I can't tell you why Doug Pederson is doing this. In two of his last three pressers now he’s taken on the Angry Doug persona, lashing out at reporters for asking legit questions about the Eagles’ quarterback situation.
On Sunday morning, he refused to take questions about Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, yelling that he was furious that the media had “put words in my mouth.”
You can watch it here.
He refused to explain what he meant, but most likely he was referring to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport Friday quoting unnamed sources as saying Foles will start against the Falcons Thursday in the Eagles’ season opener.
I can’t pretend to know what Pederson is thinking. He understands that “Will Carson Play” is one of the biggest stories in the NFL this summer and until it’s resolved he’s going to continue getting asked the same questions every time he meets with the media.
And if he was mad at Rapoport, well, Rap wasn’t even in the room. So he was basically furious at people who had nothing to do with why he was furious.
Pederson’s a smart guy. And when you try to figure out someone’s behavior, you start there.
I’ve known Pederson a long time. Since he was here in 1999 as Andy Reid’s opening-day starting quarterback. One thing I’ve learned is that he doesn’t do anything without a clear purpose in his mind.
With Pederson, things don't just happen. They happen because he wanted them to happen.
And if he really believes that leaving the Falcons guessing gives the Eagles a competitive advantage, then I don’t blame him for not announcing his starter. Wentz beat the Falcons in 2016 and Foles beat them last year, so I kind of feel like they know what to expect with either guy. But, heck, Pederson has won more Super Bowls than me, so I’m not going to question him there.
We'll keep asking because we have to keep asking, but he has every right not to answer.
What about his growing frustration with the media? I keep getting asked on Twitter whether I’m concerned about his demeanor in press conferences. What does it mean? What does it say about him?
And, you know what? I don't worry about it. Because I know with Pederson there’s always a method to his madness.
Now, Ray Rhodes used to blow up in pressers all the time when he was head coach of the Eagles, and with him, you worried because he was out of control. He was up there sweating and screaming and cursing, and you wondered if he would make it through the season.
With Pederson? You don’t get that sense. It all seems calculated. It all seems reasoned out. He sounds pissed but he doesn’t seem pissed, if that makes sense.
Everything Pederson does or says is carefully thought out and planned to try and achieve a specific result.
Maybe he’s trying to create the old “Us vs. Them” mentality on his football team and prove he’s got their back. Maybe he’s looking at new ways to motivate a team that won a Super Bowl just seven months ago. Maybe he thinks being a tough guy will resonate among his coaches and players.
I don’t know. I can’t speak for any of the other writers, but I couldn’t care less what tone Pederson takes at a press conference. Press conferences are nice for getting information but they don’t win games.
What I do know is that every time Pederson trusted his instincts last year it worked, and there was a parade up Broad Street to celebrate.
Pederson’s outbursts may not be the most pleasant thing to sit through, but 2017 earned Pederson a lot of equity. If he thinks being pissy to a bunch of writers on a Sunday morning four days before the season opener is the best route to take to prepare for the season, then so be it.
He’s earned the right to do whatever he wants. However he wants to do it.