Eagles faithful should give Doug Pederson his due

Doug Pederson doesn’t come off as the vengeful type.

He has been on record, however, as saying he was blindsided at being fired by the Eagles after going 4-11-1 in 2020, considering all he’d done prior to that season — including bringing Philadelphia its first and only Super Bowl title, following the 2017 season.

So, to say the Jaguars’ game at Philadelphia (3-0) on Sunday doesn’t mean a little bit extra to Pederson, now Jacksonville’s head coach, would be a flat-out lie.

Human nature, after all.

Pederson, who led the Eagles to the Super Bowl LII title, finished his Philadelphia tenure with a 42-37-1 record, three playoff berths and four postseason wins. He probably didn’t deserve to be fired, after quarterback Carson Wentz regressed following his four-year, $128 million contract extension.

“That was a long time ago — two years ago,” Pederson told reporters this week, making his best attempt to downplay the elephant in the room. “Listen, I’ve got to get my team prepared. I’m personally looking forward to coming back to Philly. Obviously got a lot of fond memories there, and what we did in 2017 is something we’ll always remember.”

Pederson, with 2021 first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence at quarterback and looking like he has made significant strides this season, has the Jaguars at 2-1 and one of the surprises of the league. A Jacksonville win Sunday would match the team’s win total from last season, which was marred by the ill-advised hiring of Urban Meyer as head coach.

nfl, sports, cannz corner, doug pederson, jacksonville jaguars, philadelphia eagles, eagles faithful should give doug pederson his due

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson led the Eagles to their only Super Bowl title in 2018.

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Pederson said he sees “similarities’’ between the period during which he helped turn Philly into a winner beginning in 2016, his first season with the Eagles, and what he’s hoping to do with the Jaguars.

“It’s really shaped who I am now as a second-time head coach in this league and again with a young football team,’’ he said, referring to the 2016 season, when Wentz started to develop and the Eagles began to fly on his watch. “I would say that we’re probably ahead of the curve here with this football team than we were in ’16, but it’s a work in progress, too.”

Nick Sirianni, who was hired as Pederson’s successor, said he doesn’t know Pederson personally, but has “a ton of respect for him.’’

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Doug Pederson

USA TODAY Sports

“I only know him through the people in this building and Frank [Reich, the former Eagles’ offensive coordinator under Pederson and current Colts head coach], and I’ve heard nothing but phenomenal things,” Sirianni said. “I’m pretty far into my Jacksonville prep right now, and you can just tell they’re well-coached. It doesn’t surprise me at all because I know how good of a coach Pederson is.

“Obviously, he brought this city a world championship, so I have so much respect for him.’’

Philadelphia can be a rough place, and its passionate fans are among the toughest to please. If Pederson doesn’t receive a positive reception from the Philadelphia faithful Sunday, then shame on them considering what he brought to that city.

Andy Reid, when he returned to Philadelphia with the Chiefs, got a big ovation. And he didn’t even win a Super Bowl with the Eagles.

“I remember back when I was with the Chiefs [with] Coach Reid and we came back and he got a standing ovation,” Pederson said. “Hopefully it’s in that realm. But, look, this is Philly, anything is possible with these fans. I’m just looking forward to 1 o’clock there.”

When 1 o’clock strikes Sunday, Eagles fans at Lincoln Financial Field should rise from their seats and cheer the man who brought them their only championship.

Pederson deserves that.

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