NFL coaches are confident individuals by nature. It takes a certain amount of ego to manage 53 alpha males.
As such, head coaches have infinite belief in their teams and their ability to get the best out of their players.
However, Eagles coach Doug Pederson crossed over from confidence to delusion with a comparison he just made with his team.
Pederson said his Eagles team is just as talented as the Super Bowl Green Bay Packer teams Pederson was on.
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 with receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith and running back LeGarrette Blount entering the fold.
“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.
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.
Pederson has also been around long enough to know free agency can deliver false promise. As he referenced, he was an assistant coach in Philly in 2011 when the “Dream Team” was assembled, a chemistry-less bunch featuring Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Vince Young that needed four straight wins to end the season to finish 8-8.
Pederson says the biggest question heading into training camp is whether the pieces will mesh.
“If we win eight, go 8-8, is that a successful year? No. … I don’t coach to be average, I’ll tell you that,” he said. “These players don’t practice the way they do to be average. We’re all in this together, and we’ll just continue to work every single day till we get to that goal.
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 bold statement to say your team is going to the playoffs; Jim Fassel’s “this team is going to the playoffs rant” might be his most memorable moment.
But it’s beyond bold to claim your sub-.500 team is on par with a Super Bowl champion laden with Hall of Famers.
Carson Wentz is a promising young talent, so the Eagles have a chance to be good.
But let’s see the Eagles win a single playoff game before comparing them to a team that played in three consecutive NFC championship games and two Super Bowls.