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Eagles hire Pederson as new coach

AP

The Eagles are sort of going back to their glory days.

Doug Pederson, who helped groom Donovan McNabb for the starting quarterback job and a successful playoff run, was hired Monday to be Philadelphia’s head coach.

Pederson was Kansas City’s offensive coordinator under Andy Reid for the past three seasons.

“Doug is a strategic thinker, a compelling leader and communicator, and someone who truly knows how to get the best out of his players,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “All of these factors were what initially attracted us to Doug and we believe that he is the right man to help us achieve our ultimate goal.”

Pederson accepted the offer to become Philadelphia’s coach last week.

The team had to wait for the Chiefs to be eliminated from the playoffs before making it official.

Pederson started nine games at quarterback for the Eagles in 1999, when Reid was a first-year coach and McNabb was a rookie.

He prepared McNabb to take over later in the season and the Eagles started a string of playoff appearances the following year.

Pederson returned to Philly a decade later as an assistant under Reid and helped Michael Vick have his best season in 2010.

Pederson followed Reid to Kansas City in 2013 and was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Pederson replaces Chip Kelly, who was fired one game before completing his third season.

The Eagles interviewed six candidates, including two-time Super Bowl champion Tom Coughlin.

As the Chiefs offensive coordinator from 2013-15, Pederson helped guide Kansas City to a 31-17 regular-season record and playoff appearances in 2013 and 2015.

The Chiefs didn’t rank higher than 21st in total yards in any of his three seasons, but overall were first in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (54), third in yards per carry (4.6) and seventh in total yards rushing (6,018).

Pederson is credited with developing quarterback Alex Smith, a former No. 1 overall pick by San Francisco.

Under Pederson’s guidance, Smith had three consecutive 3,000-yard seasons, threw the second-fewest interceptions among quarterbacks with more than 1,000 attempts (20) and ranked fourth among all quarterbacks with 1,183 yards rushing.

Pederson played 10 NFL seasons almost exclusively as a backup quarterback. He was with Miami, Green Bay, Philadelphia and Cleveland. He was 2-7 as a starter for the Eagles. The following year with Cleveland, he went 1-7 as a starter.

Pederson played for Don Shula, Mike Holmgren and Reid. He played behind Brett Favre, Dan Marino, McNabb and Jim McMahon.

The Eagles finished 7-9 this past season. Kelly was 10-6 in each of his first two seasons and won a division title in 2013 before going 6-9 this season. He was hired to coach the 49ers last week.