Finger Prints of the Holmgren Years Were Apparent in the Eagles Super Bowl Victory

Bringing Pederson’s Career Full Circle

Last night in Minneapolis Minnesota, the world saw Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson’s career come full circle from super bowl champion backup quarterback to super bowl championship-winning head coach. Pederson was able to draw upon his experience as a super bowl winning player as well as from his experience as an offensive coordinator under former Mike Holmgren assistant, Andy Reid.

During his playing career, Pederson spent seven seasons backing up Brett Favre and saw the enthusiasm that he brought to each and every game that he played. Pederson also was a witness to Brett’s gunslinger mentality on a daily basis. One cannot help but think that Brett’s gunslinger mentality may have been channeled through his former teammates playing calling and decision making during last night’s game.

Finger Prints of “The Ole Gunslinger” on the Eagles Lombardi Trophy

It was widely publicized that Brett Favre gave the Eagles Saturday night pep talk leading into the Super Bowl, but little did everyone know that his pep talk would have had just as much of an impact on Doug Pederson as it did on the Eagles players. It is interesting to sit back and ponder on just how visible the fingerprints of the Holmgren years were, on last Night’s super bowl.

Here are some interesting connections to think about:

The Brett Favre, Doug Pederson connection:

The starter to back up connection is a relationship that can often be overlooked. The reality is that these two teammates spend most days together both in positional meetings and on the practice field. The backup quarterback needs to be the starters eyes, ears, and sounding board during the game.

Pederson and Favre formed a close relationship from the seven years that they were teammates and that relationship has had a lasting impact which we witnessed last night. Last night, the Favre influence was seen through Doug Pederson’s play calling on the worlds greatest stage, Super Bowl LII.

We saw Doug Pederson throw caution to the wind at the most crucial points of the game, calling for deep shot plays down the field, direct snap touchdown throws, and going for it on fourth down at his own 45 yard line with almost 5 minutes left in the game (throwing a pass from the shotgun when they could have potentially run for a first down).

In coach speak this sounds like Brett Favre throwing an 82-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman, or taking a shot downfield to Andre Rison, or just living by the mentality that he could fit the ball into any window, even if that meant that his primary target was double covered along the sidelines. Doug Pederson’s inner gunslinger showed itself in the biggest game of his coaching career and now the Eagles are Super Bowl Champions and losers no more.

The Brotherhood of Backup Quarterbacks:

Nick Foles and Doug Pederson share a bond unlike any other. The Eagles coach and quarterback tandem are both backup quarterbacks with experience as a starter. Although Foles has had more success as a starting quarterback throughout his career, both the coach and player know the feeling of having a starting job taken away during the prime of their careers. It is this bond that allowed Pederson to truly empathize with and empower Nick Foles when he knew that the Eagles would be relying on Foles ability to try and bring home the Lombardi Trophy to the city of brotherly love.

Pederson made sure that he did everything in his power to make Foles comfortable. He sped up the offense so that Foles had to react, and not over think through each progression. Pederson, through his play calling, tailored to Foles’s strengths and showed his confidence in his ability that only a few years ago, produced 28 touchdown passes and just 2 interceptions.

By trusting in Foles, Pederson unlocked that pro bowl player that many Eagle fans thought could have been the replacement to Donovan McNabb. Pederson’s unlocking of the playbook gave Foles the confidence to channel his inner gunslinger mentality in the biggest game of his career. Foles’s confidence was on full display. He threaded pass after pass into tight coverage and made play after play with the game on the line.

Pederson’s Brett Favre like confidence in his play calling, allowed Nick Foles to never let the moment of the super bowl become too much for him to handle and as a result, Foles will be in the same breath as Ben Franklin and Rocky for Philadelphians. Pederson allowed Foles to rediscover his pro bowl form and fly on his own. Because of Pederson’s confidence in Foles, the 2017-2018 Eagles will fly above all other Eagle teams before them.

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David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave

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