Philadelphia Eagles Need Doug Pederson to Prove Himself

Jun 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks with the media during mini camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks with the media during mini camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

In their divergence from the “Chip Kelly Era”, the Philadelphia Eagles hired the “Anti-Kelly” in Doug Pederson.

Even hough they are opposites the one thing that they have in common at the start of their tenures with the Philadelphia Eagles is that they are unproven coaching commodities. Kelly’s biggest successes came in college in what is looking like a gimmick system in the NFL while Pederson’s came as an offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tons of questions are being asked about what the recipe for success will be for the Philadelphia Eagles but one thing that has been left untouched is Doug Pederson‘s coaching abilities. Everything from can Sam Bradford stay healthy to who will the starting corners be has been brought up but one thing that may be the most important factor to their success, “Just how good is their head coach?”, hasn’t been brought up once.

While in Kansas City  Pederson was able to unlock the true potential of his running backs and tight ends while elevating Alex Smith to levels that most thought were unattainable. but plenty of talented offensive coordinators have flamed out as head coaches.

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Doug Pederson has a leg up on the average rookie head coach because he knows the demands of the position from his playing days. Pederson spent 12 years in the league with the Knights, Dolphins, Packers, Eagles, and Browns as a quarterback. He has also surrounded himself with an experienced staff that includes former head coaches as well.

Another thing in Pederson’s favor is that he has coached for the Philadelphia Eagles in the past both as a special assistant and as a quarterbacks coach prior to becoming the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs.

I think it helps to have played at this level, being out there when the bullets are flying for real and putting the pads on and being in that locker room. -Doug Pederson

Pederson will have to avoid another large mistake that Chip Kelly made and let his coaches actually shape their units. While Pederson has his offensive mentality that works he cannot step on the toes of offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Most head coaches cannot call their own plays on offense while also taking a holistic view of the game to deal with time management, personal sets, and the other intricacies that come with running the team.

That’s one mistake that came back to bite Chip Kelly at multiple points and led to questionable in-game decisions. These coordinators were brought in to do a job, so allow them to do it.

Pederson has taken control of the quarterbacks as he told Inquirer reporter Zach Berman. Pederson said,

"“It starts with me and ends with me, and I’ll take responsibility for that,” Pederson said. “So I coach up Frank and John and say, ‘Listen, this is my message, and this is the message I want to send to the quarterbacks.’ They’re on board with that and they support that 100 percent. And I want to make sure my presence is still felt, even though maybe I’m not in that room all the time. But I still want to make sure that my presence is felt in the room.”"

While taking control of player development is okay, Pederson needs to avoid micromanaging his staff. The early returns show that he should be able to do that as he has given Jim Schwartz the keys to the defense.

Doug Pederson is an old school coach as he has also begun to dial back the Philadelphia Eagles usage of sports science but it’s too early to make a judgment on that decision. While sports science plays a large part in sports today they also lead to points where important aspects of the game are overlooked. There is a fine line with the proper usage of it over the course of the season, Doug Pederson will look to find it.

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That’s also an example of Pederson distancing himself from all things Chip Kelly and embracing the Andy Ried approach. While Ried is no longer with the team, he was one of the most successful coaches of the Philadelphia Eagles so that’s not an entirely bad thing. Pederson is looking to make his mark on the team and as the head coach, it’s his right.

Hopefully, he’s able to get his first head coaching gig off to a good start because if not that’s when his inexperience will be questioned. We  have 47 days until the NFL season kicks and Pederson can have his debut as a head coach but there’s a lot that needs to happen between now and then.