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Doug Pederson, Nick Foles happy for Alex Smith

Doug Pederson coached Alex Smith for three years in Kansas City. Nick Foles backed up Smith in 2016 with the Chiefs.

They were as surprised as anybody to hear the news of the trade that will send Smith to Washington.

“I just hate that we’ve got to play him twice a year,” Pederson said Wednesday. “I’m happy for Alex. I had to chance to work with him for three years obviously. I’m excited and happy for him. I think it’s a great honor for him and the Redskins, and he’s going to do fine. He’s a pro’s pro. He’s going to come in and he’s going demand perfection with the guys he’s working with, and I’m excited to again have him in our division and to be able to coach against him again.”

Foles regained his love of football in Kansas City with Andy Reid and Smith last season. He expects the Eagles and the rest of the NFC East to have their hands full against a “great quarterback.”

“Washington is very fortunate to have a quarterback in Alex Smith,” Foles said. “My year with him was one of my favorite years in football. It was being there in Kansas City and being able to work with him. Seeing a guy that for some reason people critique him all the time. The guy’s a winner. Look at him. Look at what he did this year. He keeps coming. He keeps getting better. I was with him. I worked with him every day. He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with, one of the most athletic guys, can make plays. But most importantly, leadership in the locker room. He can turn a locker room around and guys believe in him. So Washington’s getting a great quarterback. I’m excited for him and his opportunity.

“This league is crazy. You never know what’s going to happen.”