Philadelphia Eagles: Doug Pederson gets standing O in Philly return, gives jacket to Jason Kelce

PHILADELPHIA– Doug Pederson gave a standing ovation to Eagles fans who were forever grateful to the former coach for leading the franchise to the 2017 Super Bowl championship.

Pederson left the field without his Jaguars jacket.

Jason Kelce, the Eagles center and heart of this Super Bowl team, trotted into midfield after Philadelphia’s 29-21 win on Sunday and took the sodden coat off the sophomore Jaguars coach. Instead of the traditional jersey swap, Kelce wore what counts as part of Pederson’s uniform.

“This will be framed, just like everyone else,” Kelce said at his locker. “It’s a very valuable possession right here.”

Kelce and fellow Super Bowl player Tackle Lane Johnson were both in tears upon reuniting with Pederson. He wasn’t just any coach going through the career of an NFL player.

He won the Eagles their only Super Bowl. He answered in the affirmative when QB asked Nick Foles in the Super Bowl, “You want Philly Philly?” Foles then caught a fourth-place touchdown pass, the Eagles won 41-33 and shortly thereafter — when the save ended and Kelce put away the Mummer’s costume and the city’s light poles no longer needed thick coats of grease to shut down the insane revelers brakes – A statue of the QB and his coach has been erected outside of Lincoln Financial Field.

Pederson may have had a different sideline view — he had his back to the 2017 World Champions banner — but the bond with his former players remained as close as it was that February 4, 2108 night in Minneapolis.

“I spent a lot of my good years with Doug,” Johnson said. “I feel like he was the guy who sort of pulled me back out of the abyss. Whenever I was down or needed a word of encouragement, he was there. you miss him Anyone who comes in and wins a championship and puts their heart into the team, which you have tremendous respect for.”

Johnson added: “He’s a damn good coach, a damn good person.”

Even Jalen Hurts, a second-round pick in Pederson’s final season, gave his old coach a big hug and thanked him “because you’re the reason I’m here. I have a lot of love and respect for him.”

The admiration was mutual.

“I just told him I’m proud of him. I wished him well for the rest of the season,” said Pederson. “And, you know, how he really turned into the leader that we all thought he would and is. And I just wanted him to know that.”

Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles is hugged by Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson after the Eagles defeated the Jaguars on Sunday, October 2, 2022 in Philadelphia.

AP Photo/Chris Szagola

Pederson went 42-37-1 in five seasons with the Eagles. He led the Eagles to two division championships and three playoff appearances before ending 2020 4-11-1. Pederson was fired less than three years after that Super Bowl win.

On a rainy Sunday in Philly, Pederson came into his own.

As fans cheered for Pederson, the camera cut to the big screens of the 2017 World Champions banner hanging over the Linc’s upper deck. Pederson mingled with some of his former players on the pitch before the game and was warmly greeted by stadium employees as he entered the stadium.

“It’s my normal routine, just meeting guys,” Pederson said. “At the end of the day I have a job to do and get the Jags ready to play.”

And sure, his return to the Linc, where Pederson and the Eagles won the NFC Championship in January 2018 with a 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings, brought back some fond memories. When the game started, well, not many new ones came out of that journey to remember.

“It’s just unfortunate for us,” Pederson said.

Pederson was on the sidelines for another Eagles win.

Just the wrong one.

Trevor Lawrence fumbled four times and threw just 174 yards. He was stripped on the final drive of the game as the Jaguars had one last try to pull out the excitement.

“We still had a chance to win,” Lawrence said. “We still have some great rides put together. We have to finish.”

If Lawrence needs a reminder on how to finish big games, Pederson has a Super Bowl movie to show him.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://6abc.com/eagles-jaguars-doug-pederson-jalen-hurts-kelce-jacket/12290120/ Philadelphia Eagles: Doug Pederson gets standing O in Philly return, gives jacket to Jason Kelce

Alley Einstein

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