Between his days as a player and a coach, Doug Pederson has spent a lot of time in Philadelphia.
After five seasons leading the Eagles, including a victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Pederson will be back in the city this weekend when the Jaguars take on the Eagles.
In his Monday press conference, Pederson said he’s looking forward to going back to a place where he created a lot of good memories.
“I spent eight or nine years there, once with coach [Andy] Reid and then once obviously as the head coach and brought that city a championship and something to be proud of, obviously,” Pederson said. “I understand that city, I understand that passion for football, but now I’m on the other side. It’s still a long way away. It’s seven days away or six days away, but we have to prepare this week like we have these last couple of weeks. But I’m looking forward to it, to getting back up there. It’s been a great place. We did a lot of good things there and I’m looking forward to, hopefully, the welcome.”
While Pederson did coach the team that won Philadelphia’s only Super Bowl, he realizes that doesn’t mean he’ll get a warm reception from Philly fans.
“I don’t know. It could be mixed,” Pederson said. “Listen, I have to get this team here ready to go and I’m not going to be concerned with that. You hope it’s a good one obviously for the things you did there, but I also know that crowd and they can be a little hostile and [I’m] looking forward to that too. Listen, understanding that and having been there and worked there, you just understand that it’s [how it is]. Even when I was there and we were winning games or losing games, you were still getting booed, so it doesn’t really matter.”
The 2-1 Jaguars and the 3-0 Eagles have been two of the league’s better teams, especially over the last two weeks. Pederson will certainly be a talking point over the next several days, but he’s not the focus internally.
“My job is to prepare the team to go play in a great environment against a really good football team that’s playing extremely well right now,” Pederson said. “For us, it’s the next one on the schedule and it just so happens to be Philly. But at the same time, it’s my job to prepare the guys this week and go play.”