During his introductory news conference as Eagles head coach, Doug Pederson was asked to explain something that happened just a few days ago as he was finishing up his old job.
The Chiefs narrowly lost to the Patriots, thanks in part to the fact that they milked almost six minutes off the clock while trailing by two scores at the end of the game. From an outsider's perspective, it looked like the situation was mismanaged only because it was dependent on receiving an onside kick and did not allow for the potential to stop Tom Brady, use two timeouts and the two-minute warning, and attempt to score with one timeout to use as needed.
Pederson took the blame for what happened -- or at least explained his reasoning. He said he was sharing play-calling duties with Chiefs coach Andy Reid earlier in the game before being handed the reins in the second half.
"I'll even go back a little bit further. I was able to call plays really since the Pittsburgh game -- if you followed the Kansas City Chiefs -- from the Pittsburgh game on," he said. "Coach Reid and I had a great understanding, a great feel for the game. He allowed me to call the second half of every football game from that Steeler game on. The second half of our playoff game the other night, I had the second half."
So why the delay in scoring?
"It took so long because number one, (we) did not want to give Tom Brady the ball back. We knew we were gonna score," Pederson said. "We knew we had timeouts and time. We were also limited with the number of receivers. We had Jeremy Maclin out of the game at the time. We were down numbers. We felt like at that point not to give the ball back to Tom Brady. We still had timeouts and time even with the onside kick to put ourselves in a position to tie the football game."
Although it might not be an explanation that's easy to digest for Chiefs fans, one has to respect Pederson for handling a curveball question in a pretty stand-up way. With Reid sharing play-calling duties and his penchant for winding down the clock in crucial situations, it would have been easy for Pederson to lay it on his former boss. It was something every Eagles fan would have gone with anyway.