Pederson Defines His Coaching Staff
(973espn.com) - As reported previously by 973espn.com, Doug Pederson seriously considered going without an offensive coordinator after Frank Reich left to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
In the end, Pederson demurred to the conventional setup, elevating Mike Groh from receivers coach to OC but the actual flow chart was something completely different with Groh essentially serving as passing game coordinator and Jeff Stoutland being the run game coordinator. Where Groh garnered more power was as the filter between Pederson and all of his offensive assistants in what was and will remain a collaborative approach that owner Jeffrey Lurie demands.
Using the old staff as an example QB coach Press Taylor was in charge of the red-zone package, now-deposed WR coach Carson Walch put his stamp on third-down plays, tight ends coach Justin Peelle was responsible for drawing up short-yardage and goal-line ideas, and assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley was given domain over Carson Wentz's designed movement plays and the screen game.
With Groh in Indy with the Colts after being fired, Taylor was promoted to PGC to go along with his day-to-day QB duties with Carson Wentz and Co. while Andrew Breiner was added as an extra sounding board there. Former Denver OC Rich Scangarello was also tabbed as a senior offensive assistant and given Groh's filter duties.
In many ways, the current titles are a more clearly defined definition of what was going on in that Pederson is the real OC of the Eagles, something he admitted to the team's website.
“Bottom line, I’m the one calling plays on game day," Pederson clearly defined. "So in some facets, you could consider me the offensive coordinator as well."
It's also an effort to protect his assistants, something the loyal Pederson raced to after watching Groh serve as the scapegoat for the offensive struggles last season.
"It’s a question I have really pondered about for quite some time, really for many years," Pederson said. "You look around the league and there are teams who don’t have coordinators. There are teams that have coordinators. I’ve had a coordinator by title. I look at the structure of what we’re doing offensively and how collaborative we put our game plans together. It’s like players; it’s not about one guy. Same way on the coaching staff. It’s not about one coach who has to do everything. It’s a collaborative effort."
While some may argue the Eagles have too many sous chefs in the kitchen, Pederson wants everyone to understand where the responsibility lies and seems comfortable with the new setup.
"The more I thought about it, I’m like, just again, I’m really excited about Press (Taylor). I think he’s got a bright future. Giving him the title of passing game coordinator, really again, gives him the opportunity to give more thought and input on our game plans," the coach explained. "Having Rich being as a senior offensive assistant, he can assist and help sort of bridge the gap with [Jeff Stoutland] and Press and putting all the pieces together, along with myself and Justin Peele and Duce Staley. Just bringing our game plans together. That’s what I want. That’s my vision for this season and really having a seamless transition that way."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen