Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz once likened their working relationship to a marriage. It’s safe to say the two divorced this offseason as Pederson was fired by the Eagles and Wentz was traded to Indianapolis, ending an era of football in Philadelphia.
And through it all, the Eagles’ former head coach and quarterback did not speak. Until last week, when Pederson was a guest at Colts training camp.
NBC Sports’ Peter King, for his FMIA column, chatted with Pederson, who explained that he went to Colts training camp wanting to see Wentz for the first time in a long time.
“I really wanted to go to Indianapolis, to see Frank especially,” Pederson said to King. “But I knew Carson was there, of course, and I wanted to see him too. Carson and I were together for five years. We accomplished so much together. I wanted to run into Carson. I wanted to hug his neck and wish him well, and I think the feeling was mutual with him.
“We did that, on Thursday. It was very positive, something I really wanted to do. It was natural, it was real. I saw him and hugged him. Carson and I always had a great relationship, and I have great regard for him, and I didn’t want what happened at the end to tarnish that. He moved on, I moved on, and let’s be men about it.
“We as coaches are hard on players. We want the most out of players. I’ve been coached hard when I was a player, and I didn’t always like it. There’s been times I didn’t like my coaches, but now, I’m grateful to them for helping make me the player and the man I am. It’s life. Everything’s not always smooth, and you’ve got to adapt and move on. I think we both have.”
It was obvious that the relationship between Pederson and Wentz soured quite a bit toward the end of their time in Philly. While both downplayed the extent of the deterioration of that relationship, it was clear things weren’t right.
These are two guys who had a lot of success together. Sure, Wentz wasn’t on the field for Super Bowl LII but the Eagles were at their best earlier in that season when Pederson was pushing every right button and Wentz was playing at an MVP level.
Pederson, 53, isn’t coaching this season but he has made two appearances at training camps (Chicago and Indianapolis) and it seems like he wants to remain visible in the NFL world for a possible return to coaching next season.
But it’s going to have to be the right situation. Pederson told King he had two chances to be an offensive coordinator this season and turned them down.
“I had two chances to get back in, but it just didn’t feel right, to rush back after what happened,” Pederson said to King. “I needed time away, to clear my head. But I do want to coach again. I’d love to coach next season. The longer you’re out, the harder it is to get back in.”
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