Super Bowl-winning Eagles head coach Doug Pederson recently attended the American Bible Society’s “Faith and Football” event in Philadelphia, where he spoke about the captivating faith that propelled his “underdog” NFL team to victory.
“It was unbelievable the power of the Holy Spirit and what the Holy Spirit can do with a football team,” Pederson told Christian sports broadcaster Rob Maadi.
Coach Pederson led the Eagles to the 2018 Super Bowl Championship back in February, where they successfully defeated the Patriots 41-33. This was the team’s first-ever Super Bowl win, with backup quarterback Nick Foles and tight end Zach Ertz leading the way.
Speaking to Maadi, who is one of the hosts of the Faith on the Field Show, Pederson discussed the spirit of Christian brotherhood that helped make the unlikely win possible.
Rob has the honor to interview Super Bowl Champion Coach Doug Pederson at the American Bible Society’s Faith and Football event.
Posted by Faith On The Field on Monday, June 11, 2018
“It just binds you together, and you know, you saw it all season long. Each week they came out, and they had the belief, the belief that they were better than anyone they faced and that’s a special thing,” Pederson said.
During their conversation, Maadi asked the 50-year-old coach how coaching at a high school level prepared him for the NFL.
Pederson, who also enjoyed a career as an NFL quarterback, pointed out how his relationship with God influenced every career decision he ever made.
“For me, it was about after 14 years of playing, you have to decide what you are going to do after football,” he said. “I kinda had a feeling that coaching was going be in my future. Probably the last couple of years at Green Bay — I spent the last four of my career at Green Bay from 2001 to 2004. So ’03 and ’04 I really began to search and ask God the questions and pray about life after the NFL.”
“Coaching just kind of came back, and I didn’t know if I wanted to coach right away in the NFL because I kept seeing these long hours, these coaches spend these countless hours in the office, some of them are sleeping in the office, and I didn’t really want to do that. Then I go, how about college football? I’ve got some friends and coaches in college football. I think man, the NFL spend all the time in the office, but the college guys spend all their time on the road recruiting and they’re away from their families, and I didn’t really want to do that,” Pederson explained.
He went on to emphasize the importance of having good mentors in your professional field, noting that he’d relied heavily on the advice of mentors during those years of questioning.
“Then, I got some advice from Mike Sherman, who was my head coach at Green Bay the last couple of years, and he coached college football. He told me you need to find a place to see if you like to teach the game of football, or if you like to just coach the game of football.”
Pederson then detailed how he became the head coach at a Christian Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. He called the job a “blessing” because he was able to share his relationship with Christ with his players.
“So I had an opportunity to go to Shreveport, Louisiana, and coach at a private Christian Academy in Shreveport. For four years it was a tremendous blessing for me. One, it gave me an opportunity to coach, and see if I could do it, number one. Secondly, because it was a Christian academy, I could really take my playing experiences and my relationship with Christ and pour it into these young men. And now today to see them as successful businessmen and to still get calls, emails, text messages from those former players makes it really special.”
“This gave me the opportunity to jump back into the NFL, so I did that in 2009 with [NFL Coach] Andy Reid,” he said. “It’s been a blessing ever since.”
Rob has the honor to interview Super Bowl Champion Coach Doug Pederson. https://t.co/sgUIeKZj7g
— Faith On The Field (@FaithOnTheField) June 12, 2018
Megachurch Pastor Carl Day attended the American Bible Society dinner Monday. After hearing Coach Pederson’s testimony, the head pastor at Culture Changing Christians Worship Center tweeted a quote that spoke to him: “The Holy Spirit told me that WHEN we win, I was gonna give praise to Jesus Christ when I get a chance to speak on that stage.”
“The Holy Spirit told me that WHEN we win, I was gonna give praise to Jesus Christ when I get a chance to speak on that stage” – Doug Pederson …
— Pastor Carl Day ©️©️©️ (@PastorCarlDay) June 11, 2018
“That’s heavy,” Day wrote.
During the 2017-2018 season several of the Philadelphia Eagles players gained the reputation of wearing their faith on their sleeves — the team performed baptisms, prayer huddles and more over the past year.
When they won the Super Bowl in February, the first words that came from tight end Zach Ertz were, “Glory to God first and foremost, we wouldn’t be here without him.”