Rex Ryan could be proud.
The previous Jets coach as soon as famously shouted “Now let’s go eat a goddam snack!” to interrupt a gathering. Doug Pederson, the pinnacle coach of the Eagles, invitations his crew for ice cream on the finish of his conferences the night time earlier than video games every week. And it higher be Haagen-Dazs.
In celebration of Pederson’s 50th birthday this week, the Eagles posted a video of Pederson’s ice cream calls from this season, together with the time he bought upset once they substituted his beloved Haagen Dazs. “That’s bulls—t!” he shouted.
“I really like ice cream. Can’t you inform?” Pederson stated. “It’s simply one thing I got here up with, a saying. We do serve ice cream as our snack the night time earlier than a recreation, and I really like ice cream. And I don’t need to keep in that crew assembly too lengthy as a result of it’s over there melting. So I simply throw it on the market each week. Nothing actually behind it.”
Former Eagles coach Andy Reid used to vow his gamers cheeseburgers in the event that they performed properly. Like Reid, Pederson can be well liked by his gamers, a stark distinction to the totalitarian Chip Kelly regime he was employed to erase. It’s all a part of this patriarchal strategy to management.
Pederson has many fatherly qualities to him, proper all the way down to rewarding his crew with ice cream. These traits are an enormous motive, together with fearless playcalling and distinctive execution by his gamers, he has the Eagles within the Tremendous Bowl.
After the NFC title recreation, crew proprietor Jeff Lurie alluded to Pederson’s “emotional intelligence,” a trait shared by any good dad on the market.
“There’s numerous nice coaches. All of them have their completely different types, however the one frequent floor amongst all of them is absolute consistency and genuineness,” Lurie stated. “And Doug Pederson is simply himself. And at occasions, that’s very humble, and at occasions, it’s simply very actual. At occasions, that’s very shiny. At occasions, it’s powerful. However he does it in a real real manner and I believe gamers actually reply to that in immediately’s world.”
On Sunday, the Hoodie can be on one sideline and American Dad can be on the opposite.
Numbers and analytics and progressive play design are an enormous a part of Pederson’s toolkit, however he has additionally proven himself to be a gamers’ coach, a man who understands what it’s prefer to be within the locker room as a result of he was as soon as of their footwear. That falls below emotional intelligence, too.
Pederson’s journey to the Tremendous Bowl has taken him all over the world. It’s taken him to Germany, the place he performed within the World League of American Soccer. It’s taken him to Miami and Inexperienced Bay and Philadelphia, the place he held a clipboard as a backup to guys akin to Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb. Pederson’s wonderful journey has additionally taken him to Shreveport, La. and Calvary Baptist Academy highschool, the final place he was concerned in a playoff recreation as a head coach till this winter.
In 2007 and 2008, his Calvary groups reached the Class 2A semifinals. They misplaced each video games and with them, the possibility to advance to the state championship.
Now he’s making ready for a good greater recreation — the most important one of all of them — and Pederson appears to be like again fondly on that point spent as a highschool coach, an expertise he handled as an experiment to see if teaching was actually what he needed to do along with his life in his post-playing profession.
“These 4 years had been particular to me as a result of, one, my household and my boys had been proper there within the college with me, being a non-public college. And simply watching the youngsters develop over a four-year interval after which having the possibility to see a few of them go on to play school soccer or have nice careers after school. Not essentially in athletics however simply as college students, as properly.
“Had an opportunity to play in some playoff video games and nearly make it to a state championship a pair occasions down there,” he stated. “These are particular moments, and moments that I’ll bear in mind. Clearly we’re on a a lot greater stage now taking part in for the Tremendous Bowl, however the journey is identical. The experience is identical. It’s simply as particular doing it at this degree.
“You continue to have the identical sorts of relationships with these guys now immediately that you’d with, say, a 16- or 17-year-old in highschool.”
Which is why Saturday, the night time earlier than the most important recreation of his life, Pederson may have ice cream ready for his crew.
And it higher be Haagen-Dazs.