Eagles Wake-Up Call: What They’re Saying About Pederson
What exactly would the Eagles be getting in Doug Pederson, anyway?
To get a better feel for the head coaching candidate, we put together a roundup of what they’re saying about the Chiefs offensive coordinator as the search heads into Day 10:
Brian Dawkins threw some praise in Pederson’s direction during his hit on 97.5 The Fanatic Tuesday, but said a major question remains.
“Well Doug was a very, very, very smart dude — like very smart,” said Brian Dawkins . “There’s a reason why Andy [Reid] brought him here (for that 1999 season) and we all knew it: it was to teach guys the offense. So he’s been a coach, he’s been teaching for a long time. And obviously the offense began to struggle a little too much and they brought Donovan [McNabb] in, but he was the one that guys leaned on in the huddle, telling guys where to go, this is what you need to do, and so he was the coach on the field. That’s the Doug that I remember. That is a great thing: to have football acumen; to be able to talk about the game; to be able to coach; to be able to take it from your head as a player and be able to deliver it to somebody and allow them to receive it themselves and then go ahead and have success with it…
“This is the unknown factor of Doug: can he be a coach that can stand in front of the Philadelphia Eagles team and grab that respect? Does he have that type of personality to do what he needs to do to get guys to buy in, to get in line and stay in line. I’m talking about discipline. I’m talking about the accountability that has been lacking in that locker room…that’s where Doug, not concerns me, but that’s a question mark.”
Mike Kafka, the current Bengal who had Pederson as his quarterbacks coach in 2011 while with the Eagles, described to us what it’s like working under him:
“He’s a professional and he treats you like that. He’s a straight shooter and tells you what it is, whether you’re right or wrong, good or bad, he lays it on the table and I think that’s appreciated and respected. When a coach can speak straight and tell you when you do things right, he’s happy for you and when you do things wrong he’s always looking to correct you and get you better. I always respected that…
“I think when you’re football smart and you know schemes and you know defenses, I think the hardest part is being able to elaborate to your players. For him, he’s made a way to make it simple so that players can play fast and know their assignments and know what to do. It’s one thing to have all this knowledge, but to not illustrate it and explain it to people is difficult. And I think he has that. He’s always been a great coach and being able to get people to be on the same page and understand the concepts and schemes and what he wants to do.”
Andy Reid has been handing over some of the play-calling to Pederson of late. More from Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
“I have full trust in turning the whole game over to him and letting him call it,” Reid said of Pederson. “It’s something I enjoy doing, but I have trust in him doing it, and that’s a comfortable feeling.”
Pederson confirmed Thursday that this is a new development, though he noted it’s one that only happens occasionally.
“This has been the first time this has happened, but it just doesn’t happen,” said Pederson, 47. “There’s a trust, there’s a continuity.”
In many ways, this is the continuation of Pederson’s growth as a coach. Pederson is also responsible for play calling in two-minute-drill situations, something he was also in charge of last year.
“You’ve got to sort of think like-minded a little bit, and Coach and I, he and I are so connected during the week and we talk about the game plan (so much) that I, as a coordinator, as a person that’s calling the game to Alex — even though Coach is telling me the plays — I can anticipate what’s coming,” Pederson said.
Tommy Lawlor isn’t totally sold on Pederson, but he believes the Reid disciple deserves a fair look in the Eagles’ coaching search.
If you love military history, you may know the story of Raymond Spruance. Prior to the Battle of Midway, Admiral William Halsey got sick. He was asked by Admiral Chester Nimitz to name a replacement. Halsey shocked everyone, including Spruance, by naming him to lead a key task force in an incredibly important battle. Spruance helped the US to win a key battle that was one of the turning points of World War II. He wasn’t the obvious choice, but he proved to be the right choice.
Sometimes finding the right man for the job goes beyond looking at a resume. When you know someone up close and personal, there is a value to that which is hard to quantify. If Andy Reid is making a strong recommendation and Jeff Lurie has a high opinion of Pederson, that might be more important than a superlative track record.
Pederson does make some sense. He’s certainly not at the top of my list. I preferred Adam Gase. He’s now in Miami and I’m trying to figure out what I want the team to do. There is no clear guy to pursue right now.
WHAT YOU MISSED
The 49ers reportedly met with Tom Coughlin on Tuesday, a day after he met with the Eagles.
“If you squint hard enough, that could be Doug Pederson‘s appeal.” What they’re saying.
On coaching searches, and what we look for when we try to pin down championship winners.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Jordan Raanan caught up with Giants co-owner Steve Tisch and asked him about the Eagles-Tom Coughlin interview.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 13, 2016
Jordan Matthews thinks Nelson Agholor‘s rookie year is being too harshly criticized, writes CSN Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank.
Matthews, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin all put up big numbers as rookies, but Mike Quick caught just 10 passes as a rookie. His teammate, [Cris] Carter, caught just five. Harold Carmichael didn’t surpass 20 receptions until his third year. But Quick became a five-time Pro Bowler, Carter a Hall of Famer and Carmichael the best receiver in Eagles history.
Heck, even Terrell Owens, a sure-fire Hall of Famer, caught just 35 passes as a rookie and didn’t make a Pro Bowl until his fifth season.
Matthews caught 67 passes as a rookie and 85 this past year. Only nine players in NFL history have caught more in their first two seasons.
But he points out that he and Agholor entered the NFL under very different circumstances.
Coaching search rolls on.