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Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER How does an underdog become a champion? One of the most innovative, gutsy, and dynamic head coaches in the NFL reveals the strategies behind building the Eagles team that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson is the very definition of an underdog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who would go on to play fourteen years in t NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER How does an underdog become a champion? One of the most innovative, gutsy, and dynamic head coaches in the NFL reveals the strategies behind building the Eagles team that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson is the very definition of an underdog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who would go on to play fourteen years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. He was cut five times, yet kept getting back up and into the fray. He would win one Super Bowl, with the Green Bay Packers. When he retired, he decided to coach, but not at the pro level. Instead, he was head coach of Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. After a successful four-year stint there, he returned to the NFL as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was instrumental in the development of quarterback Alex Smith and his string of 3,000-plus-yard seasons of passing. When he was offered the job as head coach of the Eagles, he jumped at it, though few thought he would succeed. In the first season, a year of rebuilding, they finished 7-9. Some doubted his abilities, and before the 2017 season, one "expert" called Pederson the least qualified coach in thirty years. Plagued by the sidelining of seasoned players and devastated by quarterback Carson Wentz's season-ending knee injury, the Eagles managed a 13-3 record and home-field advantage in the playoffs. Yet they were still the underdogs in every single game, including the Super Bowl, against the New England Patriots, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL. It wasn't until they stunned the Patriots that people finally believed in Pederson and his team. In Fearless, Pederson reveals the principles that guided him through the ups and downs and tough times of his career, and what it took to become a champion. Through it all, Pederson sustained himself with his faith and the support of his family. He shares the defining stories of his life and career, growing up with his disciplinarian Air Force dad and his tender-hearted mom, developing friendships with Dan Marino and Brett Favre, and learning from mentors, such as Don Shula, Mike Holmgren, and Andy Reid, who helped mold him into the man and coach he is today. Fearless captures Pederson's coaching and leadership philosophies and reveals the brilliant mind and indomitable spirit of a man who has entered the pantheon of great coaches.


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER How does an underdog become a champion? One of the most innovative, gutsy, and dynamic head coaches in the NFL reveals the strategies behind building the Eagles team that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson is the very definition of an underdog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who would go on to play fourteen years in t NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER How does an underdog become a champion? One of the most innovative, gutsy, and dynamic head coaches in the NFL reveals the strategies behind building the Eagles team that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson is the very definition of an underdog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who would go on to play fourteen years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. He was cut five times, yet kept getting back up and into the fray. He would win one Super Bowl, with the Green Bay Packers. When he retired, he decided to coach, but not at the pro level. Instead, he was head coach of Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. After a successful four-year stint there, he returned to the NFL as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was instrumental in the development of quarterback Alex Smith and his string of 3,000-plus-yard seasons of passing. When he was offered the job as head coach of the Eagles, he jumped at it, though few thought he would succeed. In the first season, a year of rebuilding, they finished 7-9. Some doubted his abilities, and before the 2017 season, one "expert" called Pederson the least qualified coach in thirty years. Plagued by the sidelining of seasoned players and devastated by quarterback Carson Wentz's season-ending knee injury, the Eagles managed a 13-3 record and home-field advantage in the playoffs. Yet they were still the underdogs in every single game, including the Super Bowl, against the New England Patriots, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL. It wasn't until they stunned the Patriots that people finally believed in Pederson and his team. In Fearless, Pederson reveals the principles that guided him through the ups and downs and tough times of his career, and what it took to become a champion. Through it all, Pederson sustained himself with his faith and the support of his family. He shares the defining stories of his life and career, growing up with his disciplinarian Air Force dad and his tender-hearted mom, developing friendships with Dan Marino and Brett Favre, and learning from mentors, such as Don Shula, Mike Holmgren, and Andy Reid, who helped mold him into the man and coach he is today. Fearless captures Pederson's coaching and leadership philosophies and reveals the brilliant mind and indomitable spirit of a man who has entered the pantheon of great coaches.

30 review for Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Doug Pederson is clearly not a writer but I cried twice because I'm from Philly and currently have the emotional depth of a puddle.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    How can you come from behind as an underdog and win it all? Just ask Doug the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles as he has some sound advice to offer. The principles and convictions to see it through is at the heart of the battle to win. When first offered the job as head coach he jumped at the chance. Hindsight is an amazing tool but also an amazing perspective. The mind, heart, and soul of a champion lives on with Doug at the wheel. An amazing read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Will Turner

    Thankfully Pederson coaches better than he writes. This was an interesting “memoir” covering pieces from his life and the past few years as head coach of the Super Bowl 52 champion PHILADELPHIA Eagles. It’s very scattered and lacked any clear sense of organization but it was still a fun read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Crawford

    Nice book. Interesting to learn more about Pederson, his life and football career, and his coaching approach and philosophies. There are no fascinating reveals or tremendous insights. However, as a lifetime Eagles fan, I was happy to invest some dollars supporting Coach Pederson’s literary career.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brady Hicks

    Fun story ... it was great to relive the 2017 SuperBowl run with "Coach." As a side, the final chapter did a lot to make me feel better about this year's current struggles. Go Eagles!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I received an advance review copy of this book as a former (and possibly future) sports radio/podcast host. What follows is more of a 3.5 star review (or 6 out of 10). Speaking as a fan of the OTHER team from Pennsylvania, this book is probably close to a must-have for long-suffering (but no-longer-suffering) Eagles fans. Doug Pederson's (non-chronological) account of the Eagles' championship season is a largely well-told story from a unique perspective. The first half of "Fearless" is particular I received an advance review copy of this book as a former (and possibly future) sports radio/podcast host. What follows is more of a 3.5 star review (or 6 out of 10). Speaking as a fan of the OTHER team from Pennsylvania, this book is probably close to a must-have for long-suffering (but no-longer-suffering) Eagles fans. Doug Pederson's (non-chronological) account of the Eagles' championship season is a largely well-told story from a unique perspective. The first half of "Fearless" is particularly strong, focusing on the key plays that helped Philadelphia ultimately thwart New England in Super Bowl LII. From "Philly Special" to a 4th down conversion most non-Eagle fans might have forgotten about, Pederson dips back into his own past as a player, coach, and even a regular person, to tell why shying away never really won anything. Faith in his team, himself, and even the Almighty, can make anything possible. The tome dries up considerably after talk of the Super Bowl victory. Much of what follows seems to be filler - some interesting, some not so much, and some awfully repetitive - talking about his relationships with various members of the organization in way too great a detail to keep the pages turning (though, again, an Eagles fan may voraciously absorb every word). Things like going hunting with Brett Favre during his playing days, his relationship with coaches who are way down on the totem pole (don't get me wrong, I think it's cool that he mentions them and remembers where he himself came from, but it goes on for far too long), and telling you again how many times he was cut in his playing career (view spoiler)[(6) (hide spoiler)] make the back half a bit of a chore for the casual fan. The subtitle seems to imply, "Within is the key to success for the ne'er-do-well." In reality, it's just the personal philosophy that Pederson brought to the team and they won a championship when circumstances told the public that the Eagles' goose was cooked (a brutal slew of season-ending injuries). Time will be the ultimate judge of whether his approach is better than those of the previous 51 Super Bowl victors (or even the 15 previous Super Bowl victors who won as underdogs). But, again, as the book goes on, there seems to be less and less of "what made this team a winner" and more and more of "I got cut from the Dolphins once in front of Jim Carrey back when he was filming 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' with Dan Marino" to illustrate a failure that he ended up bouncing back from. I reckon the NFL is littered with players and coaches who met with some sort of come-to-Jesus moment after having the rug pulled out from under them. I suppose I was more interested in finding out what made this team gel at the right time. Most of the meat of this book is toward the front end for those of us who aren't necessarily Philly fans. For those who bleed green, though, this might have a nice spot on the coffee table for a good, long while.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Edwin Howard

    What an inspirational and informative book FEARLESS, by Doug Pederson, is. Pederson walks the reader through his coaching philosophy, how came to be the man he is today, and intertwines insight into how the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles became Super Bowl champions. From being an undrafted rookie to Super Bowl winning head coach, Pederson has had a storied career in the NFL. He crafts the book to explain a part of his coaching style in each chapter and reinforces its effectiveness and/or how he came u What an inspirational and informative book FEARLESS, by Doug Pederson, is. Pederson walks the reader through his coaching philosophy, how came to be the man he is today, and intertwines insight into how the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles became Super Bowl champions. From being an undrafted rookie to Super Bowl winning head coach, Pederson has had a storied career in the NFL. He crafts the book to explain a part of his coaching style in each chapter and reinforces its effectiveness and/or how he came use that facet of coaching by telling a story either from his career as a mostly backup quarterback, from his family upbringing, or from observing a applying coaching styles from his many coaching mentors. Pederson's optimism and calculated aggressive approach as player and a coach and really in how he lives life is infectious and inspiring. Even when he talks about his mistakes, which he fully acknowledges and owns, the reader just feels like all of it together is just part of living the way Doug Pederson lives. Full of stories, anecdotes, and meaningful thoughts on life, FEARLESS reminds us to prepare for life choices properly, but then be fearless in the choices we make. Thank you to Hachette Books, Doug Pederson, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  8. 4 out of 5

    David

    I legitimately liked this book. I definitely enjoyed reading parts of it. But I don't think I can give it more than a passing grade at most from a biased (I have been an avid Eagles fan for over 10 years now) point of view, and even less for people who aren't into sports in the first place. It definitely offers an incredibly intimate view on how Pederson coaches his team, his personal life and how he applies it to his methods as both a retired player and an active coach, but in the end the 13-14 I legitimately liked this book. I definitely enjoyed reading parts of it. But I don't think I can give it more than a passing grade at most from a biased (I have been an avid Eagles fan for over 10 years now) point of view, and even less for people who aren't into sports in the first place. It definitely offers an incredibly intimate view on how Pederson coaches his team, his personal life and how he applies it to his methods as both a retired player and an active coach, but in the end the 13-14 chapters just feel incredibly disjointed, handling separate themes in their own little corner with barely any "cross-pollination", for lack of a better term. At its worst I just zoned out and barely read the sentences because having 3 paragraphs on 1 page talking about a single experience with someone who doesn't get any other mentions at all in the entire book, doesn't make for a mesmerizing read. I would definitely recommend this to any Philly sports fan and maybe some other fanbases, but an sich it is still a mediocre book about a unique experience (winning the Super Bowl) and nothing more.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Trapp

    In Fearless, Doug Pederson chronicles his journey to becoming the Philadelphia Eagles head coach, which culminated with a Super Bowl victory. Pederson attributes much of his success to being mainly a fourteen year backup quarterback who was cut a handful of times. From that, he learned perseverance as well as the nuances of the game. He also learned from his family, mentors, and numerous teammates along the way. Much of his success he credits to being a risk taker. This can be seen from his play In Fearless, Doug Pederson chronicles his journey to becoming the Philadelphia Eagles head coach, which culminated with a Super Bowl victory. Pederson attributes much of his success to being mainly a fourteen year backup quarterback who was cut a handful of times. From that, he learned perseverance as well as the nuances of the game. He also learned from his family, mentors, and numerous teammates along the way. Much of his success he credits to being a risk taker. This can be seen from his play calling—going for it on 4th down and going for two point conversions. Pederson also mentions his failures along the way, which have helped him grow into the person and coach he is today. Throughout the ups and downs, faith and family have been the constants in his life. Readers will enjoy this book as Pederson talks about the players and the team leading up the the Super Bowl. In addition, many of the principles and philosophies that Pederson lives by can be applied to everyone’s life.

  10. 4 out of 5

    BrazzellDazzell

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A quick and light read. Less about his couching philosophy and more about his journey through playing and couching. Going in I thought it would deal with aggressive play calling and risk taking, but there were only a few sections about his use of analytics to determine when to punt, go for two, etc. It wasn't 100% what I was expecting but still a solid read. There were interesting details scattered about, seemingly inadvertently. Most of these dealt with the behind the scenes prep that goes on wi A quick and light read. Less about his couching philosophy and more about his journey through playing and couching. Going in I thought it would deal with aggressive play calling and risk taking, but there were only a few sections about his use of analytics to determine when to punt, go for two, etc. It wasn't 100% what I was expecting but still a solid read. There were interesting details scattered about, seemingly inadvertently. Most of these dealt with the behind the scenes prep that goes on with managing a professional team. Overall as an eagles fan I'm glad I read it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Vince

    Coach Pederson provides Eagles fans with his story and philosophy As a life long Eagles fan I was excited to read the book by the first coach of the team to lift the Lombardi. While he works a lot of his biography into it, it's more about his philosophy in life in and out of football. It's a quick and enjoyable book by a good coach and a good man.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Feola

    I am a huge Eagles fan and watched every game last year from September through that infamous day, February 4, 2018. I was very skeptical about Doug when he was hired in January 2016. I am now one of his biggest advocates. The book was refreshing and gave a glimpse of what Doug is like as a person and a coach. I truly enjoyed it. Very quick easy read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom Tresansky

    The perfect time to relive last year's amazing run. Lots of platitudes and uninteresting generalities padding any genuine insights about Doug's coaching philosophy. Enjoyed hearing his NFL career story. If this were any other team, perhaps a 3 star book. But Eagles Super Bowl memories will always get 5 stars from me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Addie Broussard

    Great read This author came across as sincere in this book. I enjoyed the behind the scenes look at how Pederson manages the Eagles. Although I think he stated this may be his only book, I'd certainly read another of his. It's a great read for any Eagles fan or anyone interested in leadership or coaching. 5 stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Not the kind of book I usually gravitate towards, but I enjoyed listening to this. Would have been better if Pederson read it himself, but still enjoyable. I learned a good bit about who knows who and how from the last 25~ years of the league.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris (Norseman) Miller

    This was a good look at some of Doug Pederson’s life and coaching. He describes the journey from player to coach then a Super Bowl victory. As an Eagles fan this was entertaining and informational and glad to have read it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vinnie Elliott

    Enjoyed the stories and his journey as a player and a coach. I’m not a Eagles fan but enjoyed the book. I have not read a coaching book in a very long time. I’ve read others genres in recent years. But enjoyed getting back to reading about a coaches life and prospective.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is the first of what I'm sure will be many books I read about the Eagles 2017 season. While there are some interesting things in here, if you're not an Eagles fan you're not missing anything. I'm pretty sure this won't end up being the definitive book about this season.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Adam Billing

    Poorly written

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chance Whitmore

    a peak behind the curtain into Doug Pederson's career, beliefs, and what drove the 2017 Eagles.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lee Adams

    Borderline terrible unless your last name is Pederson or you're a die-hard Eagles fan. There were a few funny anecdotes from his days with Brett Favre. Thankfully, this is a very quick read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Closer to 2.5 but I wasn't looking for Das Kapital here. It's your standard "co-written" memoir of a Super Bowl-winning coach, and I got what I wanted from it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    An interesting read for any Eagles fan, but nothing groundbreaking.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Greg Dietz

    Loved the content because I’m a die-hard Eagles fan, but oh boy was this tough to get through. Very disbanded writing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rick Cheeseman

    Five stars because I'm an Eagles fan.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Evan Kirby

    It's nothing special at all, but Doug's voice shines through bright and clear, and that's enough to make this thing worthwhile.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    Interesting perspective on the Eagles run to the Super Bowl.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Average to slighty above read. Interesting story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Namuel

    A bit of insight into football. more inspirational and not too deep. more pep talk with a little bit of X and Os. belief and confidence.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Gordos

    A really good read, especially if you are a sports or NFL fan like I am. An interesting, engaging and heartfelt story. How can you not cheer for the underdog - I can.

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