‘Keep yourself aggressive’

Doug Pederson’s Super Bowl-winning approach to coaching:

Doug Pederson never stopped being aggressive this season — not after Carson Wentz went down and not when the Super Bowl was on the line with Nick Foles under center.

Pederson’s play calling all season was deemed “unorthodox” by many, but after the Super Bowl there’s a better word for it: Ballsy.

Pederson made those calls all season long, throwing deep on running downs and running on third and long with great success. He threw a flea flicker in the playoffs against the best defense in football and it worked! He didn’t back down in the Super Bowl even though he was across the field from the greatest defensive mind of this generation in Bill Belichick.

Pederson outcoached the best coach in the history of the game, and it was never more obvious than on two fourth down plays that won the Eagles the team’s first championship in 57 years.

Pederson loves going for it on fourth down, something he’s done quite often since taking over before last season. In two years the Eagles opted to go for it on fourth down 53 times in the regular season, converting 13 in 2016 and 17 this season. Last year, only Jacksonville went for it on fourth down more than the Eagles, but no team had more conversions than the Birds. This season, only the Packers went for it more times than Philly, and no team converted more.

The Eagles opponents this season were just 4-for-18 in the regular season on fourth down, and just 2-for-6 in the playoffs. The Eagles were a perfect 3-for-3 in the playoffs on fourth down.

But it’s how the Eagles converted their fourth down attempts in the Super Bowl — and when Pederson opted to roll the dice on fourth down — that was the key to Sunday’s victory. …

Foles became the first quarterback to throw and catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl, and Pederson became a play-calling legend. …

“You really want to know what we call it,” Pederson said after the game. “Philly Special.”

“You know, I trust my players,” he added. “I trust the coaches. I trust my instincts. I trust everything that I’m doing and I want to maintain that aggressiveness with the guys. In games like this against a great opponent, you’ve got to make those tough decisions that way and keep yourself aggressive.”

Besides Foles becoming the first quarterback to catch a pass in the Super Bowl, another incredible thing about last night’s game? I think there was only a single punt in the entire game.


Discover more from Tom Shakely

Subscribe (free or paid) to keep reading and get full access.

Continue Reading