Doug Pederson Media Roundup: What the new Jaguars head coach is saying about his return to Philadelphia
Doug Pederson is the only coach in Eagles history to win a Super Bowl. He also happens to be coaching the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team looking to hand the Eagles their first loss of the season.
This has naturally engendered a lot of discussion about how Philadelphia fans will react. All week long Doug has been getting hit with questions about his time in Philly and his relationship with the team he led to the ultimate pinnacle of football.
Of course, this started earlier this with the Jacksonville press finding a reason to bring up the always fun question about, you guessed it, throwing snowballs at Santa Claus.
Watch: What does Doug Pederson expect this Sunday?
“You know you hope it’s a good one for the things you did there but, you know, I know that crowd. They can be a little hostile and uh, you know, looking forward to that too.” (journalist interjects “They booed Santa right?”) “Yeah several years ago.”
To be clear: There are a lot of reasons for Doug Pederson to be apprehensive about his return to Philly.
None of which, however, have to do with Philly fans sixty years ago getting drunk and booing some guy dressed like Santa Claus. Doug’s response to the jab is the best you could hope for from him, as he just laughs it off. The media also sought to address the bronze statue in the room.
Doug Pederson on the “Philly Philly” Statue
It seems hard to believe Doug Pederson’s claim that he’s never seen the statue of him and Nick Foles immortalizing the moment they called the “Philly Special” play in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles and Bud Light wasted no time getting that thing in place for the 2018 season.
He’s joked about it before on the Rich Eisen show, but you can tell he’s kind of serious about not knowing what to expect from the crowd. He even said as much during his call with the Philly press. He wasn’t shy about admitting he wanted a warm reception like Andy Reid got when he returned with the Kansas City Chiefs.
That being said, I don’t think anybody in their right mind is going to boo Doug Pederson.
The guy did something Dick Vermeil, Buddy Ryan or Andy Reid couldn’t do. Yeah it would have been neat to win another Super Bowl and maybe if Carson Wentz didn’t get turned into ground beef over the course of the next several years that would have happened, but we are now in a new era of Philadelphia Eagles football with Jalen Hurts at the helm, so that’s neither here nor there.
Doug Pederson’s thoughts on Jalen Hurts
What we do know is that Doug Pederson’s lasting legacy in Philadelphia will be partially determined by the none other than Jalen Hurts. His decision to bench Wentz in favor of Hurts in 2020 and the fact that he cosigned on the draft pick used to select him kickstarted the end to his time with the Eagles and led the organization to the path it is on today.
Pederson himself was effusive in his praise of the third year signal caller, and pointed to Hurts history of overcoming long odds.
“That’s just the way his career has been built. He’s overcome adversity everywhere he’s been, at Alabama and Oklahoma.
Just not surprised. Not surprised that he’s playing this well and he’s playing and really utilizing the guys around him to help him get these wins that they’re piling up.”
The bottom line is before Doug Pederson rolled into town wearing his visor and going for it on every fourth down like a mad man, this team had zero Super Bowl rings.
Unless he winds up facing the Eagles in the Super Bowl as the Jaguars coach and goes full villain mode, you have to cheer for the guy. Even if it’s just a polite golf clap.
This could actually be a great opportunity for the crowd down at the Linc to really throw Pederson off given his uncertainty. Maybe a long standing ovation could make him cry like a little girl and cause his Jaguars team to lose faith in his ability to be a leader of men.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS