Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson appeared at the Houston Gamblers’ game against the Michigan Panthers on Sunday to watch his son make his USFL debut.
Josh Pederson plays tight end for the Gamblers. He led Houston in receiving yards in the team’s 29-13 loss to the Panthers. He had two catches for 23 yards. Running back T.J. Pledger had two rushing touchdowns in the game.
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Doug Pederson spoke to NBC Sports during the game about the importance of spring leagues like the USFL to give players who may not normally have a shot on an NFL roster another chance to showcase what they could bring to the table.
“I’ve been impressed with it,” Pederson said on the sideline. “This is a great opportunity for all these players to showcase their talent and get on tape. That’s one thing I’ve encouraged my son to do, is just get on tape. Get meaningful reps. That’s what all these guys are doing, because one day they’re trying to get back to the NFL if they can.”
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Pederson and the Jaguars signed former New Orleans Breakers quarterback Kyle Sloter during training camp. Even though he didn’t make the team, Sloter was among the USFL players who tried to latch onto an NFL teams in 2022. He appeared in four games in the XFL this year.
KaVontae Turpin was one of the best examples of the pipeline working.
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Turpin was the MVP for the USFL during the 2022 season. He then signed with the Dallas Cowboys and was selected as a Pro Bowler.