As with many coaches, Doug Pederson used his role as an offensive coordinator to become a head coach. Pederson was on the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff from 2009 through 2012, and then joined the Chiefs as their offensive coordinator from 2013 through 2015. Becoming a head coach for the Eagles, after coaching just seven years in the NFL is a meteoric rise for this 49-year old nice guy.
In his two years as the head man, Pederson went from a 7-9 record to a sterling 13-3 mark this past season. It helped matters that the Eagles had the second pick in the 2016 draft, and chose QB Carson Wentz. In 2018, the Eagles achieved their first playoff win since 2008, and their first playoff appearance since 2004.
Pederson has gotten great credit for his nearly flawless play calling against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game. The Eagles had a conservative game plan in their 15-10 win over Atlanta in the divisional round, whereas they surprised Minnesota by letting QB Nick Foles loose. Foles rang up 352 yards in only 33 throws, including completions of 53, 42, 41, and 36 yards, and he threw for three touchdowns.
The connection with the Packers? Pederson served as Brett Favre’s backup from 1995-98 and again from 2001-04. In between those two stints, Pederson did become a starting quarterback for a time with both the Eagles and the Browns.
While with the Packers, Pederson got a Super Bowl ring when Green Bay prevailed over New England in Super Bowl 31.
Though Pederson’s playing career was undistinguished, he managed to stay in the league for 14 years. Immediately after his final season with Green Bay in 2004, he went into coaching, starting at the high school level.
While he got almost no playing time in Green Bay, Pederson appears to have paid close attention to the styles of a couple of good head coaches. In his first tour with the Packers, Mike Holmgren was the head coach, and in his second tour it was Mike Sherman.
Pederson replaced the controversial Chip Kelly as the Eagles’ head coach. Not too surprisingly, Pederson is a West Coast offense proponent. That preference was quickly attended to in Philadelphia, as QB Sam Bradford was traded to Minnesota, and Carson Wentz was drafted to be his successor.
Pederson has had a career associated with talented quarterbacks. In addition to Favre, he served as a backup to Dan Marino and Donovan McNabb. As the offensive coordinator for three years on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City, he is credited with helping Alex Smith to develop.
Under Pederson, Wentz was flourishing in his second season as a pro, before suffering an ACL tear in week 14. His passer rating for the abbreviated year was 101.9.
In two years, Pederson has taken the Eagles from a 7-9 team to the Super Bowl – that’s Lombardi-like coaching. Should the Eagles win on Sunday, Doug Pederson will be the toast of Philadelphia.