- The Eagles' former director of pro personnel says Doug Pederson stands out among a long list of accomplished coaches he's worked with.
Louis Riddick, former NFL safety, NFL scout, director of pro personnel for the Eagles, and current on-air talent for ESPN, has worked with several legendary and influential coaches in his time in football.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Bears head coach Matt Nagy, and Panthers head coach Ron Rivera make up just some of the great football minds Riddick spent time with as a player and scout in the NFL.
But which coach from his 22 years in football left him with the biggest impression? Riddick told ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter only one name. Doug Pederson.
"Doug Pederson, without a doubt," Riddick told Schefter on The Adam Schefter Podcast on Monday. "I would probably say it's because of his personality and how much fun I had talking to him, and I could walk into his office at any moment and crack a joke and the dude would be in there breaking down third down and would stop and start cracking jokes with me and then go back to his work and say, 'Hey, check this out, what do you think?'
"Doug is one of the most personable, polite, accommodating people I've ever met. And I think one of the things that people kind of misconstrued about him when he was hired was because he has that easygoing demeanor, people thought, 'Well, he'll never be able to stand in front of a team and command a room and all that.' … This guy is an X's and O's savant. People respect him because of the fact that he knows the game and he can impact their performance positively."
Riddick worked with Pederson when the current Eagles head coach served as an offensive quality control coach for the Eagles in 2009-10 then quarterbacks coach from 2011-12. He saw four different quarterbacks start for the Eagles in that time period.
"I used to talk to him about quarterback play because we all know in front office work the quarterback evaluation is the most critical. You can't get that position wrong," Riddick said. "So I used to go in there and talk to him about quarterback play all the time.
"We had Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, and Vince Young all come through there, so you're talking about three totally different guys and I used to talk to Doug about what makes these guys different ... why was Michael able to take his game from his Atlanta days to his Philadelphia days in a way that no one else was able to get him to do or maybe other coaches couldn't have gotten him to do.
"So, I used to talk to him about all that kind of stuff," Riddick added. "About the difference between the profile of a starter versus a backup. ... He taught me all those kinds of things. We used to talk about all that kind of stuff. He was phenomenal."
Riddick has worked with ESPN as an on-air analyst since 2013. This season, he will serve as an on-site analyst during halftime and postgame for Monday Night Football. He will cover the Eagles when they host the Washington Redskins on Monday, December 3 at Lincoln Financial Field.
Before the end of the podcast, Riddick was asked to give his prediction for Super Bowl LIII. He did not hesitate to predict the representative from the NFC.
"It's tough because the NFC, man, the NFC is strong. It's strong. But I'll go with this. I'm going to say Philadelphia goes back," Riddick said. "I think the chemistry there is what makes the difference. They won't be complacent. I really do think this team is onto something a little bit different. Absolutely.
"I'm going to say it'll be either Philly-Jacksonville or Philly-New England. That would be wild if it were Philly-New England again, wouldn't it? But I will say this. Those two teams, I have a hard time betting against them."