Thursday night’s meeting between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers will feature two of the NFL’s top teams – and two coaches with a history together.
Carolina head coach Ron Rivera and Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson both stem from the coaching tree of former Eagles and current Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Reid was the leading man in Philadelphia from 1999 to 2012, and both Rivera and Pederson spent time there during that period.
“All the guys that have been head coaches, we can honestly all say there’s something that we’re doing that we took from (Reid),” Rivera said. “When you get guys that work for Andy, most of them are going to learn.”
Both arrived in Philly the same year Reid did. Pederson signed a three-year, $4.5 million dollar deal to become the Eagles starting quarterback in 1999, and Rivera joined the staff as linebackers coach from Chicago. Reid was previously Pederson’s quarterbacks coach in Green Bay before recruiting him to Philly.
Rivera left in 2004 to become the defensive coordinator in Chicago, and Pederson was benched in favor of Donovan McNabb halfway through the 1999 season. After he retired, Pederson made it back to Philadelphia as an offensive quality control coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Reid.
When Reid left after 2012, Pederson followed him to Kansas City before returning to become the Eagles head coach last season.
He said he maintains a healthy respect for Rivera.
“Just overall he’s a genuine human being,” Pederson said. “A lot of respect for him and what he’s done not only on the field but off the field. His wife and my wife are old friends as well.
“Look forward to seeing him.”