It’s been a very eventful offseason so far for the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ve re-signed core franchise players in Brandon Graham and Carson Wentz. They’ve acquired very significant pieces with Jordan Howard, DeSean Jackson & Malik Jackson. The team even drafted aggressively, making the most of minimal picks, and showing that they are in win-now mode. But who is the main beneficiary of all of these moves?
Sure, this adds to Howie Roseman’s growing legacy but he’s not the one in the trenches with the players. Is he responsible for the team’s success? Yes but to a certain degree. But it was Jeffery Lurie’s trust in Doug Pederson that pushed the team down this road.
In the summer of 2016, the Eagles held a very extensive coaching search that included candidates like Hue Jackson, Adam Gase, Pat Shurmur and plenty of others. None of them fit the mold and culture that Mr. Lurie wanted to instill at the time. Then came Doug Pederson, who the organization had great familiarity with. He was the man pounding the table for Nick Foles as the Eagles’ QB coach back in 2012 before following Andy Reid to Kansas City, where he eventually became the offensive coordinator. Dating back even further, Pederson was once a quarterback for this team.
After his first year as a Head Coach, one where he had to wade his team through Strip-Club allegations, contract holdouts, shock-trades, PED suspensions, and Umbrella related arrests, Pederson made every effort to rid the Eagles of anyone and anything that would dampen his culture. One year later, they were Super Bowl champions.
No 1,000 yard receiver. No 1,000 yard rusher. No 10+ sack artist. No lockdown cornerback. Just a humble and hungry locker room who were willing to go to the ends of the earth for one another.
Pederson was the crucial third piece that the Lurie-Roseman tandem needed. He fit the ideal offensive minded coach that team needed and the leader that this organization needed going forward. Everything that followed his hiring led to this very moment.
Last night, the Eagles signed Carson Wentz to a $128 million contract extension that sent ripple effects all through Philadelphia. Many believe it was the right move to sign their 24-year-old Franchise QB, others are fearful of the injury-prone label that has been placed on Carson Wentz.
Now here’s the truth of the matter, the front office wouldn’t have done it without believing in Coach Pederson. Sure, it’s Wentz that signed the deal but Pederson’s offensive wizardry and the fact that he led this team to a Super Bowl win with a backup QB, that shines through.
Pederson has proven in back-to-back seasons now that it doesn’t matter how much adversity he or his team faces, nothing will force them to tap out. They just keep fighting, keep pushing, no matter how dark it seems. The entire offense found ways to dig deeper when all hope seemed lost last season and even in a world where Carson Wentz does suffer an injury, the development of Nate Sudfeld as a QB2, someone that is now ready to come in and carry the load if needed, can be attributed to Pederson’s coaching.
The Eagles have worked tirelessly to build a coaching tree that focuses on QB growth and it doesn’t take many comparisons to see just how much Wentz has flourished since his first snap against the Cleveland Browns in 2016.
Just imagine what he’s going to do with a reloaded offense and a healthy gunslinger. ‘The new norm’ that Pederson referenced after winning his first Super Bowl ring is far more than just a cliche, it’s a reality.