Doug Pederson was never the problem.
Neither was hiring him to be head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The process to get to that point? Yeah. Oh, hell, yeah.
Put it this way, if you’re going to wait around two, three, four, even five years to determine whether or not Jeffrey Lurie and Co. did their due diligence in unearthing Chip Kelly’s replacement, then there are a few Ponzi scheme artists out there who would like your home address, email and phone number.
People, please. No matter if you’re a hardcore fan who ultimately finds a way to always fall in with the company line or just a feel-good softie who favors the positive spin, get a grip. This was a huffy, rushed, grab-bag of pro sports business tomfoolery that was nothing more than a poorly crafted episode of the Keystone Kops with supporting characters decked out in football paraphernalia.
Fire a coach for lack of “emotional intelligence,” fumble around in finding a new one, settle on an uncertain choice only to be confused by the quality of others, see the old flame/coach quickly hook up with someone else, then opt to get in bed with that non-sure thing in some sort of convoluted, panicky, PR-driven, save-face fashion?
Smooth operators in that Eagles’ front office. Real smooth.
Oh, sure, Pederson, indeed, could turn out to be a great NFL head coach. It’s not likely, but he could. At this point, he has a clean slate. He hasn’t run the show for a single snap beyond the high school level. So no one really knows what he’ll do at this level.
That’s good OR bad ...
Meaning, the meanderings of those preaching the potential positive as leading to some backtracking deserved in regards to negative comments directed at Lurie, Howie Roseman, Ron Jaworski and anyone associated with the process that led to Pederson back to Philly are as idiotic as the “let’s wait and see” crowd believes those not on the same page are.
Seriously, you’re going to hold off a few seasons to bestow “genius” status on those in charge now, confusing dumb luck for smart move?
Sorry, no credit will be coming from this direction if something fluky happens. More power to Lurie and Co. if it turns out they chose the winning lottery ticket. But praise for what they did ... umm, what did they do? There would was no plan, or brains, utilized in making it happen. Just good fortune.
Not for nothing, but Step One in performing due diligence is to determine the top candidates for a position going off the information at hand – i.e., what those candidates already have done, not what they could do. Step Two is to interview those candidates.
Frankly, the Birds’ coach-search brain trust failed on both counts. Miserably. Pederson ranked far behind every other candidate brought in for a pow-wow, aside from Rooney Rule qualifier Duce Staley, either trailing on experience or success or both as a coach, and dozens more who weren’t even considered in-house or discussed outside of it.
Other NFL coordinators, many NFL position coaches. Heck, there isn’t a single head coach at a major college football program who wouldn’t have been more qualified for the Eagles’ job.
Lurie and Co. had their man all along. Even if they were swayed at points by public opinion or impressive, in-face meetings with young hotshots Ben McAdoo and Adam Gase, they always had Pederson in mind … as the fallback, the safe choice, the guy they felt comfy with, most of all, in a personal, he’s a “good guy” sense.
Because they knew him, and, more important, they knew Andy Reid and they knew Big Red thought highly of Pederson, from as far back as the previous millennium, when the new head coach in town brought in a no-name quarterback with him from Green Bay to soften the saddle on the West Coast offense for nine games before handing the reins over to Donovan McNabb.
Now, it is ironic that the goofs who relate Pederson’s lack of success as an NFL player to some impending doom for him as Eagles coach somehow forget that the NFL coaches they seem to profess to be great or very good never even made it to the league as a player.
So, no doubt a lot of the detractors to Pederson and his hiring are misguided.
But no more so than those defending the process of the Eagles’ coaching search.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com
College: University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana University)
Career as NFL player: Miami Dolphins (1993-95), Green Bay Packers (1996-98), EAGLES (1999), Cleveland Browns (2000), Green Bay Packers (2001-04)
Career stats as player: 3-14 record as starting QB, (2-7 with EAGLES in 1999, 1-7 with Cleveland in 2000), 2,762 yards, 12 TDs, 19 INTs passing, 54.8 completion percentage
Career as NFL coach: EAGLES (quality control coordinator 2009-2010; quarterbacks coach 2011-12), Kansas City Chiefs (offensive coordinator 2013-15)
The following is a list of candidates who were NFL offensive coordinators the Eagles considered for their head coach opening – Kansas City’s Doug Pederson (DP), Chicago’s Adam Gase (AG), the Eagles’ Pat Shurmur (PS), the Giants’ Ben McAdoo (BM) and Cincinnati’s Hue Jackson (HJ) – and where their units ranked in total offense the past three years.
2013 2014 2015
DP 21 25 27
AG 1 4 21
PS 2 5 12
BM x 10 8
HJ x 15 15
x-Did not serve as an OC
Note: Fellow former Eagles assistant Sean McDermott has served as the defensive coordinator the last five seasons in Carolina, and his units have finished 28th, 10th, 2nd, 10th and 6th in total defense 2011 through 2015.