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When Doug Pederson was named head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles three years ago, few knew what to make of Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie’s bold move. Pederson went from a career back-up quarterback – whose only stint as a head coach was with a high-school team – to taking the reins of the long-suffering franchise in a city growing impatient for the ultimate victory. Could he really be the one to lead us to the Lombardi trophy?

But one person never doubted this vision, and he’s the person who mattered most: Pederson himself. From the start, he honed in on the highest prize. The new coach was deliberate with his words and actions and, rather quickly, the team responded. Fans got on board as they witnessed win after win, thanks to passionate play and a nothin’-can-stop-us attitude. It wasn’t easy, but Pederson earned the respect of his players and fans right along with that championship trophy.

No doubt then that the coach’s approach to overcoming odds and winning it all transcends football strategy. In his 2018 memoir “Fearless,” Pederson shares the principles – risk-taking, building chemistry and faith – that have guided him through good times and bad. After spending the last few years observing and admiring Pederson’s interactions both on and off the field – in his South Jersey hometown and on the road –  it’s clear Doug Pederson is the guy who knows what it takes to lead a team to decisive victory. So we’re celebrating Doug Pederson.

Join us on May 7 when Pederson sits down with SJ Magazine’s Marianne Aleardi for a one-on-one conversation about leadership. This is the ultimate opportunity to learn what it takes to win from a champion. For tickets and more information, visit sjmagazine.net.

 


 

The Impact of Coach Pederson
Leaders in sports, business and the arts weigh in on Coach Doug Pederson’s leadership.

Dick Vermeil
Eagles Head Coach 1976-82
I started coaching in the NFL in 1969, and I have not witnessed anyone coming into the NFL who took charge of the leadership position with any more positive, appropriate and successful approaches than Doug Pederson. To me, Doug represents the modern-era Don Shula, Tom Landry and Bill Walsh all wrapped in one great leadership package! He’s special. I’m his biggest fan.

Debra DiLorenzo
President/CEO, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey
The Coach demonstrates humility and quiet confidence, yet he is competitive, intensely focused and has the unique ability to make difficult decisions at critical times under pressure – a true leader. I believe the combination of these qualities make all the difference between winning or losing in football or in life. He is one special guy!

Don Bell
CBS 3 Sports Director
I’ve always admired Doug’s ability to remain refreshingly human. He knows when to be empathetic and listen to players, and allows them to take ownership of the program. It takes a supremely confident person to accept and implement input from the people you lead. Doug does it year in and year out.

 

Pam Jenoff
NYT Bestselling Author & Clinical Professor, Rutgers Law Doug Pederson was the Eagles’ quarterback the first year I had season tickets, so his return as coach was very much a homecoming for me. He is a true leader, resilient in the tough times and gracious in victory, a constant through highs and lows. He will always be revered for bringing the Lombardi trophy home and showing the world what Philly can do.

Sal Paolantonio
ESPN National Correspondent
“Tough, caring, good mentor, great coach, husband, father – all these things are true about Doug Pederson. But the one reason why he beat the greatest coach in NFL history in the Super Bowl with a back-up quarterback is the fact that Pederson is an innovator: he’s smart. He’s not afraid to embrace change, listen to others, and let his players be themselves. He’s gonna win more Super Bowls, I know that for sure.”

Carli Lloyd
U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist
You can tell the Eagles love playing for Doug. It’s obvious that he energizes, empowers and injects confidence and belief into all his players. You can see the special connection they all share.

 

Mindy Holman
Chairman, Holman Enterprises
I admire Doug for ranking character and heart more highly than Combine stats. And I admire that the title of his book, “Fearless,” was inspired by Isaiah 41:10.

 

 

Vince Papale
Former Eagle & inspiration for Disney’s “Invincible”
Doug Pederson is without a doubt one of the most well-rounded men I ever met, and he reminds me of my coach, Dick Vermeil. Doug has proven his coaching prowess by bringing Philly the ultimate NFL prize: a Super Bowl Championship. He stands alone in that respect. Like Coach Vermeil, I see Doug as a modern-day renaissance man. He is a devoted husband and father and treats everybody with respect. If I had one more impossible dream come true it would be to play for Coach Pederson. That would be the ultimate!

Jason Springer
Co-Host: The Heart of Sports with Jason Springer & Jeff Cohen on 610 ESPN
The impact Doug Pedersen has had on the Eagles organization, the players he coached and fans rooting for his team cannot be measured simply by wins and losses. The memories he has helped create for Eagles fans will be remembered and recounted in stories for future generations. He has been a true leader, both on and off the field.

Les Vail
President/CEO, Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce It’s clear he is a natural leader on and off the field. He not only inspires his players and coaches but the fans and community as well. This year was a measurement of his leadership as his team believed and stuck to the plan he developed to once again bring them back to the playoffs, when things were not looking good. That’s a leader.

 


 

“FEARLESS”
An excerpt from Doug Pederson’s 2018 book

My whole sports career I have been the underdog. Everybody has bet against me. I was always trying to prove myself. As a backup quarterback every year, I had to prove I belonged. As a coach, I learned that very few believed in me.

This has been the case for as long as I can remember. At Ferndale High School I played basketball, and we did not have a very good team. We weren’t expected to win, but we loved the game. We figured out ways to beat some good opponents by playing team basketball. Our coach preached about making three passes before shooting, constantly moving the ball. So with our strategy, we sometimes figured out a way to win even though we weren’t supposed to.

In football more was expected of our team, but we were underdogs in one game. The Ferndale Golden Eagles were the number-two-ranked team in the state, behind the Burlington-Edison Tigers, and we went on the road to play them. They were favored, but we embraced the challenge. We returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and then missed the extra point. That was all we needed. We ended up winning the game 6–0.

I was reminded of that game during the 2017 postseason. As I mentioned, nobody believed in us, even though we had earned home-field advantage in the NFC throughout the playoffs. The oddsmakers said we should lose every one of our postseason games. We felt disrespected. It made me mad, and I know it made the players mad too. I didn’t verbalize it and show my anger, but it simmered beneath the surface. We played Atlanta as three-point underdogs at home. Then we hosted Minnesota and were three-and-a-half-point underdogs. Against New England, we were something like four-and-a-half- or five-point underdogs by kickoff.

Once we lost Carson, who was an MVP candidate, a lot of people thought we were just another team. But we were 13–3 in the regular season. We had the fourth-best defense in the National Football League statistically. We scored more points than every team except the Rams and Patriots. We had the third-ranked rushing offense. We had the eighth-best third-down conversion percentage. Everyone forgot we had the fourth-best takeaway/giveaway differential in the league.

So we embraced the underdog role. We used it as fuel and emotion. My approach was this—if it stirs something in us as players and coaches, let’s use it. We trusted one another when no one else did. It was calculated to a degree. But it was real.

It really hit me when Lane Johnson and Chris Long wore dog masks after the Atlanta game. I didn’t know what they were up to until I saw them walking around the field. I believe in allowing players to show their personalities, and here were Lane and Chris, showing the world that we embraced our role. We’d been treated like dogs and were underappreciated. That tied right into my messaging.

This attitude reflects our city. Philadelphia is a blue-collar town with tough, hard-working people. We play in South Philly where they have always prided themselves on earning everything they have. They take nothing for granted. So our fans’ mentality inspired us. When we played the Vikings the next week, we saw a lot more dog masks in the stands.

Excerpted from the book Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion by Doug Pederson with Dan Pompei. © Doug Pederson by Hachette Books.  Reprinted with permission of Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.  All rights reserved

 


 

Doug Pederson’s Career Through the Years

1993
The Washington native makes his NFL debut on October 24 as the Miami Dolphins back-up quarterback when starter Scott Mitchell leaves the game with a shoulder injury. Pederson leads Miami to a win, marking legendary coach Don Shula’s 325th career victory.

1993-2005
Besides the Dolphins, Pederson serves as a back-up quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. He’s part of the Packer teams that win Super Bowl XXXI, two NFC championships and six division titles. In 1999, in nine starts for the Eagles, he completes 119 passes for 1,276 yards and seven touchdowns.

2005-2009
Pederson retires from the NFL and becomes head coach for Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, La. He leads the private Christian high school to its first district title in 2007.

2009
Pederson is hired by Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid as the offensive quality control coach. He’s promoted to quarterback coach in 2011.

2013
Pederson follows Reid to the Kansas City Chiefs to serve as offensive coordinator.

2016
Pederson is hired as
Eagles head coach, replacing Chip Kelly.

2017
With rookie Carson Wentz as starting quarterback, the Eagles finish the season 7-9, missing the playoffs.

2018
He leads the Eagles to a 13-3 regular-season record, an NFC East title, the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and the first Super Bowl title in franchise history, with a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots.

2019
Pederson’s Eagles finish the regular season with a 9-7 record. In the post season, they upset the Chicago Bears 16-15 in the wild card game to advance to the divisional round, where they lose 20–14 to the top-seeded New Orleans Saints, ending hopes of defending their Super Bowl title.

 


 

Doug Pederson’s Favorite South Jersey Things

In our coverage of the Eagle’s road to super bowl victory, Eagles Insider Doug Spadaro interviewed Coach Pederson on all that he loves about South Jersey. Moving back to Moores­town in 2016, Pederson notes, was an easy call. “We love Moorestown – it’s got that hometown feel, but we can get into Philly really quickly to see a show or go out to dinner. But we really love just getting pizza on Main Street in Moorestown, seeing friends, hanging out with our kids. It just has a nice hometown America feel.” Check out what he mentioned as his favorite things about South Jersey.

Favorite Pizza/Catering
Maurizio’s Bistro, Moorestown
“It’s a new place, and it’s fantastic. The Grandma Pizza is delicious. We’ve gotten to know the owners and love them. Sometimes we’ll have friends over to the house after a game, and Maurizio’s will cater. It’s a great way to cap off the day, especially after a win.”

Favorite Italian
Barone’s Tuscan Grill Restaurant, Moorestown
“Excellent Italian food and a great atmosphere. Another longtime favorite of ours.”

Favorite Sushi
Yokohama Sushi and Hibachi, Maple Shade
“We love the sushi, love the place. We knew it when we were there the first time, and it’s really great,” he says.

Favorite Golf Course
“We’re members at Laurel Country Club. What a tremendous golf course. But at the same time, when we go there, we’re just Doug and Jeannie. They know I’m the head coach of the Eagles, but to them I’m just a member. People have gotten to know us, and we’ve enjoyed playing the course and socializing and having a great time.”

Favorite Walk
“No favorite walk in particular, but where we live it’s very wooded and out of the way. We can actually walk up and down our street and our neighborhood, and it’s picturesque. It’s a long way Philadelphia and the hustle and bustle. We love the peace and quiet and all our great neighbors.”

Favorite Grocery Store
“Wegmans in Centerton Square in Mount Laurel. I can’t say I’m the one doing a lot of the shopping, but that place everything and more. It’s a great, great grocery store and a whole lot more than that.”

 


 

Pederson on SJ pages
SJ Magazine has loved covering the coach and his team

DOUG PEDERSON: THE COACH THEY SAID WOULDN’T WIN
By Dave Spadaro | February 2018
The Eagles coach proved the doubters wrong – and made some incredible memories for all of us.

SNAPSHOTS ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY
By Sal Paolantonio | March 2018
After sending daily web reports from the Super Bowl in the week leading up to the game, ESPN’s SalPal wrapped up the season for us.

 

 

Q&A: JEANNIE PEDERSON
By Dave Spadaro | September 2018
The wife of the famous Super Bowl champion is warm and wonderful.

THE NEW NORMAL
By Dave Spadaro | September 2018
SJ Magazine photographer David Michael Howarth spent the day inside the Eagle’s training camp.

 

 

THE STORY OF DOUG PEDERSON
By Dave Spadaro | June 2016
The new Eagles coach had just come home – to the city he once played for and to the South Jersey community he called home.

April 2019
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