With the first Training Camp practice exactly one week away, head coach Doug Pederson reflected on what has got him to his fourth season as the leader of this team and the skills he has acquired along the way. Aside from winning the first Super Bowl Championship in franchise history, he has developed the coaching skills needed to sustain the expectation of excellence.
"I think there's a lot of areas that I've grown," Pederson said. "Situational football, in the last three years, has really been a top priority of mine. I've learned a lot from in-game decisions, fourth-down decisions, when to go for it on two-point conversions, things like that. I've become better educated."
Pederson's dedication to effective decision-making is shown through the 60.9 percent fourth-down conversion rate the Eagles recorded in the 2018 season. They also successfully completed five two-point conversions, which was tied for second most in the National Football League.
Along with the in-game decisions, Pederson knows the importance of creating a sense of comfort and trust among his players, coaching staff, and himself. He understands that developing a strong group off the field will translate into success on the field.
"I think I've had a pretty good handle on just listening to the guys and understanding where they are," Pederson said. "I think building a staff each year, because coaches are going to come and go, and being able to replace them with quality guys and teachers. I think that's another area where I've gotten better in the last four years."
As his coaching techniques have elevated to a new level, so has his ability to rely on the input from Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman and his staff. Pederson attributes a lot of the Eagles' recent success to the relationship between the coaching and scouting departments.
"I think they can co-exist, and they have to co-exist," Pederson said. "There has to be great communication and great dialogue between those two departments."
The official start of his fourth season is quickly approaching. Pederson's confidence in this team is high, with a familiar sense of what they need to do in the regular season to earn a spot in the postseason.
"Talent-wise, I would say that it's pretty good," Pederson said of the roster. "I would say that from a skill position on offense, it's probably the best we've had going into my fourth season. From a depth standpoint, I think it's equivalent to what we had going into the 2017 season."
Pederson was able to get his team off to a quick start in the 2017 season with a 10-1 record through 11 games. Last season this was not the case with a 5-6 record, due to the shortened offseason and injured starters. His message of starting fast in Training Camp and playing until February mirrors what was preached in 2017.
"Now is the time to really begin the conversations for prepping the team for what's to come, what to expect, prep them for Training Camp, the anticipation of Training Camp and really that sacrifice of preparation and hard work," Pederson said.