INDIANAPOLIS – What happens when friends become rivals?
Frank Reich and Doug Pederson are turning up the tension on the field at least as AFC South adversaries after helping lead the Eagles to a championship in 2017.
“It’s kind of exciting he’s in our division,” Reich said this week at team headquarters. “Their offense is very similar to our offense, so that’s kind of a unique dynamic.”
“It’s always fun to go against coaches I’ve worked with and have a relationship with,” Pederson told reporters in Jacksonville. “It’ll be good to see him, but when it kicks off and we’re on the other side, we’re trying to beat each other.”
“I talk to him frequently,” said Reich. “Obviously, not during the season, but in the offseason a couple of times a month just catching up. I think the world of him. He’s a great, class-act person and a really great football coach.”
The feeling is mutual.
“Frank’s got that head coach demeanor, quiet strength,” said Pederson. “He knew how to lead our offense to a championship. Now he’s trying to do that in Indy.”
The two share something else important this week: the need for their team’s first win. The Colts tied the Texans in week one, while the Jaguars lost to Carson Wentz and Commanders on a late touchdown.
“That’s what’s so stinking great about this game,” Reich said. “You got two teams who, this is a significant battle, early in the year, means a lot. Both teams will be ready to play.”
“They’re disappointed just like we are,” said Pederson. “Hopefully, it’ll be a good football game.”