Philadelphia Eagles: With Doug Pederson, there’s always a chance

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After winning Super Bowl LII, Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson declared this “the new norm.” One year later he’s watching from home. Was he right?

“This is the new norm in Philadelphia.”

As the world prepares to watch the Los Angeles Rams take on the New England Patriots this Sunday in Super Bowl LIII from Atlanta, the Philadelphia Eagles and their head coach will be watching from the comfort of their own homes.

When Doug Pederson uttered those words following last year’s historic Super Bowl run, is this what he envisioned? “Playing and hopefully playing into February every year,” Pederson continued. “It’s the new norm, so get used to it.” Yet, as the calendar flips to February, the players, coach Pederson and Eagles fans everywhere must once again serve as bystanders to the sport’s biggest party. What a crock of –


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While the Eagles won’t be playing football in February this year, the winning culture that Pederson spoke of following last year’s victory parade was exemplified this season.

The team never quits. Following their Week 11 dismantling at the hands of the Saints, it would have been easy for the players to pack it in. In fact, it almost looked like they had. Down 19-11 in the following week’s home matchup against the lowly New York Giants – with the Giants poised to score right before the half – safety Malcolm Jenkins intercepted an errant Eli Manning throw at the team’s two-yard line, preventing any further damage. Following halftime, the Eagles would go on to beat the Giants 25-22 and win four of their next five games, securing a playoff berth in the process.

The past season wasn’t always pretty. In fact, it mostly wasn’t. But the measure of a good team is one who continues fighting, and this regime measures up.

Resiliency has been a staple of Pederson’s teams throughout his tenure as Eagles head coach.

In 2016, following GM Howie Roseman’s heist of the Minnesota Vikings, the first-year head coach took an unexpecting rookie quarterback slated to essentially “red-shirt” the season and turned him into an efficient week one starter on eight days’ notice. (That quarterback, by the way, was coming off a preseason in which he missed the final three games after suffering a rib injury in the team’s first exhibition contest.) Oh, and throughout the course of the season, the team would also be without its perennial Pro Bowl starting right tackle who was suspended for 10 games. (See story here.) Yet, through it all, the Eagles finished with a respectable 7-9 record.

Next, enter last year’s Super Bowl run where Doug Pederson managed to keep the team soaring through significant squalls of adversity and doubt. With seemingly every national pundit picking against them and their backup quarterback, Pederson and company flew on the wings of underdog status en route to crippling the kingdom that is Belichick and Brady, even if only temporarily.

When Pederson talks about competing for championships as “the new norm,” he’s subliminally elevating the psyche of his players. There will be struggles, but with an underlying belief, all is possible. It was this belief that helped fuel the Eagles past the Chicago Bears in the wildcard round of this year’s playoffs. It was this belief that helped the Eagles nearly dethrone the heavily favored Saints in the divisional round while every other road team simply rolled over and died. And it will be this belief that propels ensuing Eagles’ teams to championship glory in seasons future.

Resiliency can’t be coached; it’s a personality trait that comes from within, and Pederson has it. His teams have it because they embody their general. Pederson’s ability to connect with his players and his players’ subsequent connection and response, make the relationship so unique. Behind the walls of the NovaCare Complex, they are a family, and families support one another.

Families also celebrate together.

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With Doug Pederson and his winning-attitude at the helm, the future is bright for the Eagles and their fans. While the team may not always make it to the party, they’ll certainly be right there fighting for the invitation. In the meantime, keep the party hats and dancing shoes nearby. It’s the new norm, Philadelphia, so get used to it.