NFL coach beef! Doug Pederson criticizes Doug Marrone in book, Marrone shrugs it off

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/phi" data-ylk="slk:Philadelphia Eagles">Philadelphia Eagles</a> head coach Doug Pederson took a shot at Jaguars coach Doug Marrone in his new book. (AP)
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson took a shot at Jaguars coach Doug Marrone in his new book. (AP)

In the NBA, it’s no big thing for players or coaches to trade barbs. That’s part of what makes it an interesting and fun league, especially off the court.

The NFL is so paranoid about “bulletin-board material” that you practically never see anyone say anything interesting about any other team, player or coach. That’s what makes a relatively minor beef between Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson and Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone seem interesting.

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Pederson didn’t exactly call out Marrone by name, but the criticism of him in a new book was pretty damning, especially from one coach to another.

Doug Pederson didn’t like the Jaguars’ play calling

Pederson has a new book, “Fearless,” because writing a book is one of the things you get to do when you win a Super Bowl. He was making a point about playing to win when he criticized the Jaguars’ play-calling in last season’s AFC championship game. Specifically, Pederson said he was watching as the Jaguars took a knee at the end of the first half against the New England Patriots, and decided then and there he wouldn’t follow that path.

“I was there thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me right now,'” Pederson wrote, according to excerpts tweeted by longtime Florida sports reporter Vito Stellino, via“It made me mad because Jacksonville had New England right where they wanted them. I was screaming at the TV in my office. When they knelt right before halftime, inside I was like, ‘I’ll never do that.’ It fueled me. They could have least tried for a field goal. They took it out of their quarterback’s hands, and they didn’t give to their big back Leonard Fournette. I thought, ‘If they lose this game, this is why.’ Sure enough they would go on to lose the game.”

Of course, even without Marrone’s name being in it, it reflects harshly on Marrone. Nothing Pederson said was wrong though. The Jaguars did blow that AFC title game, in part because they were way too conservative after getting a lead.

But still, it’s rare to see one NFL coach say anything critical about another.

Doug Marrone doesn’t get in a war of words

Marrone handled the situation well, although he got in a dig at Pederson.

Marrone said he got some texts about the passage in the book. Via Mark Long of the Associated Press, Marrone said at a press conference Tuesday he was fine with it.

“Hey, Doug won a Super Bowl, Doug did a great job of coaching and I’m sure there’s a long line of people who have the same questions or feelings,” Marrone said. “What are you going to do?”

Then Marrone dropped in what appeared to be a totally random statement.

“I read a book in the offseason by Mark Manson, the No. 1 bestseller on The Times,” Marrone said, then moved on.

The name of the book? “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” Well played.

Marrone: “When you lose, you question everything”

Mostly though, Marrone took the “L” because what’s he supposed to do? Pederson is coming off a Super Bowl win. Marrone’s Jaguars somehow went from a near lock to win the AFC championship with about 10 minutes left to somehow losing to the Patriots.

It really doesn’t make sense for Marrone to go back at Pederson, given all that.

“I respect the hell out of him and his team, and he won a Super Bowl,” Marrone continued. “We lost, and when you lose, you question everything. So I don’t have a problem with it.”

The only thing Marrone can do is get it right the next time, and maybe win a Super Bowl himself. Then he can write his own book and criticize whoever he wants in it.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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