Doug Pederson of course has a Super Bowl ring as the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, but he also has one as a backup quarterback with the Green Bay Packers. His playing career also took him through Cleveland.
The Packers were coached by Mike Holmgren, known affectionately (we think) as The Walrus, who would later be the President of the Browns. Brett Favre was the quarterback for the Packers. and the team also had ex-Bears quarterback Jim McMahon as a backup. McMahon had been claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Browns the previous season.
If you will skip down to number four in this series and read about how McMahon allegedly pounded general manager Mike Lombardi’s head into the wall, perhaps you can understand why McMahon didn’t last with the Browns. Lombardi seemed to like it, however, as he would come back for a second gig with the new Browns and Joe Banner in 2013.
At any rate, young Doug Pederson was also on that Super Bowl team for the Packers, as the third-string quarterback, compiling no stats for the year. It probably was not bad training for his future coaching career to share a quarterback room with two free spirits like Favre and McMahon.
The Packers faced Bill Parcells and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl that year. Parcells had added his former protege Bill Belichick after Belichick had been fired by Art Modell.
Favre and the Packers were dominant in the Super Bowl, however. The Packers outgained the Patriots 323 yards to 257 and intercepted quarterback Drew Bledsoe four times, while sacking him five times, including three by Reggie White.
Pederson would move on to Philadelphia, and then to Cleveland in 2000 where he served as Tim Couch’s backup in the second season of the Browns return to Cleveland. The Browns had a linebacker who will not be named in order to protect the guilty, who was trying to make a name for himself in practice by rushing Tim Couch. The coaches yelled at him to back off, but he wouldn’t listen, and finally, Couch broke his thumb hitting him on the helmet.
The most amazing part of the story is they didn’t cut the guy on the spot, but instead let him play a few more games even though he had no obvious talent. You would have thought that they would have given him the automatic death penalty, but a simple scolding was apparently adequate.
Anyway, that’s how Pederson became the Browns starter for eight games that year.
Pederson forever endeared himself to the Dawg Pound by beating the New England Patriots and Browns former coach Bill Belichick, Pederson and the offense were not outstanding, but the opportunistic defense intercepted Bledsoe once, sacked him four times and recovered three fumbles. The Browns won 19-11 with four field goals from Phil Dawson and a touchdown pass from Pederson to tight end Aaron Shea.