I’ve heard Eagles fans express anger at the way Doug Pederson was hired. It’s understandable, but I don’t think we should get negative about Pederson before we know what kind of coach, he’s going to be. In the more than 30 years I’ve been working in and around the NFL, I’ve seen candidates that everybody wanted, turn out to be busts, while unheralded candidates who everybody thought was going to fall on their faces, wind up getting the job done.
Some say the Birds didn’t talk to enough candidates. Others say Andy Reid had too much influence on the pick. Reid had winning seasons in nine of his fourteen years here with Lurie. In more than one third of his years here in Philadelphia, he took the Birds to the NFC Championship game. During Reid’s time with the team, Lurie saw the value of his team sky-rocket. He would be a fool not to consort with Reid, when picking another coach.
Yes I guess they could have talked to other candidates like Sean McDermott, but Lurie and company knew they were leaning toward the offensive side of the ball, so interviewing a defensive coordinator wasn’t in the plans.
I think it makes sense to go with a former NFL quarterback, who was both a quarterback coach and an offensive coordinator. A lot of the success of this team is going to revolve around making the right decisions about the quarterback position. Pederson, who talked glowingly about Sam Bradford in his first news conference, has the experience and knowledge to make those decisions.
I think it’s an advantage for an Eagles coach to know how spirited the fans and the media are here in Philadelphia because the coverage of the Birds is more intense than any other team in the NFL. Pederson wasn’t shocked by the standing room only greeting and grilling he got at the Nova Care Complex on Tuesday. He’ll be able to deal with the local sports media and Eagles fans in a genuine and professional manner. Chip was overwhelmed by the attention everybody paid to his every word and move. Pederson won’t be caught off guard again. By the way Doug, tighten up the explanation for the slow late game drive against the Patriots.
Although, I was hooked on the idea of hiring the Panthers McDermott, I’m confident defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is going to be able to put together one of the top ten defenses in the league. I like the defensive personnel on the roster and I think he’s going to get the best out of them.
The number one reason I like the hiring of Pederson is because he knows and stresses the importance of taking care of the football. It was one of the key reasons the Kansas City Chiefs were able to put together an 11 game winning streak. You can see it in the conservative way that Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith plays the quarterback position. He will throw the ball away, run with it, then slide or take a sack before throwing an interception. Most of the teams in the league don’t emphasize it enough, so they beat themselves.
Pederson mentioned taking care of the football in his news conference and I think it’s going to help him have some success here. He’s going to have a good defense with Schwartz as his defensive coordinator. Dave Fipp will return and that’s going to mean a good Special Teams unit. Put avoiding turnovers together with a good defense and a good special teams unit and you have a playoff contender.
I think Pederson was a quality hire. I expect good things in the near future.
I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on how much other teams pursued Pederson. To take a step further, who cares if Eagles fans weren’t jumping up and down and cheering when Pederson was selected. There was a lot of excitement and cheering when Chip was hired and you see where that got us.
Check out the four head coaches in this year’s NFC and AFC Championship games. They weren’t celebrated when they were hired.
A lot of critics said Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was too old. They said the veteran had seen his best days. There wasn’t much excitement around him and the Cardinals signed him because there was nobody else available. Chip Kelly was the sexy pick during that offseason. In fact the Eagles canceled an interview of Arians because of Kelly.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera wasn’t a celebrated pick when the Panthers signed him. In fact, Carolina fans questioned the hiring. He had been a defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and prior to that he was the Eagles linebackers coach. The Panthers were 15-1 this year.
The two AFC coaches were not glittering hires, either. Nobody was jumping for joy in Boston, when the Patriots hired Bill Belichick. He had been run out of Cleveland on a rail and the NFL experts were saying that he was lost without Bill Parcells. He may be the greatest NFL head coach of all-time.
Denver’s Gary Kubiak was an assistant in Denver before going to Houston. He took his team to the playoffs a couple of times, then was fired in the middle of the season a couple of years later. Broncos President John Elway gave him another shot as a head coach and so far he’s making the best of it.
I think hiring head coaches is very similar to the way Forest Gump described a box of chocolates, “You never know what you’re going to get”.