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Q&A: Jeannie Pederson
Jeannie Pederson on life at home after a Super Bowl win
By Dave Spadaro

As we all can imagine, life changed for Doug and Jeannie Pederson when he was named head coach of the Eagles in 2016. But that change is nothing compared to what happened when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. “It was a fairy-tale ending,” Jeannie says. 

Since then? 

“Life has changed,” Jeannie adds, “but it’s all been great. We could not have asked for anything more. Coming back to Philadelphia [where Doug was an assistant coach before moving to Kansas City for three seasons as an assistant coach] has been everything we hoped it would be.” 

The Pedersons live in Moorestown with their three sons, and SJ Magazine recently caught up with Jeannie to discuss life as the partner of the Super Bowl-winning head coach. 

Q: When do you see Doug during the season? Do you talk about football when you do?  

Pederson: I see Doug every day! He is the best when it comes to time management and keeping his priorities in line, and he believes in getting his work done and getting away from the office. He’s all about faith, family and football. We have Friday night date night, and for home games he is home on Saturday before he leaves for the hotel. I am fortunate Mr. Lurie [Jeffrey, Eagles chairman/CEO] allows me to travel with Doug to away games so we get that extra time together. Occasionally, we will talk football, but I mainly want to know how he is doing and be as supportive as I can.  

 

Q: Where do you watch the games? 

Pederson: I watch the games from a suite at the Linc. I have the best attendant and friend, Ms. Jackie, and security for games, Billy. Everyone involved with the Eagles makes sure my family and guests are taken care of. I usually have close friends and family watching the game with me. I am so nervous for games. Everyone knows I am pretty focused and watch every play. I even plan my bathroom breaks around timeouts and between quarters. We have a pregame ritual where I get to the field early enough to see Doug and give him a hug and kiss, and I always tell him, “Before you ever step on that field you are a winner.” I have always believed in Doug and always will.  

 

Q: When you met Doug, were you a football fan? 

Pederson: When I met Doug, I had limited knowledge of football. I knew what the quarterback did but besides that – NO. He would quiz me on NFL teams, and besides the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys, I really didn’t know who the other teams were or which teams were from the NFC or AFC. Now I feel like “one of the guys” when I talk football.   

 

Q: What was the Super Bowl like? 

Pederson: Doug has mentioned how amazing [former Eagles head coach and current Kansas City Chiefs head coach] Andy Reid has been as a mentor to him throughout his playing career and coaching career, but I have to give credit to Tammy Reid, Andy’s wife, and all her advice on being a head coach’s wife. She has it down to a science, and her advice on this role has been dead-on. She advised me to fly with the team for the Super Bowl and spend the entire week there and take in every moment of the experience. I took her advice and flew with Doug that Sunday and experienced the whole week with him. It was his 50th birthday, so I also had other things planned as well. I had experienced it as a player’s wife when he played for Green Bay, but to have that experience with Doug and my boys, there are not enough words to describe the joy and excitement of being there. We had my brothers and their wives, Doug’s family, and close friends there.  

 

Q: Is there anything about Doug that people don’t know?  

Pederson: I think pretty much everything has been documented about Doug and his likes and dislikes. He loves ice cream and would rather eat dessert than main meals, and he loves his boys more than anything. He is an amazing father and husband. He loves working in his yard, setting out corn for the deer, and would love to hunt, fish and play golf more. He loves to grill, watch Jason Bourne movies and play with his gadgets.  

 

Q: How do you cope with the negative comments? How do you help your sons with that? 

Pederson: I learned a long time ago about negative comments, and I do not read the newspaper or watch the news. I know a coach is judged by win/loss records, but at the end of the day Doug is my husband and a father to my three boys. We know what goes on behind the scenes, and we love and support him through good times and bad. Everyone has a right to free speech and their opinion, and that is why I love living in America. My sons have grown up with the NFL, and I try my best to make it as normal for my boys as I can. We always live by, “If you can lay your head down at night with a clean conscious and know you did your very best, then that’s all anyone can ask for.” We are Christians and have a strong faith, and we rely on that faith through good times and bad.   

 

Q: How do you like South Jersey?  

Pederson: I love South Jersey, my “home away from home.” There are so many things to do, great restaurants and fresh produce straight from the farm. I love my church and friends here. We love hanging out with our friends, to go out and eat at our favorite restaurants, and play golf when we get the chance. We love watching movies and hanging out in our backyard too and grilling by the pool. I love the change of seasons in South Jersey – fall is my favorite.  

 

Q: When your sons play sports, the expectations of them must be so high. How do you help them through that?

Pederson: The Pederson name has always carried high expectations, and everyone assumes all of our boys love football and they play quarterback and will follow in their dad’s footsteps. The same with Doug’s brother and his daughter. We have never put pressure on our boys to play football, and we support them in their decisions. We always adopted the one-sport-per-season policy and let them decide for themselves what path they wanted to take. Our oldest, Drew, played quarterback and graduated from Samford and now is pursuing his master’s degree in architecture at the University of Cincinnati. He is so creative. Josh is at the University of Louisiana-Monroe and plays tight end like Doug’s younger brother, Craig. Doug and I always thought he would play college golf, but thanks to his high school coach in Kansas, he loves football. Our youngest, Joel, is a lefty and plays first base in baseball. He has played football a couple of times, but chose to pursue baseball. They are all incredible athletes. 

 

Q: As a family, what do you do besides football?

Pederson: As a family, we live in different places in the United States. Doug, Joel and I live in Jersey. Drew is in graduate school in Cincinnati and Josh is in Louisiana, so we cherish our time together. When we are together, we go to church, and we love to play golf, grill or go out to eat and chill at home. We enjoy vacationing together, and Doug and I look forward to when they have families of their own, and we will travel and visit them.  

September 2018
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