Doug Pederson’s “emotional intelligence” was a big selling point when the Philadelphia Eagles hired him as head coach in 2016.
Since then, we’ve seen different examples of how Pederson handles his players. The team’s 20-12 record in that span would indicate he’s done a good job in that regard.
But now things are getting more serious than ever. The Eagles are set to play their first playoff game of the Pederson era.
And in preparation for that, Philadelphia’s head coach is leaning on players who have not only been there before — but who have also won the whole damn thing. Via ESPN:
Eagles coach Doug Pederson has asked players on the roster with Super Bowl rings, including Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Torrey Smith, to address the team over the course of the last week or so. The message? Don’t make the game bigger than it is, but respect the opportunity at hand. “You’re not in this position too often, especially as a number one seed playing at home,” said Smith. “Don’t let it pass you by and have any regrets.”
Jenkins, Long, Smith are just a few players on the Eagles’ roster who have won a Lombardi trophy. Others include: Darren Sproles, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Maragos, Corey Graham, Dannell Ellerbe, and Will Beatty.
One interesting note about the players who spoke is that they weren’t ALL Super Bowl champions. Brent Celek, who has been in the league for 11 years, also addressed his teammates. Via PennLive:
“He said, ‘It’s been nine years since I’ve been to this point,’” [Vinny Curry] said. “It’s like, ‘Damn, think about that.’ Like I said, ain’t nobody trying to sit on the couch next weekend and watch the game. That’s going to be a sick feeling. ... We’re going to leave it all out there on Saturday.”
The feeling here is the value of “championship experience” can be very overstated. I remember when people used the fact that Cary Williams won a ring with the Ravens as a selling point for when the Eagles signed him in free agency. And what did that really matter? He didn’t play well, pissed everyone off, and eventually got cut.
With that said, I don’t think it hurts for the veteran players to share their experiences and perspective with the younger guys Maybe it can help the players emotionally prepare for the playoffs.
Emotional intelligence, after all.