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Doug Pederson Ponders Crowd's Reaction When he Returns to Lincoln Financial Field

The Jaguars coach will bring his first-place team to Philadelphia just five year after he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title
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PHILADELPHIA – Doug Pederson was the quarterback coach on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City when Reid made his return to the city for the first time with another team.

Reid got a standing ovation.

Pederson was asked by SI Eagles Today during a video call with Eagles media what sort of reception he expects from the Lincoln Financial Field crowd when he brings his first-place Jacksonville Jaguars to town for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday.

“Hopefully it’s in that realm (of the standing ovation Reid got),” said Pederson. “But look, it’s Philly, anything’s possible with these fans. I’m just looking forward to running out of that tunnel with the Jaguars and getting ready to play a game.”

Pederson said he isn’t coming to town with any hard feelings from the way his time ended with the Eagles, just three short seasons after leading the franchise to its first Super Bowl triumph.

There is still a statue that sits outside the Linc of him and quarterback Nick Foles in conversation about calling one of the best plays in Super Bowl history – the Philly Special.

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“That was a long time ago, two years ago,” he said about being fired. “I have to get my team prepared and I’m personally looking forward to coming back to Philly. Obviously have a lot of fond memories there and what we did in 2017 is something that we’ll always remember, even you (the media). I’m excited about that.”

There is no question that Pederson looked much more refreshed and relaxed on the Zoom call than he did during his final weeks as the Eagles’ head coach.

“It definitely feels good to be back on the sideline, to be in the locker room with these guys,” he said. “Obviously, the year off, that journey for me and my brother (died) and my family situation with him. It just was a really good time for me to step away and refocus and regroup myself, and come back with a lot of energy and passion, and just pour everything I learned in five years into this job and make it the best I could.

“Have fun with it. I think that’s one of the things I learned the first time, just have a little more fun with what we do, and don’t be so stressed out all the time.”

With the benefit of hindsight, Pederson believes the change in coaches has benefitted the Eagles, as well.

“I think sometimes, yeah, you have to go through changes to have success,” he said. “You have to go through a change to change things. Just a fresh start for everybody, but I appreciate my time there, and (Eagles owner) Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie hired me to win a championship, and we were able to do that for him and the city. And that’ll always be remembered.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.