Philadelphia Eagles: Is Doug Pederson a coaching unicorn?

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

In only his second season with the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson became one of only three coaches to won a Super Bowl for the team he also played for.

Doug Pederson will forever be remembered as the first coach in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles to bring a Lombardi Trophy to the City of Brotherly Love, but his connections to the franchise go back way further than 2016.

That’s right, before being appointed the 23rd head coach in franchise history, or even before serving as an assistant under Andy Reid from 2009-2012, Pederson spent one glorious season in South Philly under center, earning a 2-7 record as the Eagles’ starting quarterback all the way back in 1999.

While said season will likely go down in Eagles history as the start of the Donovan McNabb-era, giving fans a seven-game preview of a player who would go on to become one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history, it also etched Pederson’s name onto a prestigious list of players who have donned the midnight green. An impressive feat in its own right.

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And now, almost 20 years later, he’s become a Super Bowl champion not as a signal caller, but as a play caller for the very same franchise.

Who could have imagined that back in ’99?

Though he’s not the first player-turned-coach to win a Super Bowl for a team they also played for, Pederson is now a member of a pretty exclusive fraternity.

Of the 33 head coaches who’ve hoisted up the Lombardi Trophy since its inception in 1967, only three others, Gary Kubiak with the Denver Broncos in 2016, Tom Flores in with the Oakland Raiders 1981, and Mike Ditka with the Chicago Bears in 1986 have won Super Bowls as the head coach for a team they also played for and none of them have done so more than once.

Sure, Flores technically has two Super Bowl wins to his name, but the second was with the Los Angeles Rams, a team he did not play for.

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So with one more Super Bowl win, an albeit significant task, Pederson will not only go down as the best player-turned-coach in Eagles history but one of the best in league history. Not bad for an undrafted backup who owns a 3-14 record as a starting quarterback.