars have won two games by a score of 62-10.
The team has had their foot on the pedal ever since a mistake-ridden season opener against the Washington Commanders, their one loss this season. Of course, the team still has plenty of games remaining, but the confidence has never wavered, according to Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
“Our confidence has been really high all season. Obviously, there have been times that we could have played better, but our confidence has always been high," Lawrence said after the game Sunday.
"You see that on the field and the confidence of the coaches, too. We went for it on multiple fourth downs and didn’t get one early, but that’s alright, still stick with the same plan and stay aggressive. The guys handled it really well.”
Defensively, the Jaguars have shown to get a boost in confidence after failed fourth-down attempts. Though it's an incredibly small sample size (three), the Jaguars haven't allowed a single point after failed fourth-down conversions.
Against the Washington Commanders, Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen forced a fumble after tackling Commanders receiver Curtis Samuel, giving the team the ball back once linebacker Foye Oluokun fell on it.
Against the Indianapolis Colts, the team failed a fourth down near the end of the contest. The Colts ran two run plays to get out of the game with just 21 seconds remaining.
Finally, against the Chargers last week, the Jaguars' defense forced a three-and-out.
Jaguars safety Andre Cisco loves the aggressive nature of his head coach, he told the media on Sept. 19. It's about being comfortable with the defense the team deploys, he said.
“When it’s fourth and three, we’re all like, ‘Go, go, go, go,' because we believe that we’re going to stop the offense, and we also have a ton of faith in our offense that they’re going to get the first down," Cisco said.
"That’s definitely what I kind of receive from that is like, they’re at maybe the 45, not a great place to be going for a fourth down if you look at it from the outside in, but when you’ve got a defense that you trust, you’re comfortable doing stuff like that.”
So long as Pederson is the team's head coach, they'll remain aggressive by not just going for it on fourth down, but being aggressive in doing so, Pederson said.
"I'm going to make sure the guys understand that we're going to be aggressive on fourth down and we're going to take our opportunities, take some chances from time to time."
Demetrius Harvey is the Jacksonville Jaguars reporter for the Florida Times-Union. You can follow him on Twitter at @Demetrius82.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson continues aggressiveness with Jaguars