Buddy Ryan

'Man up!' Rex Ryan tore into Doug Pederson after brutal loss to Cowboys

'Man up!' Rex Ryan tore into Doug Pederson after brutal loss to Cowboys

Doug Pederson kinda-sorta guaranteed the Philadelphia Eagles would go down to Texas and beat the Dallas Cowboys. Then he walked his words back a bit.

Then the Birds went down to Dallas and got their butts handed to them by the Cowboys.

Pederson stepped up and took responsibility for the ugly loss, calling it one of the two worst losses of his career.

Owning up for the pathetic effort isn't the same as "manning up," at least according to former head coach Rex Ryan who went in hard at Pederson this morning on ESPN's Get Up.

"Doug Pederson set the tone for the whole game," Ryan said. "You see the Cowboys' take on it, 'hey, he guaranteed it.' You know what he did? He backed down on what he said. In his locker room, whether he said it or not, you put in there that you really don't believe it. To me, man, pull a Buddy Ryan. If you're gonna say it, double down. My dad would have doubled down and he would have beat Dallas, like he always did."

"I get it, you won a Super Bowl and all that. Coach Frank Reich might have had something to do with that also. You're a legend. I'm just telling you right now, man up. Philly wants you to say, 'I'm going to beat Dallas' and go out and do it. Now he whimpers away. I lost some respect there."

For Doug's part, he told reporters after the game that he didn't regret his declaration

“I just felt like I had a lot of confidence in this football team, a lot of trust, a lot of faith in the guys,” Pederson said. “Had a good week of preparation. Quite honestly, after a game like this, we all have to step back, look in the mirror, especially myself. It starts with me. This is one of those games that I take personal from that standpoint. We didn’t play well and that’s personal on me. I gotta get that fixed.” 

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More on the Eagles

Roob's 10 observations: Nick Foles' strange career, Jason Peters' age, 2018 predictions

Roob's 10 observations: Nick Foles' strange career, Jason Peters' age, 2018 predictions

Nick Foles’ strange career, Jim Schwartz’s remarkable defense, Jason Peters' age, some all-time Eagles opening-day records, a prediction for the 2018 season and much more.

It's an opening-day 2018 edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations! 

And don't forget to watch the game tonight (8:20 p.m., NBC10). 

1. Here’s why I think Nick Foles drives everybody crazy: Almost all of his career games have been either really, really incredible or really, really bad. There is very little middle ground with Foles, and the numbers support that. Foles has played in 47 games in his career in which he’s thrown 10 or more passes. He’s had a passer rating under 70 in 12 of them and over 85 in 29 of them. That means he’s only had a rating from 70 to 85 — which is a huge, huge range — six times in 47 games! So he’s frequently extremely good and occasionally crappy but only rarely mediocre. 

2. The Eagles have allowed fewer points at home than any team in the NFL in two years under Jim Schwartz. And it’s not close. The Eagles’ defense has given up 220 points in 18 games at the Linc since opening day 2016. That’s 12.2 per game, and that’s insane. The Vikings (14.5) and Ravens (15.2) are next-best, so the Eagles are allowing nearly 2 1/2 points fewer points per game at home than anybody else. That includes playoff opponents, too. Schwartz is a genius.

3. Five predictions for 2018: 1) Nelson Agholor goes over 1,000 yards, 2) Corey Clement catches over 50 passes, 3) Derek Barnett gets 12 1/2 sacks, 4) Eagles record 50 sacks as a team for the first time since 2002, 5) Dallas Goedert catches at least 40 passes.

4. The most catches in NFL history by a rookie tight end is Keith Jackson’s 81 for the Eagles back in 1988. What an incredible achievement. To this day, only eight players in NFL history have had more catches as a rookie. Only two rookie tight ends have ever come within 25 catches of Jackson’s record, both with the Giants — Jeremy Shockey (74 in 2002) and Evan Engram (64 last year).

5. Here are some Eagles opening-day records:

Passing yards: 371, Ron Jaworski, vs. Redskins, 1982 

Rushing yards: 201, Duce Staley, at Cowboys, 2000 

Receiving yards:179, Tommy McDonald, vs. Steelers, 1963 

Yards from scrimmage: 262, Duce Staley, at Cowboys, 2000   

Sacks: 3.0, Reggie White, at Packers, 1991 

Longest TD pass: 90 yards, Donovan McNabb to Hank Baskett, vs. Rams, 2008

Longest TD run: 81 yards, Swede Hanson, at Packers, 1934

Longest interception return: 34 yards, Joe Scarpati, vs. Browns, 1969                   

Longest fumble return: 70 yards, Reggie White, at Redskins, 1987

Longest punt return: 85 yards, DeSean Jackson, at Panthers, 2009

Longest kickoff return: 105 yards, Timmy Brown, vs. Browns, 1961

6. One interesting thing about this offseason is that the Eagles had no contract issues, no labor unrest. So many championship teams are torn apart because players invariably tend to feel like they contributed more than they were paid for during the Super Bowl run and deserve more money. This leads to holdouts, contract demands and all the distractions that come with all that. But not only were the Eagles an unselfish, team-first group during the season, they were the same during the offseason. And none of the guys whose contracts are up after this season — in particular, Brandon Graham, Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi and Jordan Hicks — was a problem, when they easily could have been. What was the over-riding story the summer of 2005 after the Eagles’ last Super Bowl appearance? T.O. and his contract. Nothing like that this offseason, and that speaks volumes about the culture Doug Pederson has built.

7. This is a little ominous: The Eagles are 10-4 in openers since 2004, the second-best opening-day record in the NFL over the last 14 years. But they're 0-2 in openers against the Falcons during that span and 10-2 against everybody else.

8. Two thoughts about Jason Peters.

Thought No. 1: He’s 36 years and 227 days old, and when he starts against the Falcons Thursday night he’ll be the Eagles’ oldest starter since Jeff Garcia in 2006; their oldest opening-day starter since Irving Fryar in 1998; and their oldest starting offensive lineman since 37-year-old right guard Woody Peoples in 1980. 

Thought No. 2: I never worry about Jason Peters.

9. My first Eagles opener was in 1988. The Eagles hadn’t had a winning season since 1981, but there was a lot of optimism around that 1988 team because the Eagles had gone 7-5 in non-strike games the previous season, Randall Cunningham had shown signs of greatness in 1987, and the draft had brought studs on both sides of the ball —  Jackson in the first round and cornerback Eric Allen in the second. The Eagles couldn’t have picked a better opening-day opponent than the Buccaneers, who were 16-63 over the previous six seasons and were starting a scattershot young QB named Vinny Testaverde. It was a 90-degree day at old Tampa Stadium. The Eagles hadn’t won an opener since 1983, but they jumped all over the hapless Bucs. On the Eagles’ fourth play of the game, Bucs linebacker Kevin Murphy chased Cunningham out of the pocket, and he rolled to his left and floated a 37-yard TD to Mike Quick. By the time the first quarter was over, Anthony Toney had run for a TD and Cunningham had thrown an 8-yard TD to Jackson for a 21-0 lead. The Eagles even scored on a 38-yard TD run by safety Terry Hoage on the only carry of his 13-year career. The final score was 41-14, and that game signaled the Eagles’ arrival as an elite NFC team. They won the NFC East at 10-6, starting a five-year stretch in which they won 10 or more games every year. That team really put the Eagles on the map, and looking back, that opener in Tampa really announced the arrival of Eaglemania. It's hard to imagine now, but the Eagles really weren’t a huge deal in Philly until Buddy Ryan arrived in 1986 and woke a dormant fan base with his boasting and bragging. Since opening day 1988 the Eagles have been one of the best teams in the NFL. Their .571 winning percentage over the last 30 years is fifth-best in the league and second-best in the NFC behind the Packers (.595). And it all really began on that steamy day at Tampa Stadium 30 years ago this week.

10. OK, prediction time. I know nobody repeats anymore. I know how hard it is to overcome the Super Bowl hangover. I know it’s been a short offseason, and it’s been filled with celebrations, banquets, ring ceremonies, TV appearances, book tours and every imaginable distraction a championship team can have. I know everybody is going to pick the Eagles to come back to Earth, maybe go 9-7 and miss the playoffs. I don’t care. I think there’s something special here, and I don’t think that just evaporates overnight. The Eagles showed no signs of complacency or laziness this summer. The Super Bowl was all but a taboo topic in the locker room. They enjoyed the moment and then moved on. NFC East? Yeah, they take it. Super Bowl? Yeah, they reach it. Another championship? Yeah, they win it. You can do what you want. I’m not betting against Doug Pederson.

More on the Eagles

Eagles fans, Super Bowl weirdness, and more in Roob's observations

Eagles fans, Super Bowl weirdness, and more in Roob's observations

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Harmon Killebrew, spaghetti, NFC East quarterbacks, Brian Mitchell, Buddy Ryan vs. Doug Pederson and greased lamp poles.

Super Bowl LII keeps getting closer and Roob's 10 random Eagles Super Bowl observations keep getting random-er.

1. Vinny Curry was talking Wednesday about all the dumb questions he's been asked by various fringe media during the week. "Somebody asked me, 'Do you like spaghetti?' Seriously? That's your question? You come out to cover the Super Bowl and all you can think of is do I like spaghetti?" How did he answer? "I told her, 'We play in South Philadelphia. How could I not like spaghetti?'"

2. The Mall of America, the NFL's headquarters during Super Bowl week, was built in the early 1990s on the site of Metropolitan Stadium, home of the Twins and Vikings from 1961 through 1981. In 1967, Twins Hall of Famer Killebrew hit a legendary 520-foot home run to left-center field off Lew Burdette of the Angels. When the Mall of America was built, Killebrew's home run was commemorated in the amusement park in the center of the massive mall with the actual chair that the ball hit mounted high up on the wall above a log flume ride — the exact spot where the titanic shot landed. I can't tell you how much I love this.

Reuben Frank/NBC Sports Philadelphia

3. Somebody asked Duce Staley Wednesday about how Philly authorities greased the lamp poles so fans couldn't climb them if the Eagles beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Here's his response: "You’re actually inviting fans when you say, 'You can’t do it.' Because our fans, the way they think, if you tell them you can't go up there, it just makes them think, ‘OK, how can we get up there.’ They’ll find a way to do it." Some people get it, some people don't. Staley gets it (more on that here).

4. The makeup of Pederson's coaching staff is really interesting to me. No less than six of Pederson's assistants — running backs coach Staley, tight ends coach Justin Peelle, special teams coach Dave Fipp, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, assistant special teams coach Matt Harper and offensive quality control coach Press Taylor — were all here under Chip Kelly. Pederson kept them all. He also kept director of sports science Shaun Huls and director of strength and conditioning Josh Hingst. A lot of head coaches as a rule don't keep any incumbent assistants. Some keep one or two. Pederson kept eight, including the strength guys. I've never heard of that before. But here they all are, part of a Super Bowl staff. This is a tremendous teaching staff, I think equal to Andy Reid's legendary 1999 staff that included seven future NFL head coaches. Give Pederson credit for having an open mind with Kelly's guys and not just coming in and cleaning house. It doesn't matter where you find good coaches as long as you find them.

5. Think about the quarterbacks in the NFC East. The Giants have 37-year-old Eli Manning, who hasn't won a playoff game since 2011. The Redskins have 33-year-old Alex Smith, who's won two playoff games in 13 years. The Cowboys have Dak Prescott, who's never won a playoff game. The Eagles? They have an MVP candidate and a guy who's about to start a Super Bowl. You can really make a case that the Eagles have the two best QBs in the division.

6. I really like the matchup between the Eagles' running attack and the Patriots' subpar run defense. The Patriots allowed 4.7 yards per carry during the regular season, second worst in the league. But it's interesting to note that the first 14 weeks of the regular season, that number was 4.9 — by far the worst in the league during that span — and the last four weeks, it went all the way down to 2.9, which was second best in the NFL over the last two regular-season weeks and the postseason. I still like the matchup. I think the Eagles' backs and O-line can wear down that New England defensive front. But Bill Belichick is the best defensive coach ever for a reason, and he has an uncanny ability to turn weaknesses into strengths.

7. There's only one quarterback at the Super Bowl who completed 82 percent of his passes in any game this year. Not Carson Wentz. Not Tom Brady. Not Nick Foles. Yep, it was Nate Sudfeld. Went 19 for 23 (82.6 percent) in his NFL debut against the Cowboys.

8. It still baffles me that Ryan was so wildly popular among Eagles fans, and watching Pederson this year has only reinforced the notion that Ryan just had no clue what he was doing. He neglected the offensive line for years. He constantly insulted players. He made fun of the owner and co-workers. He created a culture where the scouting and coaching staffs disliked and distrusted each other. A culture where insults were levied more often than compliments, where guys on the two sides of the football were constantly bickering, where some valuable, productive players were seen as outcasts just because Ryan didn't like them. Everything Pederson has done Ryan failed to do. Everything Pederson stands for Ryan ignored. No wonder Ryan didn't win a single playoff game despite a roster that included Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Jerome Brown, Andre Waters, Eric Allen, Byron Evans, Wes Hopkins, Randall Cunningham, Keith Jackson and Keith Byars. Yet Pederson loses Wentz, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos, Jason Peters and Darren Sproles and gets to a Super Bowl. In Pederson's world, everyone likes and respects each other and works well together. It's a winning formula.

9. Ran into Mitchell Wednesday night, and he recalled a conversation with an elderly woman at a small grocery store near his apartment at 19th and Chestnut soon after he signed with the Eagles in 2000 after 10 exceptional years with the Redskins: "I'll never forget it. She said to me, 'You better do for us what you did against us.' My whole career with the Eagles I thought about that. Every game I played in an Eagles uniform, I thought about what she said … 'You better do for us what you did against us.'" And he did. Mitchell had four return TDs in his three years with the Eagles. Only Timmy Brown has ever had more combined punt and kick return TDs in an Eagles uniform.

10. Mind-boggling Nick Foles Stat of the Day: Foles has more playoff wins since 2012 than every other quarterback in the NFC East combined.