– Whitlock, to you, who has done a more impressive job this year, Belichick or Doug Pederson?
– You know, I have debated this this morning when we put it up. And I almost regret putting it up. Because to me, there’s only one side of this argument. One guy lost the MVP, the quarterback of his team, and still has him here. It’s got to be Doug Pederson.
– I think it’s Belichick.
– Now, think about this. He has both coordinators leaving. He has to deal with the most extensive controversial piece written about an owner coach and quarterback. By the way, just a month ago. This didn’t drop in week two. So as they come down the stretch, they’ve got a major controversy, which, by the way they issued statements to, so it was affecting the team. I’ve got two coordinators. Then I get into the AFC championship. I’m in the fourth quarter. I can’t run. I trail. And there’s no Gronk. I’ve got Danny Amendola against the best defense in the AFC. That is unbelievable.
Doug Pederson, Minnesota is coming off that miracle win. Minnesota wasn’t even ready to–
– They lost the MVP of the league, man, that played quarterback. Ask Bill Belichick, hey, would you would you rather deal with some articles from ESPN or losing Tom Brady?
– Those were very daunting. Journalism is a very rough obstacle.
– When I look at this, you say you added this year. This year, we can get caught up into what Doug Pederson has been able to do. But again, when you’re looking at greatness, you can’t just dummy it down to one year.
JASON WHITLOCK: Well, we– for this question.
– Even for this year, though, I still would go with Bill Belichick. The reasons being we’ve seen what he’s been able to do with Gronk, without Gronk. With Julian Edelman, without– when you think about what the Patriots have done– they brought Brandin Cooks over because they know injuries happen.
They always prepare. He’s always thinking beyond what could happen. Regardless of how we look at them, even with Garoppolo. Let’s say Belichick stays. He’s game planning something right now. He’s always a step ahead of his opponent. Winning Super Bowls, we watched it last year. It wasn’t so much what the players did, I’ve outcoached you. He’s outcoached the opponent. Bottom line, Belichick.
– Well, I think the question is for this year. And I’d have to go Doug Pederson because you’d think about– when Carson Wentz was possibly the MVP if he wouldn’t have gotten hurt. I think everybody would agree with that if the injury hadn’t took place. But he did get hurt. Now he has Nick Foles, the quarterback that at one point wanted to stop playing football after playing for the St. Louis Rams because that’s how bad it was.
And he have a quarterback now that dismantled, possibly, people say, the best defense in the National Football, the Minnesota Vikings. They made them look like the Cleveland Browns. So it goes to show that, look, as a coach, for this year, right now, after he’s got a lot of injuries, I mean, he’s got the tackle hurt, Peterson, he’s got Sproles hurt, he’s got one of his best special teams guys hurt. He’s got his quarterback hurt. They’ve got a lot of guys on– they could make the Pro Bowl on IR.
So you have to look at right now. The long run, as far as– almost definitely. That’s easy. But for right now, for what he’s done–
– No way.
– But what he’s done for getting ready for this game– and think about it, they’re the underdog the whole playoff. They’re 13 and 3. also. This is a good football team.
– Don’t forget, Belichick last Gronk Sunday, Hightower’s best defensive player, Julian Edelman, the best slot receiver in the league. So they’re both losing Pro Bowlers. Like, I think the injuries even out. I just think the layers of controversy, coordinators leaving– you can say it doesn’t matter. I’ve seen it unravel teams.
– Colin, at the beginning of the playoffs, you thought the Patriots would make the Super Bowl.
– At the beginning of the playoffs what’d you think the Eagles were going to do with Nick Foles?
– Not as a good.
– Thank you.
– There you go.
– But does that have to do with coaching? Or was it based on Nick Foles’ play and performance?
– By the way, who also caught a break. Atlanta–
– I think his coaching, too, because, you know, Doug Pederson, what he did after the last game, the Cowboys game, he said, OK, I’m going to go back and look at what made Nick Foles good in 2014, when he was a Pro Bowl quarterback. Look at what works for him. Not what works for Carson Wentz, but what works for him. And that’s what has made him play. He’s not playing Carson Wentz’s game, he’s playing the game that makes him feel comfortable.
– And that’s the coaching.
– There’s one thing. You remember Nick Foles’ first couple of games when he took over? He was awful. You got to give Pederson credit. Like, Nick, this wasn’t seamless. This was really ugly for two weeks.