It’s been a while since we heard from Doug Pederson, but the Eagles’ former head coach, along with his son, NFL Draft TE prospect Josh Pederson, sat down to talk to John Clark about the draft process and his departure from Philadelphia. Near the end of the discussion, Doug even noted that the Eagles have a great history with developing tight ends, and that would be a good spot for Josh to land.
About halfway through the interview, Clark dives into Doug leaving the Eagles organization. Pederson said that he has found closure in the months since, and he knows that coaching in the NFL is a tough business.
“Even when I got into high school coaching, it’s about winning and winning championships — winning a State Championship in high school, a National Championship in college, and, obviously, a Super Bowl in the NFL. And, for me, you know, I was able to accomplish that in the NFL, and I was able to accomplish that in a great city of Philadelphia, and a place that I played, a place that I worked for in my past, and obviously became a head coach for five years, and so, from a closure standpoint, I just think about those great times, those great moments I have in the five years.”
He went on to say that he doesn’t focus on those things, but rather focuses on the good times and the good people he was able to work alongside, and is proud of what he was able to accomplish.
Pederson was asked if he felt he deserved to be fired, and he admitted that he would’ve really loved an opportunity to fix some of the issues they had and turn things around, because he feels like he would’ve been able to do that. But, the former head coach noted that he understands where Lurie was coming from and why he made the decision moving forward.
When asked if his getting fired was because he wanted to hire his own coaches, Pederson said that he always stands up for the guys he wants surrounding him. He went on to say that as a head coach, he thinks you deserve that opportunity to have your guys around you, and then it’s on him if things don’t go the way they want. Whether that’s coaches, players, or front office people, it’s important to have guys around that are loyal.
Pederson agreed that coming off a Super Bowl win, followed by playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019, he thought that the group would have a couple more years to turn things around, but ultimately, the former head coach says it’s, “water under the bridge.”
“I’ve had such an outpouring of love and support and congratulations, that that’s what keeps me going. That’s what allows me to have that closure that you asked me about, from the fans, even people from around the league that have reached out, and that outpouring — it just goes to show, for the last five years, we did things right and I’m going to continue to do that.”
Pederson was offered a chance to clear up reports about his and Carson Wentz’s relationship near the end of the season. He said that he understands where the QB was coming from because it’s difficult when you’re the starter and you get benched.
“I do believe there’s a bit of a misnomer out there, where Carson and I were on such bad terms, and I’ve never felt that way. I’ve always felt like I was going to do the right thing for the Philadelphia Eagles, but yet I understand what he was feeling and what he was going through. I know there was frustration there. So, I still have a lot of respect, and we drafted him five years ago to be the guy, and I’m excited to see what he does with the Colts now.”
However, Pederson didn’t hesitate when asked if Hurts could be “the guy” for the Eagles.
“I think he can. He’s got such a great — a lot like Carson — he’s got such a great leadership style. Guys really gravitate to him. His work ethic is second-to-none. I think the coaching staff, if they’re patient with him and really teach, and dial things in for him, and really tailor the offense around his skillset, he’s going to have success.”