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Wake Up Washington | Facing former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson 'means a lot' to Carson Wentz


From the name on the jersey he'll be wearing to the players around him in the huddle, there will be a lot of "firsts" to point to when Carson Wentz steps out on the field on Sunday. Despite all the new, there's a sense of familiarity Wentz can feel heading into the game against Jacksonville. 

"It's new place, new team, new everything to some extent, a new routine. I guess you could say… but at the same time, it's still Week 1," Wentz said. "A lot of excitement, jitters… it's fun to get kind of get back into the routine of game week." 

Among the storylines surrounding Wentz's first regular season game for the Commanders is that of a reunion between a player and coach who experienced a transformative stint of their careers together in Philadelphia. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson was a first-time NFL head coach in 2016 with the Eagles when Wentz was drafted as the No. 2 overall pick. For Wentz, the opportunity to play against his former head coach comes with a feeling of gratitude. 

"He meant a lot with the kind of whirlwind that year was learning. I was the starter eight days before the season," Went said. "I thought he was a great coach, great guy, fun to be around, meant a lot over the years. Went through a lot of good and some of the bad, obviously all together, but it means a lot to me." 

On the more practical X's and O's side, experience playing with Pederson also comes with some perks as Washington's offense preps for the Jaguars.  

"Obviously, it's an offense I know a lot about, and I've been around and been involved with," Wentz said. "I think this week will be fun to compete against him to see him and not just him, there's other familiar faces on that side of the ball that I've worked with in the past. So, it'll be fun to compete against them." 

With all the jitters and emotions that come with Week 1 football, Wentz doesn't want to neglect the larger context behind his regular season debut for Washington. Those "firsts," he recognizes, are significant. As the starting quarterback for the Commanders, Wentz will be making a little bit of NFL history on Sunday. 

"I think we talk about football, football, football, football, so you can lose sight of some of those things. But at the same time, I think it's cool to be involved in something new and that's what we look forward…going out there with a new sense of a mission, so to speak and a new purpose," Wentz said. "Hopefully we put a good product out there and give people something to cheer about."

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.

The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.

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