Doug Pederson will be remembered as the coach who led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory. That happened Sunday when the Eagles did the unthinkable, dethroning the New England Patriots 41-33 in Minneapolis.
But Sunday’s win isn’t Pederson’s only claim to NFL lore.
Go back almost 25 years, and you'll see that Pederson played a pivotal role in Miami Dolphins history. Pederson, a third-string quarterback at the start of the 1993 season, helped Don Shula become the winningest coach in NFL history with (now coincidentally) a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The day was Nov. 14, 1993. Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino was sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury suffered a month earlier, a move that pushed Pederson from the practice squad to the active roster as backup to Scott Mitchell. When Mitchell went down with an injury early in the third quarter, all eyes turned to Pederson — an undrafted, 25-year-old quarterback who never attempted a pass in his NFL career — to lead the Dolphins’ offense on the road with the team trailing 14-13.
Pederson did just enough to stage the comeback. He led the Dolphins to a pair of field goal drives and the defense held firm for the Dolphins to win 19-14 — and for Shula to earn career win No. 325 and surpass George Halas for the most wins by a head coach in NFL history.
Shula would win 22 more games as the Dolphins’ head coach before retiring following the 1995 season with 347 career wins.
As for Pederson, his playing career didn’t turn into anything spectacular. He had 17 career starts (nine with the Eagles in 1999 and eight with the Browns in 2000) and 100 overall game appearances before retiring as a player following the 2004 season.
He coached high school football at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana, for the next four years before his NFL coaching career began in 2009 as an offensive quality control coordinator for the Eagles in 2009 under coach Andy Reid. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2011 and then followed Reid to Kansas City in 2013 to be the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for three years.
Pederson became the Eagles’ head coach in 2016 and won the Super Bowl in just his second year, leading Philadelphia to a 13-3 regular-season record and the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.
The Eagles stormed through the playoffs with wins over the Falcons, the Vikings and, finally, the Patriots to lift the Lombardi Trophy up high on Sunday.