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Doug Pederson emerges from the 2016 NFL Coach Class



PHILADELPHIA (AP) Doug Pederson was too close to Andy Reid to get approval from fans when the Philadelphia Eagles hired him to replace Chip Kelly.

Pederson was Reid's first starting quarterback in Philadelphia in 1999 when he coached rookie Donovan McNabb. Then Pederson was Reid's assistant coach for seven seasons with the Eagles and Chiefs.

Because Reid never won the Big One: he is the most victorious coach in the history of the franchise and led Philadelphia to five games for the NFC title and one loss in the Super Bowl 14 seasons between 1999-2012 – the fans did not want their protege.

Adam Gase and Ben McAdoo were popular elections during the coaching search in 2016, but Gase went to Miami and McAdoo stayed with the Giants. The Eagles even considered Tom Coughlin, but they chose Pederson instead.

Gase is 16-17 in two seasons in Miami. McAdoo has already been fired. Other coaches hired that year: Hue Jackson has 1-31 in Cleveland; Dirk Koetter is 14-18 in Tampa Bay; Tennessee fired Mike Mularkey on Monday; and San Francisco fired Chip Kelly after one season.

Even veteran NFL executive Mike Lombardi criticized Pederson after he led the Eagles to a 7-9 record in his first season.

"Everyone knows that Pederson is not a head coach," Lombardi said before the season began. "He could be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I've seen in my more than 30 years in the NFL."

Lombardi finally admitted he was wrong, but it was not until Pederson led the Eagles to a 15-10 victory over Atlanta in the divisional tiebreaker.

"I'm wrong," Lombardi said on his podcast later. "Doug Pederson was much better than I thought he would be in terms of his ability to lead that team … For me, when you win a postseason game and you defeat a team you do not like, you defeat Matt Ryan and Nick Foles play well, I think you deserve it, I think I was wrong about how far I went with Doug, I'm not sure if he's a great coach, but I was wrong about how far I got. "

Pederson lost to MVP candidate Carson Wentz, nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, linebacker Jordan Hicks, return specialist Darren Sproles, and special teams captain Chris Maragos. However, his team tied a franchise record with 13 wins, won the NFC N ° 1 and is now a Super Bowl victory.

The Eagles (14-3) are the hosts of the Minnesota Vikings (14-3) on Sunday in the NFC championship game. Once again, Philadelphia is a homeless person.

Pederson does not care about public opinion.

"I do not pay much attention," he said earlier in the season. "I'm focused on this soccer team, on this list, these guys."

Pederson is popular in the locker room. He spent 10 seasons in the NFL primarily as a backup quarterback with Miami, Green Bay, Philadelphia and Cleveland. He consults with a players' council to make sure that problems are handled. After performing practical practices before the last game of the regular season, players wanted to place pads during the rest week. They told Pederson and he quickly accepted.

"He relates to us," said Corey Graham. "He knows exactly what we're going through in certain situations, we want to play for a guy like that who understands you and wants to help you."

Pederson did not have much trainer pedigree before owner Jeffery Lurie took a chance on him. He was the offensive coordinator in his last three seasons in Kansas City, but Reid usually called the plays. Pederson, unlike Reid, prefers a more balanced offense. The Eagles run the ball more now than with Reid. Pederson is also aggressive. He likes to go fourth down. Against the Falcons, LeGarrette Blount ran from 1 on fourth attempt to give the Eagles a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter.

"It's unorthodox sometimes in a good way," said offensive coordinator Frank Reich. "There's an art to play and Doug has had a great year calling for plays."

NFL AP website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https: // twitter .com / AP-RobMaaddi


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