What They’re Saying About Doug Pederson

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

It won’t be official until the Chiefs’ postseason run comes to an end, but Doug Pederson will be the Eagles’ next head coach.

Besides the oft-repeated basics — he used to play quarterback for the Eagles; he’s an Andy Reid disciple — there’s plenty left to learn about Pederson.

We’ve collected a decent amount of info on the Eagles’ new man-in-charge, for your reading pleasure.

An excellent profile of Pederson by Inquirer columnist Bob Ford, from Pederson’s playing days as a quarterback with the Eagles.

There was a moment, just one moment, when Doug Pederson let himself want to quit.

He was back home in Monroe, driving a truck for one of those package delivery companies, and the Dolphins were on the phone again. The same Dolphins who had released him four times before.

Somebody was hurt. Could he come to Miami?

Somebody was always hurt, but then Somebody would get well again and Pederson would be back in Monroe, humping cardboard boxes and throwing passes to his brother to stay in shape, haunted by the quarterbacks on television who had no more ability than he did but still found a way to be Somebody.

“I didn’t want to go. I didn’t,” Pederson said.

But deep inside where Doug Pederson keeps his optimism vaulted and secure, he couldn’t turn away from the path. He got out of the truck and went to Miami.

And the Dolphins cut him for the fifth time.

Here’s a long read from the Chiefs’ team website on Pederson’s background and professional journey, also well worth your time in getting to know him.

When Reid was hired as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, Pederson followed him. After one year with both the Eagles and Cleveland Browns (2000), Pederson returned to Green Bay in 2001 to backup Favre once again.

As [Brett] Favre came jogging to the sideline during a stoppage of play in that particular game, Reid noticed where Favre went first, which solidified in his mind the coaching future of the now—Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator.

“I’ll tell you when I really saw it—his second stint at Green Bay,” Reid recalled of the moment he knew Pederson would be a great coach one day. “I watched (Brett) Favre come off the field and he went right to Doug.

“At that moment, I go, ‘You know what? This guy. He can do this. He can be a coach.’”

Pederson’s quarterbacking pedigree certainly played a role in his hiring, writes the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.

When Pederson’s quarterbacks were asked about his readiness to become a full-time play caller – or even a head coach, as he will be with the Eagles – they didn’t focus as much on the job he has done in that role as they did on his actual experience as a quarterback.

There are plenty of successful play callers who never played the position, let alone in the NFL. Reid is a perfect example. But for some quarterbacks it helps to know that the coach diagramming the plays and calling them into their headset once stood in their shoes.

“You have to start with his pedigree and how long he played in the NFL. He’s been there, he’s seen it,” Chiefs backup quarterback Chase Daniels said. “He’s played under Dan Marino and Brett Favre. He’s played and coached under Andy for a long time. And so, I think all of that gives him a unique perspective on the quarterback position when he’s coaching it.”

When Reid handed play-calling duties over to Pederson this season, the former Eagles head coach was effusive in his praise for Pederson, writes the KC Star’s Terez A. Paylor.

“Doug, unfortunately, gets pushed under the bus a little bit because I’m an offensive guy,” Reid said. “I don’t want to slight him at all, we’ve got great communication there. I have full confidence in Doug calling plays. If I get into a slump, he jumps in.”

Reid quickly mentioned that spread-game analyst and special projects coach Brad Childress — who was his offensive coordinator in Philadelphia from 2003 to 2005 before he landed the Minnesota Vikings’ head coaching job — is also capable of calling plays.

But once again, Reid ended up circling back to his original point — that the Chiefs couldn’t have turned things around without his overlooked offensive coordinator, who has grown into the role.

“Doug has done a phenomenal job,” Reid said, “and I don’t want that to get slighted in this whole thing (because) sometimes, that happens.”

All the way back in 2013, Reid said he had a feeling Doug Pederson could end up being a head coach in the NFL, writes Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride.

“I think he’s got a good handle on the offense, he had a great teacher in Marty Mornhinweg and I think, handled right, he’ll be a guy that has an opportunity to move on past that and become a head coach,” Reid said of Pederson, who was Reid’s quarterback in Philly in 1999 (comments via the Chiefs). “He’s got an easy way of teaching something that’s complex, he’s got a good relationship with players, guys have been productive who have been with him.”

I’ve never quite understood the NFL hiring cycle. Coordinating an offense or a defense doesn’t really test all the skills necessary to be a head coach. Yet NFL teams hire coordinators as first time head coaches year in and year out. It is so much more than your success as a coordinator, at least in my opinion. That’s why you see a guy like John Harbaugh coming out as the most successful of all the Reid assistants … and he was a special teams coach. Maybe my crazy idea isn’t so crazy after all. (Eh, it’s still crazy.)

Big asterisk on Pederson though: Reid will continue to call the plays in Kansas City. Will he do that forever? I don’t know, but that’s the plan right now. “I try to be a little bit more involved with the offense,” Reid said.

The best case scenario for the Chiefs would be teams clamoring to hire Pederson in a couple of years. Then you’d know you’ve done something right. It’s been a long time since Chiefs assistants were the hot names around the league. Here’s to seeing that again soon.

Also back in 2013, Pederson told the KC Star’s Terez A. Paylor he thought Alex Smith was the best quarterback in the league, which is… interesting.

“Ultimately, every team has to have a quarterback,” Pederson said. “I think we have the best in the league.”

The best? Better than Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, and Colin Kaepernick?

“There are a lot of great ones,” Pederson said, “but over time, Alex has proven he can get it done. He’s a sharp guy, he brings a wealth of knowledge, he’s experienced, he’s a proven winner the last couple of years, and he needs a team to embrace him.

A lack of popular consensus doesn’t make Pederson’s hiring the wrong choice, writes CSN Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro.

Sure, it’s a little concerning, the appearance that the Eagles were more interested in some other candidates and lost out. But their losing out on those candidates says more about the shortcoming of the team’s dysfunctional front office than it does of Pederson.

Adam Gase and Ben McAdoo emerged as two very sexy names. They’re two much younger coordinators (37 and 38, respectively) who had talk radio shows abuzz over the last couple weeks. But how do we know Gase or McAdoo will be more successful than Pederson?

We don’t.

They all have the exact same level of NFL head coaching experience. Pederson, 47, has logged 19 years in the league as a player and a coach. And he has been coaching in the NFL for seven years, the same amount of time Reid had coached in the league before the Eagles hired him. That worked out pretty well.

The Daily News’ Paul Domowitch writes that Eagles fans should at least give Pederson a chance to prove himself before judging the hire.

I can’t tell you whether he’s going to be the next Bill Belichick or the next Rob Chudzinski.

And neither can you.

Everybody has had an opinion on Pederson ever since it was reported nearly two weeks ago that he was a leading candidate to replace Chip Kelly.

About 95 percent of those opinions have been negative. Mostly, it’s been guilt by association. He works for Andy Reid, therefore he must be awful.

Never mind that Reid is a very good coach. Yes, he committed the unpardonable sin of failing to win a Super Bowl in the 14 years he coached the Eagles. But they made the playoffs 10 times under Reid. They went to five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl under Reid.