The remark made me feel uncomfortable for the second-year head coach of the Eagles:
According to Tim McManus of ESPN.com, Doug Pederson likened the talent on the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles to the great Green Bay Packers teams of the 1990s — even giving the advantage to his current squad — while noting ability only gets you so far.
Speaking with a group of reporters before the team’s summer break, the head coach was asked if the Eagles are capable of winning big this season:
“You’re capable. … I look back at my time in Green Bay as a player when we were making those playoff runs and those Super Bowl runs there, and do we have as much talent on this team than we did then? We probably have more talent, right?” Pederson said.
Gee, I don’t know if I want my head coach comparing his team to the Favre-led Packers teams in public like that. Too early to even get into that kind of stuff, if you ask me…or am I just being overly cautious and too prudent?
Maybe I should cut Doug some slack because he was a player on those Packers teams. He may be simply trying to talk up the confidence of his current players as they head into training camp. This is called being a players’ coach, a definite kind of positive pyschological motivation approach taken by some but not all head coaches in the NFL.
As McManus explained, Pederson served as a backup quarterback in Green Bay from 1996 to ’98 and again from 2001 to ’04. During his first stint, the Packers — led by Brett Favre, Reggie White, Dorsey Levens and Desmond Howard — went 37-11 and appeared in a pair of Super Bowls, winning one. That’s a world apart from an Eagles team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008 and is coming off a 7-9 season. There is confidence young Carson Wentz is a franchise quarterback and a belief the team should make strides now that his weapons have been upgraded.
I just don’t like putting Brett Favre as a comparison in my quarterback’s head. To me that creates unrealistic expectations, which in turn generate added pressure on the offense to do more than they are realistically capable of.
Add to that the possible pressure put on the defense to somehow replicate the kind of all-around game Reggie White played for the Packers. We should be more concerned with the process of getting better in comparison to ourselves last year. What the Packers defense accomplished in the ’90’s has no real connection to the 2017 Eagles.
Doug is not backing down from the comparison, though, so he must have a good reason for creating what could end up “the Curse of the 1990s Packers” on the Philadelphia Eagles: as for being on a talent level with the Favre-led Packers, Pederson said, “I think we’re there. It’s just bringing all that together … that’s the thing.”
It’s a lot more than just bringing it all together, Doug—to make your comparison come true, all the Eagles talent has got to win the majority of their one-on-one battles in real time against opposing teams and players on a very consistent basis. That is the gauntlet you just laid down for this Eagles team by comparing it to what those great Packers teams represented—’cause that’s what they did.
Your words may be designed to motivate for excellence, Doug, but I would prefer the proof be in the game-by-game pudding of the results we will see on a weekly basis in the Fall and Winter. I don’t want to even think about the 1990s-era Packers unless we end up playing the 2017-era Packers for an NFC Title. Then we can talk…