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Packers’ Links to Super Bowl 52 – Doug Pederson

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.

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Rob Born

Someone else said it first but I popularized it: “Athleticism is important in athletic pursuits.” It took three years, but the Packers finally listened. My new mantra: “Trading down is fine, but never trade up.”

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1 Comment

  1. Empacador January 31, 2018

    Cool story bro time. About 12 years ago or so I was on a business trip in the UP. The company that owned us then had some of our European counterparts visiting here. There was this remote house that was more like a lodge that was also like some sort of game preserve/ranch. Driving into the place, the number of animals that were roaming around was staggering. Favre had “hunted” there and had been a frequent guest as there were photos all over the place of him. Canned hunts anyone? For entertainment when not hunting they would roll out this cannon and blast a few rounds in the evening.

    Regardless, the thing that stuck out the most when checking out the house was there was a cork board in the kitchen. Like you’d see in any typical house, nothing huge maybe 18″ X 18″ or so. But there were all these business cards tacked to it. And a hand written post-it note with Doug Pederson’s personal/cell number tacked right on the board. As Pederson has climbed the coaching ranks throughout the years I think about that post-it note occasionally and wonder if he still kept that same number. Too bad iPhones and Android weren’t around at that time, that trip had some great photo/recording opportunities.