Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera was still relatively new to the coaching game when he met Doug Pederson.
Rivera had just been hired to be the Eagles’ linebacker coach in 1999, which was the same year the Eagles signed Pederson to keep the seat warm at quarterback for Donovan McNabb.
“I’ve been around Doug, and Doug’s a stand-up guy,” said Rivera.
A stand-up guy he may be, but he is a coach on the hot seat in Philadelphia with a season that is stuck at 4-10-1 with one final game against Rivera’s WFT.
The Football Team can win the NFC East in Rivera’s first season as their head coach with a win.
Pederson, meanwhile, will await word on his fate. The coach is certainly confident that he will return. Players and assistants have given words of support in various interviews and on Wednesday afternoon, Rivera did, too.
“From my own perspective as a head coach, it’s always tough when you lose because expectations are typically high,” said Rivera. “Doug’s done a great job there. It’s interesting because I always point to certain teams that have shown some tremendous patience in redevelopment of their football team.”
Those teams, according to Rivera are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and New Orleans Saints.
Mike Tomlin’s worst record in Pittsburgh, though, was 8-8, something that happened just three times. And even though the Steelers missed the playoffs the past two years, he has never had a losing record in 14 seasons.
In Baltimore, John Harbaugh took over in 2008, won a Super Bowl in 2012, then missed the playoffs four of the next five years, going 5-11, 8-8, and 9-7 from 2015-17.
The Saints, with Payton on charge since 2007, had a nice run of success early, winning a Super Bowl in 2009, but struggled for three straight seasons, going 7-9 each year from 2014-16.
“What happened was everybody liked what they were doing, they believed in what they were doing and thought, hey, we’re going to rebuild this way, keeping the same culture.”
Rivera makes a valid point.
Pederson won a Super Bowl as recently as 2017 and went to the playoffs the next two years.
Perhaps this season will just be a blip on Pederson’s resume.
“We’re not in charge of that part, but I know that hearing the media sometimes can make it seem like it’s the end of the world or they’re about to get cut tomorrow,” said Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham. “Sometimes that’s not the case. If you don’t listen to it, you just wait and see what happens, and sometimes things might happen that you don’t expect to happen.
“Guys have worked hard enough, and they (the Eagles front office) know what they have and maybe they want to chance one more year, whatever it is. There are so many different things they look at. I’m excited always for what’s to come.”
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