January 17, 2016
The response to the Philadelphia Eagles hiring of Doug Pederson as the team's next head coach drew decidedly mixed reactions from fans and experts, but former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin thinks his offensive coordinator has the ingredients to bring success to the organization in the wake of Chip Kelly's departure.
"I think he understands the personalities around a locker room. I think that's the first important step of being a head coach," Maclin said. "He's a guy who understands how things are supposed to be done. I think he's going to do great things. I'm excited for him. He deserves it, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does up there."
Maclin, who worked with Pederson in Philadelphia between 2009-2012, was backed up by Chiefs teammate Jason Avant, who on Saturday flashed some of the clutch playmaking that made him a fan favorite during his time manning the slot for the Eagles.
"He'll do a really, really good job," Avant said. "He's a great man, he knows this game and I think he's harsh enough, offensively and defensively, and especially demanding the best out of his players."
Pederson, 47, wouldn't discuss his move to Philadelphia following the Chiefs' loss, but his formal introduction to the city will be an interesting moment as a piece of the Andy Reid family tree returns to the organization.
At least one thing seems pretty clear: If Chip Kelly tended to usurp the spotlight and deflect attention from the responsibility of the players, Pederson's arrival could herald a back-to-basics approach that allows the team to form around football rather than hype and fanfare. It should be encouraging to hear a couple of former Eagles give such a strong endorsement to the team's new coach.