The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

February 12, 2013

Johnstown High grad Peduzzi becomes Eagles’ head trainer

JOHNSTOWN — Chris Peduzzi has tended to the needs of the Philadelphia Eagles players for 14 seasons as part of the NFL team’s athletic training staff.

The Greater Johnstown High School graduate has made one Super Bowl appearance, been part of five NFC Championship games and had four visits to Hawaii with the NFC squad’s Pro Bowl training staff.

The Eagles staff was honored as the Professional Football Athletic Training Staff of the Year in 2010.

Peduzzi’s lengthy and distinguished resume helped him advance to the role of the Eagles’ head athletic trainer under new Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly.

The promotion had been in the works since former Eagles head trainer Rick Burkholder followed ex-Eagles head coach Andy Reid to the Kansas City Chiefs. It became official on Friday.

“I’m very appreciative of Mr. Lurie (owner Jeffrey Lurie), Howie Roseman (GM), Don Smolenski (president) and coach Kelly,” Peduzzi said during a Monday telephone interview. “Mr. Lurie and the others (Roseman and Smolenski) have been here for years, and for them to have confidence in my ability is quite humbling.”

Peduzzi, 41, made a reputation as a blue-collar, overachiever player for former coach Jerry Davitch at Greater Johnstown. He walked on at Division I Virginia Tech, where he went from an unknown linebacker/special teams player to a three-year letterman who was on two bowl teams.

Peduzzi became West Chester University’s head football athletic trainer after college and eventually joined the Eagles in 1999 through his connections to Burkholder.

He got his first taste of the NFL as an intern with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-98 and also had spent time with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe in 1997.

Burkholder was on the Steelers training staff during Peduzzi’s years as an intern and brought him to Philadelphia when he took on the head trainer job with the Eagles in 1999.

“Rick afforded me a lot of opportunities that most assistant trainers don’t have,” Peduzzi said. “He was preparing me.”

During his tenure with the Eagles, Peduzzi formed solid friendships with the likes of Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Troy Vincent (now the NFL’s VP of player engagement), among others.

Peduzzi had to contend with the much-publicized Terrell Owens injury saga in the weeks and days leading up to Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville. The Eagles got Owens and his battered ankle back for the big game but still fell 24-21 to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

“This is a humbling experience,” Peduzzi said. “The Eagles have been great in the change-over with Rick Burkholder leaving. I’ll definitely have more of an administrative role. There definitely will be more paperwork and dealing with league rules.”

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