The Eagles will hire former quarterback and assistant coach Doug Pederson as head coach in a nod by owner Jeffrey Lurie to the success and environment that the team had under Andy Reid. An NFL source confirmed the hiring Thursday.
Pederson, 47, has been Reid’s offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs for the last three seasons. Before going to Kansas City, he was Reid’s quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia after starting as a quality control coach. Pederson has spent seven seasons as an NFL assistant coach and all have been under Reid.
Pederson was a three-sport all-state athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Ferndale High School before graduating in 1986.
Doug Pederson played 12 years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, and Cleveland Browns.
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The Eagles interviewed Pederson on Jan. 10. They must wait for the Chiefs to be eliminated from the postseason to bring him to Philadelphia. No other teams had a reported interview with Pederson.
Pederson’s limited track record as a coach is helped by a 12-year playing career. He spent time with the Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, and Cleveland Browns. Pederson held a clipboard behind Brett Favre with the Packers from 1996-98, when Reid was also on the Packers’ staff. Pederson followed Reid to Philadelphia in 1999 and started nine games. He finished his career with 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Pederson becomes the seventh active coach who used to play in the NFL.
After his playing career, Pederson coached at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, La., from 2005 to 2008. While coaching the Eagles’ quarterbacks, he worked with Michael Vick, Vince Young, and Nick Foles in 2011 and 2012.
In Kansas City, Reid calls the offensive plays. But he said he gave Pederson some opportunities to make calls, and Pederson has helped quarterback Alex Smith lead the Chiefs to two postseason appearances in three years. The Chiefs ranked second in the NFL rushing yards per game (127.8) this season and fourth in points per game (25.3).
“He’s a great mentor of mine, obviously, as you know,” Pederson said of Reid. “We worked together. I worked for him there in Philadelphia so I understand that market, that climate, and that structure there. The things I’ve learned from Coach Reid wherever, if it’s in my future to become a head coach, then there’s a lot of great examples of him leading a team and an organization that I can use in my future as well.”
It also helps Pederson that the team’s brass knows him and is comfortable with him. After enduring friction in the front office during Chip Kelly’s three seasons in Philadelphia, the team should hope for a more harmonious setup when Pederson works with Howie Roseman, the executive vice president of football operations. They will collaborate to make roster decisions with senior director of player personnel Tom Donahoe.
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Pederson was born in Bellingham in 1968.
According to a story on kcchiefs.com, Pederson’s father, who was his Pee Wee football coach, worked for Intalco Works before getting a job in Monroe, La., right before Pederson’s senior year at Ferndale.
Pederson said he could remember visiting his father at the Intalco plant.
“When you walk in, it was like 1,000 degrees in the boiler rooms, where they're burning this stuff,” he told kcchiefs.com. “I remember our dad taking us on tours in there. Guys working all dressed in their suits with the pots looking just like lava.
“We'd just go every once and a while. My mom would take us and it was so cool. We'd go in and check in at the guard, then drive around back to where my dad's office was. He was a manager there and he would take us through where they would melt the aluminum down.
“These molds probably weigh 100 pounds at least, of just aluminum bars. They'd take that and they'd ship that all over the world.”
Pederson went on to play collegiately at Northeast Louisiana, which now is known as Louisiana-Monroe.
Recently retired Ferndale athletic director Vic Randall was Pederson’s football coach with the Golden Eagles.
“The thing about Doug is that he acted the same way after an interception as he did with a completion,” Randall said in 2004.