THE EAGLES INSIDER Q&A
In this edition of Eagles Insider podcast presented by Lincoln Financial Group, Dave Spadaro sits down with former Eagles head coach Dick
Vermeil. The Eagles Hall of Famer weighs in on the state of the game, current head coach Doug Pederson, and what makes coaching in
Philadelphia different than any other city. Check out the full interview below!
2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 23
DAVE SPADARO: How has the game of football changed, in
DICK VERMEIL: “The game has changed. It is more wide open.
In the old days, you’d play three or four teams a season that would
be wide-open spread and motioning and shifting and all of that. The
rest of them would be one tight end, two backs in the backfield,
a wideout, that kind of thing, but now everyone is spread all over
the field. That puts a lot more pressure on the defense. They’ve
changed the rules to make these spread formations be a lot more
effective, especially going across the middle.”
DS: How involved did you get in officiating when you were a
DV: “I was out of line a lot. I would get upset with them. You can
cost a team the ballgame that could end up costing the opportunity
for the whole city to go to the playoffs. Yes they are human, they
make mistakes, but I think the league ought to make it known that
they’re going to hold that guy responsible, maybe suspend him for
DS: Why do you think Doug Pederson is such a good coach?
DV: “First off, he had 15 years in the league. He’s been there and
done it. He’s played for other coaches in the league with different
systems, schemes, and processes. He’s coached in the league. I
think he brings that dimension that I could never bring in. I came
out of a high school coaching situation. It’s not like having been in
the huddle for 15 years, running professional offenses. I think that
gives him a big edge. He’s humble. He’s willing to listen and learn.
“He doesn’t claim to have all the answers. I think he commands
respect of his players by being honest and open with them. I like his
schemes. I respect everything he does.”
DS: Does his positive attitude make a difference?
DV: “I think it does, especially when you are struggling. It’s so
easy to add gloom to the doom. When you come to work intending
to win and you can press that through the minds of your players, you
can better work through adversity in that way. I like his approach. I
think sometimes it can be tough, you have to be tough. You have to
be the bad guy, which I think Doug is very capable of being.”
DS: What is it like to coach in Philadelphia?
DV: “I would have to say, having coached in three cities,
the combination of passion and intensity in Philadelphia is not
matched in Kansas City or St. Louis. Here, they love you. They
don’t want anyone else criticizing you. You’re their kids. They’re
passionate about how you play and how you work. For example,
I thought this in Kansas City. You’d walk out the stadium after
getting beat and you’d hear a lot of people say, ‘Hey coach, you’ll
get them next week,’ and ‘We’ll be back.’ In Philadelphia, when I
coached here, I can’t repeat everything I heard. They’d get after
you pretty good, not because they didn’t like you, but they’re
mad at you.”
DS: Do you have to develop thick skin or are you born with it to
survive in this city?
DV: “No one likes to be criticized. I think you have to develop it.”