PEDERSON TALKS ABOUT REID, INJURIES AND STRATEGY GOING INTO CHIEFS GAME
Doug Pederson said he has blotted out the idea he coaching against his former coach and boss Andy Reid. Reid coached Pederson at Green Bay as well as in Philadelphia.
He worked under Reid with the Eagles as he started his NFL coaching career in 2009. Pederson followed Reid to Kansas City in 2013 where he served as offensive coordinator until 2016 when he was hired as head coach of the Eagles.
“Yeah, early in the week it was just business as usual and game planning and kind of watching the tape and studying the tape,” said Pederson, a career backup quarterback, who along with Reid were part of the Packers Super Bowl team in 1997. “It’s kind of like watching the familiarity with the guys over there, because you’re watching the defensive side of the ball a lot.”
Along with trying to match wits with Reid on offense, he will be working with Jim Schwartz and the rest of his staff on how to stop the Chiefs explosive offense led by quarterback Alex Smith, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and rookie running back sensation Kareem Hunt who lit up the New England Patriots for 246 yards from scrimmage and three total touchdowns.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said his defense will be helped by the fact that they’ve practiced against a similar offense in practice every day. Pederson was asked how his offense was similar to Reid’s. Obviously you would expect that since he has know no other NFL coaching mentor.
“Similar probably by formation,” Pederson said. “Some of the same personnel, you see the same three tight end groupings. A lot of 11 personnel both sides. Obviously, with [Chiefs WR] Tyreek Hill and [Chiefs WR] De’Anthony Thomas on offense the two explosive guys that they have, that he moves around by game plan by design. So yeah, I think our defense has got a little bit of a head start on it just because what we have presented through OTAs and training camps. So there’s some familiarity there, but at the same time, we’re doing things a little differently schematically than they are, so it just comes down to the study.”
Pederson was asked about rookie CB Rasul Douglas and what he’s seen in him this week. Douglas could be activated since the injury to Ronald Darby suffered against Washington, that will sideline the third-year player for up to eight weeks.
“He’s kind of where he picked up from camp,” the coach said. “He’s going to have a role this weekend, and he’s picking up the game plan. He understands what his role is, at the corner position. So if called upon, he’ll be ready.”
Pederson said he and his staff have not made the final decision on whether he is activated
Pederson was asked about whay he and his staff had seen from the new kicker, Jake Elliott, in practice this week.
“I’ve seen a really good amount of consistency,” he said. “He had the one miss yesterday, but it was just a little bit of a pull but he has a big leg. Very accurate. Kickoffs were good, so really excited to watch him kick Sunday.”
Kickers can look great on the practice field then choke up in games. Pederson talked abut his experience with kickers that when they get into a game.
“We feel like we’ve got a good sense,” Pederson said. “There’s tape on him from preseason and what we’ve seen this week in practice. So yeah, we’ve got a good feel for what he’s capable of and what he can do.”
Will Pederson be more inclined to go for it on fourth down or go for two points since he is using a rookie kicker?
“That’s a great question because that’s something we discussed during the week,” Pederson said. “This place, Arrowhead, the winds can swirl around in this place. I think you’ve just got to — I’ve just got to trust my gut, trust my instinct and trust the players. I’ve said that all along. I can’t go in here second guessing myself or a decision. I have to pull the trigger, and if I feel like we’re going to kick the field goal, then we’ll kick it. It’s not going to change my decision making one way or the other.” *
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii