PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Leading up to his team’s season opener in Washington D.C., Doug Pederson found himself receiving unexpected criticism from the media.
First, former NFL executive Mike Lombardi of The Ringer called Pederson “less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL.” Then, over the weekend, Eagles beat reporter Jeff McLane speculated that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was angling to take Pederson’s job atop the totem pole.
Pederson put the noise aside and led the Eagles to a 30-17 Week 1 win over the Redskins on Sunday. After the game, he was rewarded with his first ever Gatorade bath.
“I’ve had all the confidence in my players and my staff,” Pederson said of the Gatorade bath. “Listen, they’re reading and seeing the same things too, that we are. It was exciting, but at the same time, it kind of showed the thing that I’ve been saying all along about this football and how well they stick together. You can poll anyone of those guys and they’ll give you a straight answer, I think, about they feel about me.
“But I’ve got a great coaching staff and it takes a team to get these things done. And we were able to do that yesterday.”
But how did it literally feel?
“Sticky. Sticky,” he said. “Looking back, I wish it was water.”
Pederson and the Eagles face long-time Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid — Pederson’s mentor — next Sunday in Kansas City.