5 things to know: Miami Dolphins head coach candidate Doug Pederson

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Of all the men who have been linked to the Dolphins’ coaching search, one has won a Super Bowl as a head coach.

He also already lives in the area.

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Doug Pederson, who has a home in Jupiter, led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 victory over New England in Super Bowl LII in the 2017 season. Behind Pederson’s aggressive play calling, the Eagles were 13-3 that year.

Here’s a closer look at Doug Pederson:

Eagles coach Doug Pederson during a game vs. the Rams in 2018.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson during a game vs. the Rams in 2018.

Personal reasons led to year off

Some have wondered why Pederson, 53, took a year off after being fired by the Eagles.

In an interview with New York’s Daily News in December, he explained it was a combination of family reasons and the need to recharge.

Pederson’s brother, Craig, died of pancreatic cancer in October. Craig was 51 and had only been diagnosed nine months prior.

Pederson and his wife also spent time with their new grandchild. His oldest son got married.

But Doug himself needed time away.

“Emotionally, I felt like I just needed to take a break,” he said. “My mind, everything just needed to take a step away. And I just felt like I couldn’t offer the best of Doug Pederson to either Seattle or Jacksonville. So that particular time I said, ‘Why don’t I take a year, recharge, refresh, refocus, and make a run.’ ”

The interview was conducted before there was an opening in Miami. There was, and is, speculation he'd enjoy coaching Trevor Lawrence with the Jaguars.

“Listen, I played in Green Bay and coached in Philadelphia, so I’m a warm- or cold-weather guy,” he said. “Obviously coaching in your home state would be a lot of fun, to be able to go back there would be exciting, be around family and friends. But in this league, with any opportunity you have to get in there, roll your sleeves up, go to work, surround yourself with the right people, and build.

“I’ll be happy anywhere.”

Pederson’s philosophy on quarterbacks

Obviously the main reasons the Dolphins would be interested in Pederson are his offensive mind and ability to coach quarterbacks — in this case, Tua Tagovailoa.

Writing for the site the33rdteam.com, Pederson stressed the importance of building a championship-level QB room.

"The first piece of that is to identify a starting quarterback you believe you can win with at a high level and put together a plan to maximize his talents,” Pederson wrote.

He went on to say coaches must take the inevitable bad decisions by young QBs — he calls them “ugly moments” — and turn them into teaching moments.

Also: "As an offensive-minded head coach, it is imperative to have a very good relationship with the quarterback."

About THE play he’s known for

Pederson, of course, is best remembered for having the guts to call The Philly Special in the Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

Facing a fourth-and-goal from the 1 late in the first half, Pederson had tight end Trey Burton toss a touchdown pass to wide-open quarterback Nick Foles to put the Eagles in command.

The play is memorialized by a statue of Pederson and Foles outside Lincoln Financial Field.

Pederson traced the roots of the play back to offseason workouts.

“Analytics does play a part in your thinking in some of the decisions, but starting in OTAs I practiced putting our defense and offense in those fourth-down scenarios,” he told the Daily News. “And as we got into the season, the players really embraced the fourth-down situations.”

One person to keep in mind, regardless of where Pederson ends up, is Press Taylor, brother of Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. Press helped draw up The Philly Special, is on the Colts’ offensive staff and would be a prime candidate to be Pederson’s offensive coordinator.

“Press is a guy I’ve always had an eye on,” Pederson said. “I think he and I have the same type of mindset.”

‘At peace’ with the way it ended in Philly

Less than three years after leading the Eagles to their only Super Bowl victory, Pederson was fired following a 4-11-1 season.

"We are all very disappointed with the way our season went," owner Jeffrey Lurie said.

The Athletic reported there had been friction between the two. The Associated Press said Pederson and GM Howie Roseman had differences over personnel moves.

Pederson told the Daily News it was “a shock” that he was fired. He admitted he would still “love” to be coaching the Eagles, but he did not express bitterness.

“The timing of it, being able to go through it with my brother, having the time away from football to spend with him and be with my family and do those things, I think that’s just where I’m at peace with the whole thing,” he said.

He added, “I’m really focused and motivated for my next opportunity where I can take my mistakes, take the things I did well, and learn from and use them in the next job somewhere.”

His spot in Dolphins history is secure

Pederson became the historic quarterback in a 19-13 Dolphins victory over the Eagles in 1993 that enabled Don Shula to become the winningest coach in NFL history.

Pederson, from Louisiana-Monroe, was a backup on the Dolphins, who trailed 14-13 and had lost two QBs in front of him, Steve DeBerg and Scott Mitchell, to injuries (Dan Marino tore his Achilles earlier that season).

Shula turned to Pederson, who led two second-half drives for field goals.

Time passed and Pederson one day bumped into Shula on the golf course.

"He made it known to me he was very appreciative of the things I did while there in Miami and also the things I've done as a quarterback, being a part of the National Football League for 10 years," said Pederson told The Post in 2002. "The main thing was he's proud of me, a kid that was undrafted from a small college."

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Doug Pederson: Miami Dolphins head coach candidate, 5 things to know

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