After months of preparation and anticipation, the moment Doug Pederson has been waiting for is so close he can taste it. On Sunday, he'll finally get to take the field with his staff and players for his first regular season game as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I'm excited, too, just like the players," Pederson said. "One, we are glad that Training Camp is over and we're into a normal routine now, normal schedule. Now, we get to game plan a little bit. That's the fun part and that's the beauty of why we're in this business; to be able to take a game plan, teach it to your players and then go watch them not only practice, but play on Sunday. I'm excited for that, and just looking forward to getting out there this weekend and just watching our guys perform."
Included in that list of guys is the one most of the fan excitement has been built around since the 2016 NFL Draft. Carson Wentz, the second overall pick, will be making his first career start on Sunday. The buzz in the city couldn't be higher.
When the Eagles traded Sam Bradford last weekend, Pederson chose to give Wentz the nod. He has the utmost confident in the rookie quarterback, but he also realizes emotions may be high at kickoff because Pederson will be feeling the exact same way.
"I mean, my butterflies will be going, too," the head coach admitted. "It's my first game, as well, so butterflies will be flowing. But you get into the course of the game. You get one, two, three plays into the game and it settles in, and it's football from there."
Pederson knows the excitement around the Birds right now and is eagerly awaiting the fan reaction in the stands. However, having played in the City of Brotherly Love himself, the coach is well aware of what the atmosphere at 1 PM on Sunday will be like.
It's going to be a moment he never forgets.
"I expect it to be electric. I know there's going to be a great 9/11 tribute before the game and it's something to remember, but I think our crowd is going to be excited," Pederson said. "Everything I've heard and sort of read this week, everybody is kind of excited to see No. 1, Carson, but just to see the team and see the guys play for 60 minutes. It's going to be a great crowd. I'm excited for it and can't wait till Sunday."