The Kansas City Chiefs will see some familiar faces on the opposing sideline in the Week 10 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
First-year Jags HC Doug Pederson was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City from 2013 to 2015, coordinating an offense that featured Alex Smith in the earliest days of the Andy Reid era. Pederson’s familiarity with Reid goes way back to his playing days, though.
Pederson was a backup quarterback when Reid was an assistant in Green Bay, he followed Reid to the Eagles when he got his first head-coaching opportunity, playing for him in 1999. Reid would later give Pederson his first NFL coaching opportunity as a quality control coach with the Eagles in 2009.
Pederson isn’t the only familiar coach on the opposing sideline either.
So, (Jaguars Head Coach) Doug Pederson we’re all familiar with and he’s a good friend,” Chiefs HC Andy Reid said on Wednesday. “I think he’s doing a heck of a job down there. The players have bought into what he’s teaching and (Jaguars Defensive Coordinator) Mike Caldwell, the defensive coordinator is one of my ex-players and coaches and he’s got a system, great system there. (Jaguars Senior Defensive Assistant) Bob Sutton’s working with them and you see his influence, too, in there. (Jaguars Quarterbacks Coach) Mike McCoy is the quarterback coach and Mike and I go way back. You know he’s a University of Utah guy and I’m a BYU guy. . . But anyways, they’re well coached and they’ve got good players and these guys play very hard.”
While the Jaguars boast just a 3-6 record on the season, Reid and his players aren’t underestimating this AFC South squad. They know just how good those coaches on the staff are and they wholeheartedly believe that Jacksonville has a more talented team than their record might reflect.
“Yeah sure, our guys can see it on tape. Even the games that they’ve lost, they’ve lost just by a few points, you know a score,” Reid said. “You see their excitement – even in games that they’ve lost – when they make a play, they’re excited. You even saw it with the Tennessee bunch, supporting each other and there’s normally belief in that that comes with that. So, you know that’s how Doug’s crew is. You can tell they like what they’re getting scheme-wise. They’re playing fast, there’s nobody hanging their head, no poor body language. They’re excited when a good play happens.”
As for Patrick Mahomes, he came after Pederson’s time in Kansas City. He explained on Wednesday that he actually had to poll the offensive coaching staff to find out what Pederson still might know about their offensive checks and calls at the line of scrimmage.
“Yeah, I have to ask because I actually wasn’t here with (Jaguars Head Coach) Doug (Pederson),” Mahomes told reporters. “He left right before I got here. And so, I knew a lot of people that knew him and talked very highly of him (and) how great of a coach he was. And so, I have to go back and ask sometimes when, ‘On this check, does he know what this check means?’ and stuff like that so we can change the code words, we can change stuff up, so he doesn’t have any intel on the stuff we’re trying to get done.”
Both the Chiefs and Jaguars will have to get creative with some of their game-planning, personnel and offensive formations on Sunday. While plenty has changed, there is also a lot of carryover between the two offensive systems.
No matter what happens on Sunday, there will be little love lost between Reid and Pederson. It will be the second time that they’ve faced off since Pederson left Kansas City, with the first game coming back during his second season as head coach in Philadelphia. Admiration, respect and appreciation between the two coaches very clearly go both ways.
“I owe a lot to coach Reid,” Pederson said in a conference call on Wednesday. “The things he taught me, not only as a player, but I think as an assistant coach and when I became coordinator in Kansas City. We just spent so much time together in meetings, one on ones. Everything about him is about pouring himself into other people and he did that with me and helped me prepare for my first (head-coaching) job in Philadelphia.”