The interwoven strings of fate seem to have kept head coach Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles connected for over two decades. Whether he was suiting up as a player, or coaching QB Nick Foles under Andy Reid in 2012, Pederson is no stranger to the Eagles organization — both as a friend and foe.
In 2004, Doug Pederson was in his 13th year in the league (10th season on a roster) and still playing as a backup to likes of Brett Favre for the Green Bay Packers. Never one to be bothered by maintaining his No. 2 spot on the roster (as he had for most of his NFL career), Pederson did see playing time in the first four games that season, finishing with 11 completions on 23 attempts for 120 yards. (And for a glimpse of why he was a career back-up.) During his limited number of snaps that year, he fell flat with zero touchdowns and two interceptions against a 47.8% completion rate.
During the Packers’ Week 4 loss to the New York Giants that season, Pederson (who was in for a concussed Favre) took a hit to the side that resulted a cracked bone in his back, a torn muscle in his side, and a broken rib. Despite the big hit in the third quarter, Pederson stayed in the game up until the final snap — marking his 100th career game. Days later, the career back-up quarterback was placed on IR, ending his season and, ultimately, his career.
After the game, Giants cornerback Terry Cousin said. “We couldn’t underestimate Doug Pederson. He’s a good quarterback who’s been in the league a long time. But only Brett Favre can make some of those throws and make something out of nothing.”
That Week 4 game would end up being the last contest Pederson would suit up for as player. He rode the sideline the remainder of the 2004 season, as the Packers trudged to the postseason looking for revenge against a still-dominant Eagles team that had knocked them out of the playoffs (just one game away from the NFC Championship) the year before, thanks to the “4th and 26” play.
Instead, Green Bay was knocked out of the 2004 playoffs by the Minnesota Vikings during the Wild Card round. The Eagles on the other hand, went on to best the Atlanta Falcons (led by Mike Vick) in the NFC Championship, before playing the Patriots in Super Bowl 39.
Months later, in March 2005, Pederson would officially announce his NFL retirement and join the coaching ranks at Calvary Baptist Academy. This would be his first head coaching gig, but was just the beginning of a coaching career that kept him tied to Philadelphia before ultimately taking over as the man in charge in 2016.