By Eliot Shorr-Parks | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Head coach Doug Pederson started behind the eight ball when he was hired by the Eagles.
Following the circus (for better or worse) that was Chip Kelly, Pederson came to the Eagles as a boring, uninspiring hire that felt more like a last resort than a higher rooted in the belief Pederson could be a long-term head coach. He was viewed more as a hire that would feed executive vide president of football operations Howie Roseman's desire to be in complete control than a hire that would actually pay off on the field.
Pederson has been ripped relentlessly, by both the fans, the media and this reporter, since he was hired -- even after big wins. As opposed to needing to show he couldn't do the job before the skepticism started, Pederson has had to climb up a steep hill to simply be viewed as competent.
Following the Eagles' 26-24 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, however, it is officially time to admit what many felt would never become the case -- Pederson has done a very good job since taking over, and has earned the respect of being viewed as a good head coach.

Here are nine reasons you should stop hating on Pederson:

THE EAGLES OFFENSE IS ONE OF THE BEST IN NFL

As a former offensive coordinator, and quarterback, the main responsibility of Pederson is to run the Ealges' offense -- especially with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz handling the defense.
Pederson has done an excellent job with the Eagles' offense so far this season, as they have proven to be one of the best units in the NFL. The Eagles are third in the NFL in total yards per game, averaging 393 yards per game. They are seventh in points (25.8), 11th in passing yards (249.5 yards) and tied for third in rushing yards (143).

In fact, since taking over as head coach of the Eagles, Pederson's team has scored at least 20 points in 16 games, the fourth most in the NFL during that time span.

THE EAGLES SKILL POSITION PLAYERS ARE AVERAGE

Since taking over the Eagles, Pederson has done more than most coaches would be able to with the subpar talent he has been given at the skill positions.
Of the six receivers that were on the Eagles' roster during the 2016 season, only two are still on an active roster. The other four? Either not in the NFL or on a practice squad. The top running back Pederson had last season, Ryan Mathews? He is also not on an active roster.

This season, the Eagles went out and tried to give Pederson better weapons, but that hasn't worked out either. Top receiver Alshon Jeffery has been a disappointment, and No. 2 wide receiver Torrey Smith has said himself that he is playing the worst football of his career.
Despite being given average (at best) talent at receiver and running back, Pederson has still managed to keep the Eagles' offense moving -- something that can't be said for other head coaches with better talent to work with.

HE COACHED UP CARSON WENTZ

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is so talented, he might have been successful no matter where he ended up. There have been plenty of quarterbacks, however, that have landed in a bad situation as a rookie, and have had their career ruined because of it.
You can debate what percentage of Wentz's success is because of Pederson, but there is no denying the head coach has played a role in the Eagles have what many feel is the best young quarterback in the NFL.
Wentz has spoken highly of the relationship he has with Pederson, and the role Pederson has played in his development. The two also seem to have a very good working relationship on the field, as Pederson gives Wentz the ability to make his own calls at times at the line of scrimmage, and makes his sure quarterback knows he genuinely trusts him -- an important aspect of any head coach and quarterback relationship.
If you are high on Wentz, you should feel -- to a certain degree -- that same kind of optimism about Pederson.
THE EAGLES CONTROL THE CLOCK
As a game, the NFL is changing, but one thing remains true -- to win, you have to be able to control the clock.
Under Pederson, no team does a better job holding onto the ball than the Eagles.
In their win over the Los Angeles Chargers, the Eagles held the ball for 39 minutes and 18 seconds. This season the Eagles are holding onto the ball an average of 34 minutes and 12 seconds a game, tops in the NFL.
Last season? The Eagles were tops in the NFL as well, holding onto the ball for an average of 32 seconds and 31 seconds. Of the top five teams in time of possession, the Eagles were the only one to not make the playoffs.
Whether or not the Eagles make the playoffs this season remains to be seen, but with Pederson's offense dominating the ball, their chances seem high.

HE HASN'T COST THE EAGLES ANY GAMES

After the team's Week 1 game against the Washington Redskins, Pederson was ripped for his second-half play calling and his failure to run the ball. After the team's Week 3 game against the Giants, Pederson was ripped for a week about his decision to go for it on 4th-and-eight.
Two games, believe it or not, the Eagles actually did win.
While Pederson has been far from a perfect head coach -- and not many are -- the reality is that 20 games into his coaching career, he has yet to really cost the Eagles the game with any of his play calls or decisions.
That isn't to say he won't in the future, or hasn't come close to doing so, but Pederson has yet to commit a critical error in late in games that took a game the team was going to win and turned it into a loss.
In fact, there is no question that Pederson has won more games for the Eagles -- with his play calling or ability to rally the troops -- then he has even come close to losing.

YES, HE IS WILLING TO RUN THE BALL

A common criticism of Pederson is that he isn't willing to run the ball, or that he isn't worried about having a balanced offense.
A narrative Pederson has completely put to rest the last two weeks.
The narrative was not true to begin with, as the Eagles were right in the middle of the league last season in running-play percentage, calling a running play on 41% of their plays in 2016. In fact, the Eagles finished 11th in the NFL last season with 1,813 rushing yards.
This season, Pederson has once again shown he is willing to run the ball. In the last two Eagles' wins, over the Giants and Chargers, the Eagles' running backs have run the ball a whopping 69, compared to 62 throws for Wentz. The Eagles' running backs have rewarded Pederson for having more running attempts than Wentz has throws, totaling 371 yards and three touchdowns.
Pederson hasn't discovered a new-found commitment to the run, he has simply looked at the opposing defenses -- the Giants and Chargers have two of the worst running defenses in the NFL -- and taken advantage of their clear weaknesses.
Under Pederson -- and owner Jeffrey Lurie -- the Eagles will always be a throw-first team. That is the philosophy of the organization.
When they have had the chance to, however, Pederson has happily dominated other teams with his running game.

HE ISN'T THE GUY HE IS AT THE PODIUM

There is no getting around it -- Pederson is awkward at the podium. He speaks in circles, he often doesn't make sense, and sometimes he says things that simply don't end up happening. For fans, seeing the way Pederson handles himself at the podium is understandably concerning.
The good news? When he isn't at the podium, Pederson is a different guy.
Players, both on-and-off the record, speak very highly of the way Pederson handles himself as head coach, both in meetings and around the building. Although the bad relationship former head coach Chip Kelly had with his players has been way overblown, there is no doubt that all 53 players on the active roster respect and like Pederson.
When it comes to the things he can control -- running the offense and getting his players to play hard -- Pederson has been able to do both at a high level. Something that should speak much louder than the words he says at the podium.

THE EAGLES ARE 5-1 IN LAST 6 GAMES

Last season after the Eagles' 32-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, their fifth loss in six games, many questioned if the Eagles were ready to quit on Pederson, considering what was perceived to be a lack of effort on the field.
With some already calling for Pederson's job, the Eagles fought hard the following week and barely lost to the Washington Redskins. Then, the next week, they lost by one point to the Baltimore Ravens.
Since that lost to the Ravens, the Eagles are 5-1 overall after their win on Sunday, putting to rest any idea that the Eagles were about to quit on their head coach. Instead, the Eagles have rallied around Pederson, and even dumped a bucket of Gatorade on him after their Week 1 win.
After a poor stretch over the middle of last season, Pederson and the Eagles appearing to be turning a corner, and have shown they now can win close games -- something they couldn't last season.

THE EAGLES' LOCKER ROOM PLAYS HARD FOR HIM

Last Sunday, in the Eagles' win over the Giants, there was a clear difference on the field between the effort the Eagles were putting in as opposed to the Giants.
On certain big plays in the game, such as the fourth-down attempt at the end of the first half, the Eagles simply outworked and out hustled the Giants on their way to a win -- and considering the Giants needed the win more, it should have been the other way around.


HE HASN'T COST THE EAGLES ANY GAMES

After the team's Week 1 game against the Washington Redskins, Pederson was ripped for his second-half play calling and his failure to run the ball. After the team's Week 3 game against the Giants, Pederson was ripped for a week about his decision to go for it on 4th-and-eight.
Two games, believe it or not, the Eagles actually did win.
While Pederson has been far from a perfect head coach -- and not many are -- the reality is that 20 games into his coaching career, he has yet to really cost the Eagles the game with any of his play calls or decisions.
That isn't to say he won't in the future, or hasn't come close to doing so, but Pederson has yet to commit a critical error in late in games that took a game the team was going to win and turned it into a loss.
In fact, there is no question that Pederson has won more games for the Eagles -- with his play calling or ability to rally the troops -- then he has even come close to losing.

YES, HE IS WILLING TO RUN THE BALL

A common criticism of Pederson is that he isn't willing to run the ball, or that he isn't worried about having a balanced offense.
A narrative Pederson has completely put to rest the last two weeks.
The narrative was not true to begin with, as the Eagles were right in the middle of the league last season in running-play percentage, calling a running play on 41% of their plays in 2016. In fact, the Eagles finished 11th in the NFL last season with 1,813 rushing yards.
This season, Pederson has once again shown he is willing to run the ball. In the last two Eagles' wins, over the Giants and Chargers, the Eagles' running backs have run the ball a whopping 69, compared to 62 throws for Wentz. The Eagles' running backs have rewarded Pederson for having more running attempts than Wentz has throws, totaling 371 yards and three touchdowns.
Pederson hasn't discovered a new-found commitment to the run, he has simply looked at the opposing defenses -- the Giants and Chargers have two of the worst running defenses in the NFL -- and taken advantage of their clear weaknesses.
The Eagles have consistently played very hard for Pederson, and rarely have them been completely overmatched or outworked in game. In the 20 games Pederson has coached since the start of last season, the Eagles have only lost three games by 10-or-more points, and five of the team's 10 losses have been by six points or less.
Under Pederson, the Eagles have been an extremely competitive, extremely hard-working team -- and a glimpse around the NFL shows that is not a common occurrence for most teams.


He's played and coached under very good coaches and QB's .
He's put together a very good coaching staff