Eagles coach Doug Pederson has received all of the credit for the decision to unleash the “Philly Special” against the Patriots at the end of the first half, with the Eagles facing fourth and goal from the New England two and a direct snap to running back Corey Clement followed by a flip to tight end Trey Burton followed by a throw to Nick Foles sending the eventual champions to the locker room with a 10-point lead.
But Pederson didn’t make the call. The call came from the man who became the first quarterback in NFL history to catch a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.
Inside the NFL has the video and the audio. Foles calmly walks over to Pederson during the time out taken by the Eagles and says, “Philly Philly?”
Pederson considers it for second or two and says, “Yeah. Let’s do it. Let’s do it.”
Do it they did, executing to perfection a play that has been used at every level of football in recent years, but that caught Bill Belichick and the the Patriots completely off guard.
Even though Foles technically gets credit for the idea, Pederson deserves plenty of praise for his flexibility and willingness to empower his players to make suggestions. It all goes back to the “emotional intelligence” that owner Jeffrey Lurie was seeking in early 2016. And it added up to the most special championship Philly has celebrated in years, if not ever.