Doug Pederson’s Leadership Skills Undeniable
By Rob Maaddi
Don’t count the Eagles out under Doug Pederson.
A 25-20 win at San Francisco on Sunday Night Football didn’t surprise me I picked the Eagles to win 23-22 and finally got one right because we’ve seen this before.
When the Eagles have to win, they usually do.
In 2017, the Eagles didn’t face a must-win situation until the playoffs. They went 3-0 and captured the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.
In 2018, they had to win the last three games behind Nick Foles and get help to earn a wild-card spot. One loss in any of the final three games would’ve eliminated them from contention. They won all three, got in the playoffs and beat Chicago in the wild-card game before losing at New Orleans.
Last year, they had to win the last four to reach the postseason. Again, one loss in any of the final four games would’ve ended their season. They won all four to clinch the NFC East.
So, that’s 11-2 in must-win games under Pederson, 7-0 in the regular season.
The win over the Niners doesn’t qualify as a “must-win” game because it was only Week 4. But the Eagles desperately needed it and they found a way to get the victory over the defending NFC champions despite missing six starters on offense.
“These guys don’t quit,” Pederson said. “It’s a resilient group. I’m so happy to be able to coach and lead them. It doesn’t matter what the
adversity is, what they’re faced with, these guys seem to rally around each other. This is a tough road game to come out here on the road traveling East coast to West coast, play on a Sunday night. It’s tough, but they seem to find a way and my hats off to them. I’m excited for those guys in the locker room.”
Pederson gets plenty of criticism for his playcalling and his offensive scheme but his leadership skills are undeniable. He’s a master motivator, players love playing for him and they rally around him.
“The guys did a good job all week of coming together and building this thing together,” Carson Wentz said. “It was just a huge team win. Everybody all around, offense, defense, special teams making plays when they needed to. … You can’t really make it up, the injuries and the situations that we’ve been put in. But that’s the hand we’re dealt and guys have been ready. They’ve been working their tail off for their moment when it comes. You saw a bunch of guys making plays that maybe were on practice squad last week or different things and obviously the O-Line, a lot of young guys that have been filling in and stepping up and doing an amazing job. Hats off to the coaches for getting these guys ready, hats off to these guys for staying ready and being locked in the way they were.”
Hats off to Carson, too. His stats weren’t pretty but he willed his team to victory and sole possession of first place in the NFC Least at the quarter-point of the season.