Some Love for the Coaches

Posted: December 23rd, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Some Love for the Coaches

Doug Pederson has one of the toughest jobs in the NFL. He is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. There is a ton of media coverage in Philly and that brings a lot of scrutiny. Eagles fans are passionate and demanding. Pederson understands all of this and does his best to handle it.

He delivered the city and the organization a Super Bowl in just his second season. He was seen as a combination of Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick, but somehow better.

The team struggled in 2018 and the critics came out. The Super Bowl year was somehow being credited to Frank Reich, who had magically become the greatest assistant coach in the history of sports. I don’t want to disparage Reich. He did a great job while here and has been terrific for the Colts. But this notion that he was the key to the Super Bowl seems utterly silly to me.

The key was Pederson. People don’t want to see that because of the struggles without Reich. Injuries have been a huge factor the past two seasons, but that seems to get lost in the shuffle.

Pederson’s critics should be pretty quiet about now. His team has now won three games in a row and his offense is clicking, despite the fact that he’s missing a lot of veteran players. Pederson and his staff have been able to put together creative gameplans. They have coached up young players and gotten them to play well at the most important part of the season.

The Eagles put up 432 yards on the #11 defense in the league with a trio of young receivers, a banged up star TE and a backup at RT. That’s not luck. That’s not an accident.

The coaches put together a strong gameplan. The Eagles were aggressive early. They came out throwing the ball, which probably surprised Dallas. Why throw when that is your weakest set of skill players? You show faith in them and in your star QB, that’s why. Plus, the other team won’t be expecting it.

Pederson had an excellent day as a play-caller. He used screens well. I loved the Wildcat with Greg Ward as the QB. He called a short, safe pass late in the game when most coaches would have just run the ball, scared of an incompletion.

Mike Groh, Press Taylor, Jeff Stoutland and Duce Staley also deserve credit. They all help with building the gameplan managing gameday. Groh has been a target for everyone for the past two years. It is time he gets some credit for the recent success of Wentz and the offense.

Jim Schwartz deserves credit as well. I bet most people would be shocked to know the Eagles are ninth in the NFL in yards allowed. They have had some bad games, but they have had more good ones than bad ones. For some reason, Schwartz is hated by at least a vocal minority. I do not understand why.

Schwartz has had Top 5 defenses in Tennessee, Buffalo and Philly. That tells you the man can coach. That doesn’t happen by accident.

On Sunday, Schwartz’s defense came up huge in a big game. They did give up 311 yards, but kept Dallas out of the end zone. The Cowboys were 3 for 14 on third downs and they were 0 for 2 in the Red Zone. The defense came up with a key takeaway when Dallas was in field goal range.

The Eagles did get lucky with Dak Prescott missing some throws and various receivers dropping passes, but that works both ways. The Eagles were unlucky in Miami when Ryan Fitzpatrick made some amazing throws and various receivers made amazing catches. It usually evens out in the end.

No one is saying that Schwartz, Groh or Pederson is perfect. Far from it. There is reason to criticize all three.

But give these men credit for handling some brutally tough circumstances this season and getting the Eagles to first place in late December.

There is one more big game for the players and coaches. They have to beat the Giants to clinch the division and a playoff spot.

Pederson has pushed the right buttons when it comes to the mental/emotional side of things. The Eagles played with more energy and emotion on Sunday. They played with a sense of urgency, while Dallas looked like they were playing in early-October mode.

I think Pederson will know how to handle this week and to have the Eagles ready for Sunday.

And I expect the whole staff to have another set of strong gameplans for their players. The coaches have been at their best in recent weeks and they need to keep that trend going.


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