Seattle Seahawks

Doug Pederson was looking forward to return home, but Seattle made it difficult on him

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson holds a football before the start of a game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 20, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson holds a football before the start of a game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 20, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. eabell@bhamherald.com

Whatcom County native Doug Pederson can always come home to Western Washington. It just might not always be enjoyable for him.

It certainly wasn’t the homecoming he was hoping for Sunday, when the rookie head coach led his Philadelphia Eagles into CenturyLink Field to face the Seattle Seahawks. The team he once cheered passionately as a teenager at the Kingdome handed Pederson and his Eagles a 26-15 loss.

The 11-point loss, which really wasn’t that close, was the largest suffered in 10 games under Pederson, as Philadelphia’s record fell to 5-5 this season.

“I’ve learned this in my career as a player and a coach, things are never as bad as they seem and they’re never as good as they seem,” Pederson said in his post-game comments. “We’ll get a chance to evaluate this game on the plane back and make the necessary adjustments. We’ve got some time coming up this week. We’ve just got to – myself included – got to get better.”

Things can only get better for the Eagles, who were thoroughly outplayed on both sides of the ball, as Seattle outgained Philly 439-308 in total yardage and won just about every other major statistical category.

This loss today was on me. I’ve got to make sure I’m doing everything I can to get these guys ready to play.

Philadelphia Eagles coach and Whatcom County native Doug Pederson

And it didn’t help with the largest crowd in stadium history (69,190) doing its best to make life miserable on the Eagles.

“This is a tough place to play,” said Pederson, who was born in Bellingham in 1968 and grew up in the area before graduating from Ferndale High School in 1986. “This crowd is electric, and they’re loud, and everybody knows it coming in here. I thought we did a good job handling that.”

The 48-year-old Pederson certainly sounded the part of a even-keeled veteran coach Sunday, deflecting blame for his team’s miscues and struggles on the road to himself.

No mistake was bigger than an illegal formation penalty on a third-and-6 play with 5 minutes, 57 seconds remaining in the second quarter that nullified what would have been a go-ahead 57-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Zach Ertz. The penalty was called after Eagles second-year receiver Nelson Agholor lined up off the line of scrimmage in a bunch formation to the left side, leaving Philadelphia with just six men on the line.

You just can’t relax. You can’t rest. You have to keep teaching and keep coaching and eventually you learn from all your mistakes.

Philadelphia Eagles coach and Whatcom County native Doug Pederson

“It’s a little bit him, a little bit the quarterback, a little bit me,” Pederson said when asked who was to blame for the penalty. “I’ve got to make sure everyone understands situational football and formations and the type of things we do. We’ve just got to coach that better.”

It was a sentiment Pederson echoed throughout his post-game news conference.

As were his thoughts on what the Eagles must do to improve this season.

“You just have to continue to work every single day,” Pederson said. “You can never rest in this business. When you think you have it, you don’t. That’s the beauty of this sport. You just come to work every day and you learn, and you try to get your players better and you teach. It’s fundamental football.”

To those who knew Pederson in Whatcom County before he left to play quarterback collegiately at Louisiana-Monroe and went on to an NFL playing career from 1993 to 2004, that’s probably the type of thing they’ve heard him say repeatedly.

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