Publish date:

SUPERBAD DOUG PEDERSON

THE NFL'S, UM, GUTSIEST COACH ON HIS NEW BOOK (FEARLESS: HOW AN UNDERDOG BECOMES A CHAMPION, OUT ON AUG. 21) AND HOW HE'S BUILDING A SUPER BOWL ENCORE
Author:

MORE AT SI.COM

SI: I know you're a competitive guy. Nick Foles's book debuted on The New York Times best-seller list. Any competition there?

DP: We bought his book. My wife has read it. I haven't had a chance to yet, but she loved it. And so, competitively speaking, I'm hoping mine can juuuuust go above his by a little bit.

SI: The first anecdote in your book is a conversation you had with Bill Belichick on the field before the Super Bowl—he said it's hard to find tape of a game where you're behind. When you watch tape from last season, do you spend more time on the good plays and the wins, or on the mistakes and the losses?

DP: You watch everything as a whole. Good and bad. There were plenty of mistakes and plenty of things that didn't go our way during the season. But we were a good enough team to overcome some of that stuff.

SI: How do you coach the new guys who weren't on the team last year and don't have that shared experience that most in your locker room have?

DP: I have to rely on the veteran players that are still here. We've established a certain culture here. They can take in a new player, I don't care if it's a free agent or a draft pick and just say, "Hey, this is the way we do things around here. This is our expectation. And you need to come on board." Those are ways of teaching, not only young players but I think any new player to our team.

SI: Your coaching style has earned you the nickname Big Balls Doug. How do you like it?

DP: It sounds a little, it sounds bad, but ... I love being touted as being aggressive. Because if I only get one opportunity to be a head coach, I definitely want to do it my way. [I'm] not a gambler by any means. Very calculated and very thought-out and detail-oriented. So it's an honor to be respected and thought of that way.

SI: Philly Special—do you have to retire that play now?

DP: I'm curious to see how many people are going to run it this fall. It's retired from our playbook. It goes down in Eagles history. But it's one-and-done in Philadelphia.

SI: A lot of teams have a "championship or bust" mentality: If they don't win the Super Bowl, it was a wasted season. Is that the way you feel?

DP: The challenge is how we handle success. Can we get back to the Super Bowl? Can we have the consistency that the Patriots have? I don't want to be a one-and-done team. I feel like we've got good talent here. Now it's our job to coach them up and compete every week. But I'm not focused on the end result as much as on the now.