Why Eagles Fans Should Be Rooting For Doug Pederson

For a reason that isn't exactly clear, the NFL's head coaching hires have come a little later this year. Entering senior bowl week, there were 5 teams that still needed to hire a new head coach. The Raiders started off the week with hiring Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, and the Jaguars ended the week getting a familiar face for Eagles fans.


Former Eagles HC Doug Pederson has been hired as the lead man in Jacksonville, just a year after he was let go after the 2020 season in Philadelphia. Pederson posted a 4-11-1 record in 2020 and according to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie neither sides wanted a breakup, but they felt it was necessary. Lurie even said in that press conference after he was let go that Doug "didn't deserve to be fired" and that he wished him success in any other ventures he was going to pursue.

Credit: 6ABC

Don't get me wrong, I believe that firing Doug Pederson was the perfectly right decision back then and now. Without sugar coating it, Doug was a broken coach by the end of the season. He seemed less enthusiastic in his press conferences, his play calling was stale and his relationship with the franchise QB was in pieces. It was best for both sides to separate.


But even after the disaster that was the 2020 season for the Eagles, we can't forget everything Pederson did for the organization.


When he was hired in 2016, he was not inheriting a great roster. The Eagles did have intrigue though, as only 3 months into his tenure they traded up in the draft to get their franchise QB in Carson Wentz. Pederson and Howie Roseman knew the Eagles would be a work in progress, but if the head coach could get the most out of Wentz they had immense potential. We saw flashes of it in 2016, but the Eagles ended up finishing with a 7-9 record and no playoffs.


Heading into the 2017 season, Pederson just sensed something special about the group the Eagles had. He preached many times during the preseason and training camp that he believed this team was ready to be a contender. Many analysts laughed at this take from Pederson, and even most fans did as well. Most people had the Eagles pegged at another 7-9 win season, with the Eagles hopefully gaining some more flashes from Wentz and their other young talent. No need to go over it again, but the Eagles surpassed all expectations and went on a huge run to start the season behind Pederson's aggressive play calling. Even after Wentz went down with a torn ACL only a few games before their playoff run, Doug was able to make Nick Foles conformable enough to outduel Tom Brady in the freaking super bowl. Obviously the players deserve a lot of credit, but Doug is incredibley responsible for bringing the first Super Bowl championship to the city of Philadelphia. I don't think anyone will deny that.

Credit: Miami Herald

The 4 year anniversary is today also, which is pretty cool. Best day of my life.


Although the Eagles often receive a lot of criticism for how they handeled the years after they won the whole thing, we can't ignore the success Pederson had through all the adversity. The Eagles made the playoffs in 2018 and 2019, even with an immense amount of injuries that we don't have enough time to list. Say all you want about the reasoning for these playoff runs, but coaching is such a huge part of it. When you have new guys entering the lineup every week, Pederson needed to find the best way to maximize their skills as well as the stars. He did that for guys like Josh Adams, Greg Ward and Boston Scott off the top of my head. Not many guys would be able to make the playoffs with the rosters Doug had in 2018 and 2019.


We already talked about the disaster that was the 2020 season, but I think it's important to note that the pandemic made a huge impact on the result of that season. I know everyone else was dealing with the same conditions, but it was really important for that Eagles team and zoom meetings instead of in person meetings didn't help. Heck, you see how much Nick Sirianni valued some of the Eagles veterans speaking to the team last season. Like I said earlier, I would've done exactly what the Eagles did in that situation but I have to give Doug some slack here.

Credit: pennlive.com

The right thing to do after the Eagles let him go was for Pederson to take the year off and just sit back. He has said after the fact that the year off really helped him. But right when there was a vacancy in the NFL, Pederson jumped right into it. He was one of the first guys to interview for the Jaguars head coach opening, and after Byron Leftwich pulled out of the running Pederson became the favorite. I think it was in question if Doug was even going to get a job after some reports came out in the past few weeks, but on Thursday night Jacksonville hired him.


I think the point of all this was just to show how much Doug did for the organization. The Super Bowl is obvious, but seeing what he was able to do afterwards through all the drama is really impressive. Maybe some Eagles fans still have a sour taste from 2020, but we have to just leave that be. Eagles fans have to root for Doug Pederson in 2022 and beyond.


Well, maybe besides from when the Jaguars will come to the Linc next season. That should be a super cool moment.

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