Pederson: ‘Life is More Important Than Winning a Game’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - With the Eagles' 2018 season ostensibly on the line Sunday in Dallas, coach Doug Pederson offered up an unexpected take Friday at the NovaCare Complex.
There is more to life than football.
An introspective Pederson took that tangential line when asked about lost seasons and how he prevented this team from derailing after an embarrassing loss in New Orleans before Thanksgiving.
"I just credit the leadership of the football team, the guys, the leadership committee, our veteran players, guys that have been on or in situations like that," he said.
Pederson then went on to explain the perspective he has been able to keep in the building in that there are far more important things than 41-point losses on the negative side as well as the joy that comes from winning the Super Bowl.
"It's one thing to, I think, lose a football game, but life goes on outside of this building, and what you see with wildfires and shootings and what life has sort of -- what our lives are now, it puts things into perspective," Pederson said. "And so, yeah, we know we didn't play well [in New Orleans]. But you know what, we have players on this team that their lives are affected by having family members around the country that have to go through life struggles, and I know I'm kind of going off on a tangent, but it's just a football game. We do everything we can to win the game, but life is a lot more important than winning a football game."
The Eagles family felt that directly earlier this week when injured defensive end Derek Barnett lost his older brother, who was in a fatal car accident in Nashville. David Barnett was just 33 years old.
"It's a tragedy," Pederson said. "You think about the family, you think about [Derek]."
And you think about where football really is when compared to the real difficulties in life.
"It just puts everything into perspective, everything we do into perspective," Pederson said. "That's a lot more important than, like I said, winning a game."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen