The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are both coming off of big week one wins. The pair will collide on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium but while the starts in Kansas City will be licking their lips at a chance to build on their shock win over New England, there’s a much bigger narrative at play. One which will see Andy Reid’s former pupil go toe-to-toe with the man who taught him everything he knows.
The relationship between Pederson and Reid goes far beyond their time in Kansas City and even their time in Philadelphia. Reid was Pederson’s QB coach for two years in Green Bay before both players ended up starting a season in Philadelphia. At the beginning of the 1999 campaign, Reid was the Head Coach and Pederson was the Quarterback. The two only amassed 2 wins out of 9 which led to McNabb being sent into the fray. It seemed as if those ties with Pederson would be severed, but the outcome was anything but.
It was Reid who gave Pederson a shot at a coaching career to begin with, hiring him as a quality control coach back in 2009. It took just two years for Pederson to become the team’s quarterback coach, a role in which he surpassed expectations and had a huge impact on the drafting of Nick Foles.
Upon the firing of Andy Reid, Pederson followed blindly into the unknown in the trust that it was the right thing to do. It was. Pederson was named offensive coordinator and went on help completely reshape the Kansas City Offense. Whether it was using a committee backfield in the absence of Jamaal Charles, or learning the coaching habits of a modern great, Pederson took a lot from his time in Kansas all the way back to Philadelphia when the Eagles snatched him from under Reid’s nose.
Echoes of Andy Reid can be seen in many areas of the franchise, but none more prominent than the way training camp was conducted. Pederson instilled the return of the 10/10/10 practice upon his return to the City of Brotherly Love, as well as activating live hitting early and often.
Pederson has clearly taken a lot of what he learned from a Philadelphia coaching legend and put his own spin on things…but make no mistake, Sunday will see a coaching war like Pederson hasn’t experienced.
“It will be fun to see him over there, Big Red on the other side.” Pederson told the media. “But at the same time, I know he wants to kick my tail and I want to kick his.”
One would think that the apprentice has a chance to finally beat the master. Of course he does. But it won’t be easy…and it won’t be the first time Reid has faced a former pupil. The Chiefs Head Coach is 8-3 when facing former coaching assistants and after a “red” hot start, the odds are stacked against a team building in the same vein.
“Listen, Andy Reid teams are well prepared, as we know, and we’ve got to do the same thing this week.” Pederson told reporters. “We’ve just got to be ultra prepared. That [Arrowhead Stadium] is a tough place to play now. It is a loud, loud place and we’ve got to be able to handle that crowd noise. We’ve got to do it through communication, nonverbal communication. All that has to be on point this week in practice, but it will be fun. It will be fun to get out there. But again, once we tee it up and kick it off, it’s all about the business and all about the game.”
If there is ever a time for Pederson to tap into all of the knowledge and insight gained from his years working under Andy Reid, it’s against the coach who will use all of those traits against him.
“Consistency. Being honest, being open, and being fair with the players.” Pederson said. “Teaching, coaching, probably the biggest things.”
“And just — I think it’s the attention to detail that he has with his players and his coaches, and those are some of the biggest things I’ve learned from him.”
Pederson is preparing to meet his maker…but will his surging Eagles team have enough to overcome the franchise Pederson is trying to build?
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports