Tucker: 'No doubt' Pederson a top 5 coach

Lou DiPietro
August 21, 2020 - 8:38 am

Only seven active NFL coaches have won a Super Bowl ring, so in that metric, Doug Pederson is no worse than the seventh-best coaches in the league – but according to RADIO.COM Sports NFL Insider Ross Tucker, Doug is a lot higher than that.

“There is no doubt, he’s a top five head coach in the NFL,” Tucker said Thursday during his “Tucker’s Takes” segment on WFAN’s Odds on Sports. “He is an absolute stud. They all like him, everyone on the team likes him, and he’s proven himself; when it really has been time for the Eagles to win, especially late in the year, he has gotten it done.”

The reason why? Adaptability.

“Think about this: in 2017, they lose their MVP-caliber quarterback – that’s how well Carson Wentz was playing – and Nick Foles comes in and they win the Super Bowl, including beating Brady and Belichick in the Super Bowl,” Tucker said. “The next year, Wentz goes down again, Foles comes in, they win another playoff game, and if Alshon Jeffery doesn’t drop a pass in New Orleans, they’re probably in the NFC Championship Game. Last year, Wentz stayed healthy but everyone else got hurt, and he still finds a way to win a division, and make it three straight years of playoff berths.”

Wentz was indeed a big part of that process in all three years, but because of how all three of those seasons ended for him, the former No. 2 overall pick still has a question mark attached to him.

“Those last four weeks last year, he absolutely put a bunch of practice squad guys on his back as the Eagles went from 5-7 to 9-7 and won the division. It was extremely impressive, but he gets knocked out of the playoff game with the concussion,” Tucker said of Wentz. “He was healthy all season before that, but that will always be a question mark for him until he has a couple of years in a row where he plays every game; it kind of reminds me of Matthew Stafford, who got hurt a few times his first couple years but then went like seven or eight years in a row without missing a game.”

And thanks to the continuity of Wentz and Pederson, Tucker thinks the Birds are the favorite to repeat as NFC East Champions.

“I think the Eagles are the play to win the NFC East, because they had so many injuries last year. You’d have to think that can’t possibly happen again, even though they’re already a little banged up,” Tucker said. “I think the Eagles have a lot of good things going for them this year, and one of them is they have the same coaches and quarterback – nobody else in the division can say they have that, so that gives them the edge.”

And if you plan to bet on the Birds? Well, Tucker likes the over/under line of 9 1/2, but not as much as he once did.

“Last time I looked, DraftKings had them at nine, which I thought was an easy over, but 9 ½ gives me a little more pause,” Tucker said. “They’re going to get to nine wins, so at nine I’m over all day, but now I’m a little more hesitant. I’d probably still go over…I’d have bet a lot on the over nine, but not as much on the over 9 ½.”

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