Daryl Bell: Under Pederson, Eagles found the winning formula
The secret to winning a championship is pretty simple. It’s a basic concept and combination often overlooked but definitely coveted.
Attrition, execution and evolution are the keys to success but without knowledge and a sprinkle of good fortune, the formula is useless. When combined, memorable moments such as the Philadelphia Eagles winning Super Bowl LII are possible.
Doug Pederson became the fourth person behind Mike Ditka, Tom Flores and Tony Dungy to win a Super Bowl championship as a player and a coach. Pederson earned his first ring when he was a backup quarterback to Brett Favre as the Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.
As a young player, Pederson learned a lot about passing by spending time in the now-defunct World League of American Football. Back then, he was on loan to the New York/New Jersey Knights from the Miami Dolphins.
Pederson was a backup on the Knights to Reggie Slack, but what he learned about the passing game from head coach Mouse Davis was key in helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl. Davis is regarded as the godfather of the run-and-shoot offense and what he instilled in a young Pederson was intricate details about the aerial game.
Pederson obviously shared his knowledge with Nick Foles, who went on to guide the Eagles to their underdog triumph over the Patriots.
In taking down the Evil Empire, the Eagles became — albeit briefly — America’s team. The hatred many fans have of the Patriots runs deep. From Spygate, to Deflategate, to their perceived smug arrogance, the Patriots are easy to despise.
But Las Vegas oddsmakers figured that with head coach Bill Belichick, the owner of seven Super Bowl championship rings, five as a head coach, and quarterback Tom Brady, the owner of five title rings, the Patriots were an easy choice to win it all.
That’s where good fortune came in because the Eagles actually matched up better against the Patriots than any other team. The key word is team. Pederson, in his second season, molded a team where things such as injuries and off-the-field distractions had no effect.
Super Bowl LII is over. Now the goal for the Eagles is to defend their title in Super Bowl LIII, which will be played on Feb. 3, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
They will be targeted as the team to beat, but don’t worry. If they remain focused as they were this season, another successful campaign is definitely possible.