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Combine notebook: Doug Pederson happy to see Frank Reich back

Doug Pederson, Frank Reich

INDIANAPOLIS — New Panthers coach Frank Reich once helped Doug Pederson win a Super Bowl ring.

And now, Pederson's glad to be rid of his old assistant.

Reich was Pederson's offensive coordinator with the Eagles when they won a title after the 2017 season, and they connected last year in the AFC South when Pederson took over the Jaguars while Reich was coaching the Colts. And based on their shared experience, Pederson said he wasn't surprised to see Reich back in the game.

"I'm just happy and thrilled for Frank and his family," Pederson said. "He means a lot to me. Obviously, he helped me win a championship in Philadelphia.

"I knew it wouldn't be long. He's a great coach, great mentor, great teacher. He played this game for a long time. Just excited to get him out of our division and get him in Carolina."

Pederson was actually a member of the inaugural Panthers before Reich was, as he was chosen in the expansion draft on Feb. 15, 1995. Reich was signed in March, and Pederson was released that May before they even went to training camp.

They carried their perspectives as longtime backups into their coaching careers, and Pederson said that helps them communicate with players now.

"He played it. He understands the mentality, and he understands the mindset of a quarterback," Pederson said. "And sometimes that's what it takes. He played this game as a backup like I did for so many years. There's a mentality there you can really pass on to quarterbacks. And he's got a really good feel for that."

Frank Reich, Doug Pederson

— Pederson enjoyed a year off between his head coaching gigs, spending it bouncing around a few camps during a brief sabbatical.

But Washington coach Ron Rivera said he wanted to get right back on the horse after he was let go by the Panthers in December 2019, eager to get back in the game.

"For me, I was set," Rivera said, when asked if he considered more of a break before taking the Commanders job. "I wanted to coach, and I made that very clear. I made it clear two days after I was let go. I wanted to get back into coaching. I love it, it's what I do, and I wanted to make sure people understood it.

"I had a month, total. I really like what I do. Right now, doing the things we do, getting the team to where I really believe we have our head above water right now, I feel very confident moving forward."

— Reich and general manager Scott Fitterer will do their combine press conferences tomorrow, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Their availabilities will be live-streamed here, so stay tuned for all the latest on Panthers.com.

View throwback photos of wide reciever D.J. Moore at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

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