The Eagles went 7-9 in 2015 and missed the playoffs. They jettisoned their head coach Chip Kelly and brought in Doug Pedersonand what appears to be a mostly new coaching staff.
The team is in a period of change yet again. So that means they are rebuilding, right?
“There are some pieces to work on and we have to try and get back,” Pederson told the media Tuesday. “In free agency you know you will lose some and gain some. I think the nucleus of this football team is very good and structured very well. There is some talent here. I think you can out yourself in position not only to win the East but to go deep in the postseason.”
A bold goal for a first time head coach, but not an unreasonable one. With the exception of the current season and of 2012, every one of the past 10 seasons saw a rookie (first time) head coach lead a team to the playoffs, including Chip Kelly with the Birds in 2013.
Pederson is not short on postseason experience. Though he did not play, he won a Super Bowl as a backup quarterback as a member of the Packers.
He also has been an assistant for Andy Reid for the past seven seasons, a coach who is no stranger to the playoffs.
“Andy Reid is a mentor,” Pederson said.”But this is not an Andy Reid football team and it isn’t a Doug Pederson football team, it’s a Philadelphia football team. I am going to put my spin on it and bring my personality on it and we are going to make it our team.”
Pederson is hoping to join the ranks of these rookie head coaches who made the playoffs in the last 10 seasons:
2015:Mike McCoy, Chargers
2013:Chip Kelly, Eagles
2011:Jim Harbaugh, 49ers
2009:Rex Ryan, Jets
2008:John Harbaugh, Ravens
2008:Mike Smith, Falcons
2008: Tony Sparano, Dolphins
2007:Mike Tomlin, Steelers
2006:Sean Payton, Saints
2006:Eric Mangini, Jets