Now Clear On Headset Rules, Pederson ‘Leaning’ Towards New Game Plan

Doug Pederson and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Now that he has a firmer grasp of the situation, Doug Pederson is leaning towards changing course when it comes to game-day communication.

Back in June, Pederson told a group of reporters that the plan was to deliver the play call to offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who would then relay it to the quarterback. The reason for the circuitous route, Pederson explained at the time, is because head coaches are limited to two channels on their headset, and he wanted to be tuned into the offensive and defensive coaches.

A report by Jeff McLane of the Inquirer, though, cited two former head coaches who said “that head coaches can have all three channels, and in fact, most do.”

Pederson acknowledged in a one-on-one with Birds 24/7 Tuesday that he misspoke.

“That was a misunderstanding on my part. I didn’t have all the information at the time, and I just misunderstood what the rule was, or is,” he said. “But I can have the third one, which is nice.”

With that knowledge in hand, Pederson is considering straying from the original game plan.

“I’m still in the process once we get into these preseason games of deciding how I want to go about the natural mechanics of calling the game,” said Pederson. “Preseason we’re going to try it. It’s not 100 percent. I would probably lean towards me calling directly to the quarterback. It just cuts down a middle man, it cuts down time, it cuts down any communication errors at that point.”

Pederson added that, on the flip side, quickly handing the play off to his coordinator could allow him to focus on other things that come up between snaps, so he’ll tinker with the process to see what works best.

Andy Reid chose to use a middle man in Kansas City (Pederson) and during part of his time in Philly. It’s fair to wonder whether there is a connection between some of the time-management issues he’s had over his coaching career and the decision to go with the more involved play-calling procedure. There is a concern that Pederson — Reid’s protege — could have similar issues, particularly if he chooses the same system.

“That’s the thought process that I’m going through right now,” said Pederson. “Not just the time-management issue but if I could just cut down on the communication process, because a lot of times you say something to one person and sometimes you don’t hear all the information and then it’s trying to get relayed to the quarterback or something like that. This way I’m in direct communication with the quarterback on game day, calling the plays, calling the game. So that’s probably the direction I’m leaning right now.”