Doug Pederson

Pederson hasn't made call on going without offensive coordinator

Pederson hasn't made call on going without offensive coordinator

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said he's considering several options to replace departed offensive coordinator Frank Reich — including not having an offensive coordinator at all.

Pederson addressed the coaching opening in an interview with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski on his SiriusXM show, Basketball and Beyond with Coach K.

“I’m thinking through a lot of things and processing a lot of things right now, a lot of names," Pederson said. "I haven’t ruled out not having an offensive coordinator.

"But as a head coach and (with) some of the responsibilities that I have to do during the week and some of the other obligations, I’ve got to look at that, too. Because that’s where your offensive coordinator can really step in."

The interview is scheduled to be aired at 6 p.m. Thursday. Pederson's quotes come from a transcription provided by SiriusXM's communications department.

Reich, Pederson's offensive coordinator the last two years, left to become head coach of the Colts following the Eagles' Super Bowl win.

The Eagles also lost quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who became the Vikings' offensive coordinator.

It wouldn't be unprecedented for an offensive head coach like Pederson, who calls his own plays, to go without an official offensive coordinator, but it would be unusual.

"I’m processing a bunch of things," Pederson said. "I’m not going to rush into it, I’m going to make sure it’s the right person, the right fit for what we’re doing.

"I think that’s important too, that that person fits the culture and his way of thinking has to coincide with the way we’re thinking and … calling the plays and go from there.”

Doug Pederson doesn't want the power Andy Reid, Chip Kelly had

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USA Today Images

Doug Pederson doesn't want the power Andy Reid, Chip Kelly had

It was Bill Parcells in the late-90s, relaying a message from a friend, who first coined the phrase that has become synonymous with coaches wanting more personnel power. 

You remember the line. 

"If they want you to cook the dinner," Parcells said, "at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries." 

It turns out, Doug Pederson is just fine being head chef at the NovaCare Complex. 

Just about a day before he and his team flew to Minnesota for the week of practices and obligations leading up to Super Bowl LII, Pederson was asked in a small media session if he'd ever want to gain more personnel control. Pederson thought about the question pretty briefly. 

"Right now, I kind of like the way it's going," he answered. "It's going to take you away from football. If you do more personnel, you can't coach football."

If there was ever a time for Pederson to ask for more power, it's now, fresh off a brilliant season that ended with the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl title. But there's something so simple about Pederson that just seems to work for him. He'll let Howie Roseman and the front office handle that other stuff. He's a football coach and he wants to coach football. 

Anything else would just get in the way of that. 

The Eagles, of course, have a history of muddling these waters. During Andy Reid's 14-year run in Philadelphia, he gained more and more personnel control. He basically became head coach and GM, which isn't all that uncommon in the NFL. Just look up a little North toward New England, where Bill Belichick runs the entire operation. But even Reid grew tired of all that power and when he went to Kansas City, he told his new owner he was looking forward to getting back to simply coaching. 

And then there was the Chip Kelly fiasco. Eagles owner Jeff Lurie has basically said that he gave Kelly personnel control because he thought it was the only way to maximize Kelly and it was the only way to place all the blame at his feet when it blew up. Of course, we're paraphrasing a little here, but that's basically what happened. And did it ever blow up. Kelly the personnel man was largely to blame for Kelly the coach getting fired. 

Which brings us to Pederson. It would have been laughable if a couple years ago Pederson had walked into the NovaCare Complex and told them he wanted any personnel control. Back then, he was a head coaching candidate whom the Eagles liked, but wasn't thought of very highly around the league. He had a thin resume and there had to be plenty of skeptics inside and outside of the building about his coaching ability. But now, those questions have been answered and it would no longer be laughable if Pederson marched up to Lurie and said he wanted to play a bigger role in the front office. 

It just doesn't seem like he wants that. 

"I wanted to coach football," Pederson said. "We hire professionals to do personnel, with our input, as coaches. I get that. The personnel department and Howie can make the final decision, and I get that, but not without having extensive conversations with us first." 

Those conversations are key. Because as much as Pederson doesn't have the power, he's still involved with the power. Roseman's personnel department has done a good job of keeping Pederson and his coaching staff (specifically Jim Schwartz) involved. The word "collaboration" is a favorite of Lurie's and for good reason. It really wouldn't make much sense for a front office to go out and get players the coaching staff didn't agree with. To keep Parcells' analogy going, the guy who buys the groceries better know what his chef's specialties are. If he's an Italian cook, maybe keep the soy sauce on the shelf. 

The working relationship between the front office, coaching staff and scouting staff is incredibly important for the future of the franchise. All three parts need to be on the same page and when they're not, they need to be able to dialogue about it. 

"Our communication is extremely good," Pederson said. "If he has something, he comes right down to my office, or vice-versa and I go down to his. It goes back to the players, if you're not communicating even with your personnel staff and staying abreast of everything, that's when things can kind of put a little chink in your armor, but it's been great so far."

Pederson is just entering Year 3 as the Eagles' head coach and that's enough for him right now. Will it be in another five years? There's not really a way to tell. Some of his mentors — Reid, Don Shula and Mike Holmgren — all ended up wading into the waters of personnel control. But for now, that doesn't seem to be Pederson's plan. 

He's happy just cooking the dinner. And he's pretty good at it too.

Kapler wants Phillies to be bold — like the Super Bowl champs

Kapler wants Phillies to be bold — like the Super Bowl champs

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The manager’s opening speech is one of the grand traditions of spring training. Rules are covered (work hard, be on time, usually covers it), goals are established (Hey, everyone is tied for first place, to hell with the skeptics, let’s go out and win the World Series!) and an overall tone is set for camp and beyond.

Giving that speech for the first time is exciting and even a little nerve-racking. Gabe Kapler began thinking about what he would say to his team months ago. And now, with Phillies pitchers and catchers opening camp on Wednesday and the full squad set to report over the weekend and hit the fields on Monday, Kapler’s time to address the entire group for the first time is almost here.

“I know what that message is with a tremendous amount of clarity,” the new skipper, looking tan, muscular and ready to kick some ass, said Tuesday. “It’s critically important. It’s everything.”

Kapler was asked for a taste of what he will tell his troops.

“I can give you a little bit,” he said. “One of the questions I’ve been asking a lot of our players is what does it mean to play boldly? What does it mean to deliver a pitch boldly? What does it mean to take a swing in the batter’s box boldly? What does it mean to communicate boldly?”

Kapler went on to talk about conviction, courage and fearlessness, attributes he wants to see in his club. He wants to build an environment where there is no fear so his players can be comfortable and bold.

And if they are bold, they can shock some people.

Just like another team in town did recently.

“We would be foolish to not take cues from what the Eagles accomplished,” Kapler said of the Super Bowl champs. “Not just over the last couple weeks, but over the summer when coach (Doug) Pederson addressed his team and said, ‘This is what the world thinks and this is what we think you are. We get some development from our young quarterback, and we get some development on defense, we’re going to be much better than people think.’ 

"I think if everybody on our roster takes a small step forward, we have an opportunity to shock people. That’s the message we’re going to convey in camp. Ultimately, the message is we can win. It’s not like a delusional statement. It’s more like we all take that small step forward, we all get a little bit better, we all develop just enough where we surprise people.

“I think it means being very competitive when September rolls around. So being in the mix, being in the hunt, fighting for the National League East. I don’t think there has to be any major declaration made here. We’re fighting for the National League East in September.”

On paper, the Phillies don’t have the starting pitching to dethrone the Washington Nationals.

But Kapler is nothing if not positive. He runs on positive, can-do energy the way some people run on Wawa coffee.

“Yes,” he said when asked if the Phillies have the personnel to win.

He raved about what he has seen in early workouts from pitchers Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta, two big arms who know how to show it off in the bullpen.

Of course, the Phillies are still looking for more starting pitchers and may end up bringing in an arm in the coming days or weeks (see story).

Kapler has been in Clearwater bonding with early-arriving players, stressing boldness, for two weeks. He watched the Super Bowl at “a tiny wine bar in Tampa.” The fitness buff did not drink, but he had two bacon burgers, and you can bet he passed on the bun.

“It was one of my favorite three-hour stretches that I can remember in a really long time,” Kapler said. “It was quiet. I just locked into the game. It was really remarkable. And, obviously, we talked about the cues that we can take from the Eagles. We talked in this conversation about being bold. Well, those guys were nothing if not bold. The play-calling. The relentlessness on the field. Across the board, they played with boldness. So that was an inspiring day.”

Now, the ball has been handed off to the Phillies.

And Gabe Kapler has a message for the lads:

Be bold.