Eagles make it official, name Doug Pederson new head coach

It's official: the Eagles have hired Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson as their next head coach. The team made the announcement on Monday.

“We are excited to introduce Doug Pederson as our new head coach,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “Doug is a strategic thinker, a compelling leader and communicator, and someone who truly knows how to get the best out of his players. All of these factors were what initially attracted us to Doug and we believe that he is the right man to help us achieve our ultimate goal.”

Pederson has been with the Chiefs for the past three years after spending the previous four with the Eagles. He served as a quality control assistant in 2009 and 2010 before being promoted to quarterbacks coach for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He has been praised for his work with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith over the past few seasons, particularly this year as the Chiefs moved into the top 10 in scoring offense.

Pederson played quarterback in the NFL from 1993 to 2004, mostly as a backup. He spent the 1999 season with the Eagles. After retirement, he coached high school football in Louisiana for four years before joining the Eagles in the aforementioned quality control position.

The Eagles are coming off the hiring of another offensive-minded head coach in Chip Kelly, who himself replaced an offensive-minded head coach in Andy Reid, who is the coach that hired Pederson in Philadelphia in the first place.

Put another way: the Eagles are right back where they started (and, arguably, should have never left).

Former Eagles tight end Chad Lewis recounts a story about how Pederson, who started the team's first nine games in 1999, was relegated to backup duty, replaced by rookie Donovan McNabb.

"What I saw was a really important period of time when a transition was made from Doug to Donovan," Lewis said recently, via the team's website. "Donovan had learned, he had waited, and now it was his time. I don’t think there are very many people who can handle that transition like Doug in a good, positive, team-building way like he did. He absolutely understood his role. He was humble about it. He embraced it. Privately, he was not disgruntled. Privately, he was as supportive of Andy, the system, of Donovan, his potential and it was remarkable. Everything he said was positive. Not Pollyanna. Positive. Strong. And resilient.

“And those qualities are what has helped him go from player, starter, backup, starter, backup to coach and you can see that Andy (Reid) has been grooming and teaching him. Just because Andy has been grooming him and teaching him doesn’t mean he’s going to be successful. He went through the process. He kept learning. He kept growing. His temperament is unflappable and that is so important as a coach who is going to be dealing with wins, losses, player preparation, player problems, media fiascos. I think Jeffrey Lurie understands that he’s getting a guy who is going to be his partner and he’s not going to be tripping. He’s going to be very consistent in good times and bad, and who’s going to bring a culture into the Eagles' organization that Jeffrey is in high favor of and totally supporting.”

Pederson is the 23rd head coach in Eagles history.

Doug Pederson retuns to Philly, this time as head coach. (USATSI)
Doug Pederson returns to Philly, this time as head coach. (USATSI)
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