NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
How does an underdog become a champion? One of the most innovative, gutsy, and dynamic head coaches in the NFL reveals the strategies behind building the Eagles team that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl.
Doug Pederson is the very definition of an underdog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who would go on to play fourteen years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. He was cut five times, yet kept getting back up and into the fray. He would win one Super Bowl, with the Green Bay Packers. When he retired, he decided to coach, but not at the pro level. Instead, he was head coach of Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. After a successful four-year stint there, he returned to the NFL as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was instrumental in the development of quarterback Alex Smith and his string of 3,000-plus-yard seasons of passing.
When he was offered the job as head coach of the Eagles, he jumped at it, though few thought he would succeed. In the first season, a year of rebuilding, they finished 7-9. Some doubted his abilities, and before the 2017 season, one "expert" called Pederson the least qualified coach in thirty years. Plagued by the sidelining of seasoned players and devastated by quarterback Carson Wentz's season-ending knee injury, the Eagles managed a 13-3 record and home-field advantage in the playoffs. Yet they were still the underdogs in every single game, including the Super Bowl, against the New England Patriots, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL. It wasn't until they stunned the Patriots that people finally believed in Pederson and his team.
In Fearless, Pederson reveals the principles that guided him through the ups and downs and tough times of his career, and what it took to become a champion. Through it all, Pederson sustained himself with his faith and the support of his family. He shares the defining stories of his life and career, growing up with his disciplinarian Air Force dad and his tender-hearted mom, developing friendships with Dan Marino and Brett Favre, and learning from mentors, such as Don Shula, Mike Holmgren, and Andy Reid, who helped mold him into the man and coach he is today.
Fearless captures Pederson's coaching and leadership philosophies and reveals the brilliant mind and indomitable spirit of a man who has entered the pantheon of great coaches.
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About the Author
Doug Pederson is the coach of the Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles. In his second season as an NFL head coach, Pederson led the Eagles to an NFC East title, the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, and the first Super Bowl title in franchise history with a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots. He spent fourteen years as a quarterback in the NFL, serving as the backup for Brett Favre for many years on the Green Bay Packers. Pederson lives with his wife, Jeannie, and their children in Moorestown, New Jersey.
Dan Pompei has written about the NFL for more than three decades and received the 2013 Dick McCann Award for long and distinguished reporting on professional football. He currently writes for Bleacher Report and The Athletic.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 I'm Going to Kick Your Tail 1
Chapter 2 Risk-Taker 27
Chapter 3 Underdog 46
Chapter 4 A Team Can Make a Miracle 67
Chapter 5 Why Be Normal? 83
Chapter 6 Chemistry 96
Chapter 7 Faith and Family 112
Chapter 8 Emotional Intelligence 129
Chapter 9 Chopping Wood 145
Chapter 10 Mentors 164
Chapter 11 Failure 185
Chapter 12 Staying the Course 201
Chapter 13 Journey to the Super Bowl 219
Chapter 14 The Other Side of Success 241
Photo Credits 259