Eagles owner: Doug Pederson’s “empathy” makes him a great coach

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Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie gave a commencement speech at his alma mater Sunday, and it’s clear that even without naming him, he was eager to graduate from his Chip Kelly years.

Lurie referenced how forward the Eagles are with analytics and data, but made it clear that he human element was the way they wanted to set themselves apart. That was clearly part of his “emotional intelligence” message upon firing Chip Kelly and replacing him with Doug Pederson, and as time has passed, Pederson has justified the decision.

“We use data analytics as much as any professional sports team — and I’d be the first to tell you that crunching the numbers can tell us a lot about performance,” Lurie told the graduates at Clark University. “But in the end, you have to make a judgment about human character that no algorithm can really capture. When we decided to hire Doug Pedersen as our new coach, we got plenty of criticism for what seemed like a completely unconventional choice based on his career experience at that point. But what I saw in Doug was someone not just with expertise about football strategy and tactics, but a unique level of empathy for players as individuals — and real insight about how people work together as a team.

“That kind of leadership and the success it generates isn’t about sports. It’s about trust. To be sure, healthy competition can make us all perform better as individuals as we strive to improve. But when it comes to solving problems, study after study shows that the most effective organizations aren’t built on individual genius, but on diverse groups who trust and respect one another.”

He also mentioned then-quarterback Nick Foles telling his teammates he loved them during the Super Bowl as an example of what they want to be.

“Not ‘let’s go do this’ but simply, ‘I love you guys’,” Lurie said. “’I love you.’ Maybe it sounds hokey, but what could be more freeing of the best you have inside you than knowing you’re loved regardless of what happens?”

The Eagles have been successful because they found many good football players, but they’re also willing to look at the whole person they’re working with, rather than just a collection of numbers, and they’ve found a formula that works for them.

8 responses to “Eagles owner: Doug Pederson’s “empathy” makes him a great coach

  1. They did achieve the ultimate success, but Pederson and Foles are more proof of the blind squirrel theory than anything else.

    Sounds like they are both great guys, but Pederson is an average coach at best and Foles has one good season under Kelly and one great playoff run, and then a bunch of nothing.

  2. @edrooneyjr That “blind squirrel” designed, executed, and MORE impressively, actually called the greatest and most unprecedented play in Super Bowl History. Philly Special 3:14 #phillyphilly

  3. Foles WAS underrated…
    … NOW …
    … he is overrated.

    FACT: Nick Foles owns a ring… and… was the reason

    Pederson gets too much credit.
    Howie Roseman is the truth.

  4. Howie roseman is 30-38 as a gm without Doug pederson the eagles success is not 90 % it’s 100% pederson it’s not 99% it’s not even 99.9% it’s literally 100% Doug it’s all him

  5. edrooneyjr says:
    May 20, 2019 at 7:33 am
    They did achieve the ultimate success, but Pederson and Foles are more proof of the blind squirrel theory than anything else.

    Sounds like they are both great guys, but Pederson is an average coach at best and Foles has one good season under Kelly and one great playoff run, and then a bunch of nothing.

    ********
    eagles were picked to go 5-11 in 2017 with a healthy roster yet a team with backups put up 41 vs belichik doug is the greatest coach in sports history

  6. cromagarmy76 says:
    May 20, 2019 at 7:55 am
    @edrooneyjr That “blind squirrel” designed, executed, and MORE impressively, actually called the greatest and most unprecedented play in Super Bowl History. Philly Special 3:14 #phillyphilly

    ____________________________________

    Was that the one with the illegal formation? Just kidding. I know that’s the one.

    The Eagles had a great season, but they were added by a heavy does of risk taking, luck, and changes to the pass catch rule iterpretation.

    Eagles fans are in for a rude awakening this year. Dallas will likely win division, but since NFC East is horrible, Eagles have a shot. Best case scenario, win a wild card game.

    That “blind squirrel” designed, executed, and MORE impressively, actually called the greatest and most unprecedented play in Super Bowl History. Philly Special 3:14 #phillyphilly

  7. pickhello12 says:
    May 20, 2019 at 9:17 am

    eagles were picked to go 5-11 in 2017 with a healthy roster yet a team with backups put up 41 vs belichik doug is the greatest coach in sports history

    ______________________________________

    I love how fans think one championship equals greatest coach. Reminds me of all the Mahomes fans saying he is the GOAT.

    Between Mike Lombardi’s evaluation of Pederson and Pickhello12, I know which one is closer to the truth.

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