September 28, 2022
Doug Pederson, the first head coach in the history of the Eagles to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, makes his return to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. Before Pederson's Jaguars take on the Birds, he spoke with the Philadelphia media on a Zoom call on Wednesday to discuss his much-hyped homecoming.
"It's Philly. Anything is possible," Pederson said about how the fans will react to him being back at the Linc. Pederson said he hopes to received a warm reception, but is clearly playing it safe a bit with what he's saying. He shouldn't have to play it safe. He's a legend. I discussed it in an Eagles mailbag earlier in the week, but fans not giving Pederson a standing ovation would be embarrassing.
Pederson mentioned that when he was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator in 2013, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid made his own return to Philly for the first time after coaching the Eagles for 14 years and received a standing ovation. Reid was a way more divisive figure in the city during his tenure as the Eagles' head coach, whereas Pederson endeared himself to the fans pretty quickly with that big ol' Super Bowl win in just his second year here.
"What we did in 2017 is something we will always remember," Pederson said.
The Eagles would be wise to give Pederson a video tribute, though I have no inside info as to whether something like that would occur. A standing O is the least Eagles fans could do for Pederson and a mini tribute before the Eagles and Jaguars square off is a low bar to clear for the organization.
It's not as if Pederson will be walking into the stadium by it, but I'd expect a guy who literally has a statue outside of the Linc to be treated as graciously as he deserves to be before kickoff.
I'm journalistically required to write this in every Pederson story I put together this week:
Doug Pederson took a backup quarterback who nearly quit football a year prior to the Super Bowl and scored 41 points on the greatest defensive mind to ever live.
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