Pederson ready to face mentor Reid
PHILADELPHIA — Andy Reid gave Doug Pederson his first starting job in the NFL and later his first coaching gig, too.
Pederson hopes to repay Reid with a loss.
The student meets the teacher today when Pederson leads the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) against Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Arrowhead Stadium.
“It will be fun to see him over there, Big Red on the other side,” Pederson said. “I know he wants to kick my tail and I want to kick his.”
Pederson spent 13 seasons playing for Reid and coaching under him. The relationship began when Pederson was a backup quarterback behind Brett Favre in Green Bay and Reid was an assistant coach.
When Reid took over as head coach in Philadelphia in 1999, he brought Pederson over as the starting quarterback to groom rookie Donovan McNabb.
Ten years later, Reid hired Pederson to be an assistant coach. After the Eagles fired Reid following the 2012 season, he went to Kansas City and took Pederson with him to be the offensive coordinator.
The two men know each other inside and out.
“If you want to be successful in this business, you have to spend time,” Pederson said. “You have to spend time watching tape. You have to spend time with your players. There’s no shortcut around that. And that’s what he does, and those are the things that he instilled in me watching him was if you want things done right, then you have to spend the time and put in that extra time to be that disciplined.”
Reid, who is typically stoic, downplayed personal feelings.
“I have a lot of respect for him and I think he’s doing a nice job there,” Reid said. “I know he’ll have his team ready. He’s got a good football team, he’s got good coaches, so they’ll come in and be ready to go. Once you start the game, though, you’re playing the game and it really doesn’t necessarily matter who’s over there.”
Pederson said Reid taught him “consistency, being honest, being open, and being fair with the players.”
Reid has fared well against his former pupils, going 8-3 in those games.
“I don’t want to put any added stress or pressure on myself to go perform,” Pederson said. “I can’t get caught up on who’s on the other sideline. I just have to focus on my job and getting our team ready to play.”
Here’s a few more things to know about the Eagles-Chiefs matchup:
ROOKIE SENSATION: Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt had 246 yards from scrimmage against New England, setting a record for players making their NFL debut. The Eagles shut down the run in their win over Washington in Week 1, but face a bigger challenge this week.
BRINGING THE HEAT: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz mixed up his coverages and called more blitzes than usual last week. The result was a fierce pass rush that helped limit Kirk Cousins and the Redskins to 10 offensive points. Defensive end Brandon Graham, who also lined up at tackle in certain looks, had two sacks and forced a fumble that was returned for a game-clinching touchdown. “We’re just going to keep bringing it,” Graham said. “We have a lot of guys here who are hungry and who want to shake things up. Our job is to create havoc. Jim tells us that all the time. He wants us to attack so that’s what we do.”
TYREEK’S STREAK: Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill has scored 60-plus yard touchdowns in five consecutive games. He presents a big problem for a defense missing starting cornerback Ronald Darby. “If you pay too much attention to any one guy, that other guy can make you pay,” Schwartz said about Hunt and Hill.
SLOT SUCCESS: Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor didn’t live up to expectations after being selected in the first round in the 2015 draft. But the departure of Jordan Matthews via trade gave Agholor an opportunity to start in the slot. He responded with a career-best six catches for 86 yards, including a 58-yard TD in Week 1.
Four of those receptions extended the drive on third down. “Nelson is fast, explosive, good off the line vs. press, good route-runner, good feet, good separation at the top of routes,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Rookie Jake Elliott is Philadelphia’s new kicker. He replaced Caleb Sturgis, who was injured. Elliott was a fifth-round pick by the Bengals and was on their practice squad.