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Doug Pederson Says Frank Reich Is 'Deserving Of This Opportunity' With Colts

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on Sunday released a statement after his now-former offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, officially became the newest head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.


INDIANAPOLIS —In 2016, Doug Pederson had just been given his first opportunity to become an NFL head coach.

He had all sorts of solid options to choose from to be his offensive coordinator, too.

And who'd he select? Frank Reich.

It wouldn't be long until Pederson, Reich and the Philadelphia Eagles would bolster their offense with a game-changer at the quarterback position, Carson Wentz, with the No. 2-overall pick in that year's NFL Draft. With a few more moves over the next year, and with Wentz's rapid rise, the Eagles would improve from the 22nd-best offense in the league in 2016 to the No. 7 unit by 2017.

And even when Wentz went down with a season-ending knee injury Week 14 last season against the Los Angeles Rams, the Philadelphia offense didn't appear to miss a beat with backup quarterback Nick Foles leading the way.

Last Sunday, Foles, the game's MVP, threw for three touchdowns — and caught another score — and the Eagles had captured their first-ever Super Bowl title with their 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

The fallout for Pederson and his talented coaching staff since that big win has been inevitable. Three days ago, the Minnesota Vikings announced they were hiring Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach, John DeFilippo, to be their offensive coordinator.

And, on Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts came calling: they needed a new coach, and Frank Reich was the man for the job.

Philadelphia's loss is Indianapolis' gain, but, as Pederson said Sunday, it was only a matter of time before Reich started to lead a team of his own.

"Frank is a tremendous coach and very deserving of this opportunity. He was a valuable member of our staff and we have all benefited from working with him over the last two years," Pederson said in a statement released by the Eagles. "As good as he is as a leader and teacher, he's an even better person. We could not be more excited for him as he takes this next step in his career and we wish him and his family all the best."

Pederson wasn't the only member of the Eagles to wish Reich luck in his new endeavor. Wentz, himself, took to Twitter to show his gratitude:

"Gonna miss working with you. Wish it didn't have to end but it was an unbelievable two years! Can't thank you enough!" Wentz wrote. "Indy, you got a great one!"

Nate Sudfeld, who was the Eagles' third quarterback much of the season before Wentz's injury propelled him into a backup role, had similar sentiments.

"Congrats to Frank Reich on becoming the head coach of the @Colts!" Sudfeld, an Indiana University product, wrote. "Such a genuinely great person and tireless worker. I'm really going to miss working with him but excited the Hoosier state gets such a good one! Thanks for everything coach!"

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