Pederson Will Be Tuned Into Defense
A head coach’s headset is limited to two channels on game day, Doug Pederson explained. There are three options — offensive coaching staff, defensive coaching staff and quarterback — so there’s a decision to be made. As was Andy Reid’s custom in K.C. (and for portions of his time in Philly), Pederson has opted to go with the first two, leaving it to Frank Reich to communicate with the QB.
But Pederson calls the plays, meaning that in order to get a call in, he has to relay it to Reich who in turn relays it to Sam Bradford (or whomever is under center) who then relays it to the rest of the offense. That seems like quite a process, particularly when you’re dealing with West Coast verbiage like shift to halfback twin right open, swap 72 all-go special halfback shallow cross wide open.
On-two, on-two. Ready?
Hopefully on time.
This doesn’t sound like a recipe for maximum clock-management efficiency, which is not exactly a strength of Pederson’s mentor. The new Eagles head coach, though, flatly answered “No.” when asked if the process was too cumbersome.
“Everything is categorized anyway in the game plan. You have your first and second down package. You have your entire third down, red zone, so your eyes focused on certain areas of the game plan,” said Pederson, explaining how coach, coordinator and quarterback are all on the same wave length. “By the time you get to Sunday, you pretty much have memorized the game plan. It becomes fast, it becomes efficient.”
Plus, the only way to streamline it would be to 1) hand off play-calling duties to Reich or 2) remove himself from the defensive conversation, and he has no interest in doing either of those things. While giving up play-calling would lighten the load of the first-year head coach, Pederson has made it clear that running the offense is important to him. He told reporters prior to the break that Reich will not have the ability to change plays. And when a reporter noted that some coaches don’t touch the defense, he replied: “Yeah, that’s fine. But I want to be on the the defensive side.”
Pederson explained that he wants access to the defensive coaches for the purposes of strategizing in-game, and that makes sense: if you’re up 10 with five minutes to go, you want to get on the same page with the defensive coordinator on how the two sides of the ball can work together to get to the finish line. Otherwise, it seems, Pederson will largely just let Jim Schwartz do his thing.
“He’s the professional on that side. My expertise is on offense. His is over there on defense. So whether I have suggestions or not, it’s our defense, but at the same time, he’s the master. He’s done it for a hundred years. It’s proven. Just like the offense that I’ve been in is proven,” said Pederson.
“I wouldn’t expect him to come over on the offensive side and make suggestions, whether it be on personnel or plays or the calling or any of that. So I kind of leave that up to him.”