PALM BEACH, Fla. – Doug Pederson gets people.
If Dan Pompei learned anything working with Pederson, it was that – that the Jaguars' new head coach understands relationships.
Pompei, who co-wrote Pederson's 2018 book, "Fearless," discussed that aspect of Pederson recently when he joined senior writer John Oehser for the O-Zone Podcast. Pompei, a longtime NFL writer now with the Athletic, spoke to Oehser about Pederson's emotional intelligence – or "eq."
"He would rank as high on the eq scale as any head coach," Pompei said. "To me, that's probably something that has become increasingly important to a head coach – to be able to relate to people and understand where they're coming from and push the right buttons.
"He does that as well as anybody."
Pederson, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl title following the 2017 season, coached the Eagles to three playoff appearances as head coach from 2016-2020. A 13-year NFL backup quarterback who played with Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Brett Favre, Pederson spent 2013-2015 as the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator and has a reputation for developing and maximizing the strengths of quarterbacks.
"You look at his experience level in the league as a quarterback – all the different people and systems he has been exposed to, and how that blends into who he is and his ability to put together a playbook and game plan that brings out the best in the athletes around him," Pompei said. "He experienced everything you could experience as a player and lasted a long time without ever breaking through in terms of being star.
"That really enabled him to soak in a lot of knowledge and experience through other people. I think that helped him become a coach."
Quarterback Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall selection by the Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft, had perhaps his best NFL season under Pederson in 2017 – and was a Most Valuable Player candidate until a season-ending injury late in the season.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, is entering his second NFL season.
"He has a great feel for quarterback development and how to develop a team – and how to bring out young players' best abilities," Pompei said of Pederson. "There is a lot about Doug Pederson that's pretty impressive."
Listen to the O-Zone Podcast featuring Pompei below, or visit our Podcast page here.