Doug Pederson is out in Philadelphia. The Eagles dismissed the Super Bowl-winning head coach earlier today. It ends an ignominious season in Philadelphia for all involved. Philadelphia finished rock bottom of the hopeless NFC East. A 4-11-1 record was not good enough. Heads needed to roll, Pederson’s was first.
It is a dramatic decline for the man who called the Philly Special, the man that was cheered when he threw the first pitch out at a Philly game. Now the Eagles look for their next head coach, while Pederson plots his next move.
In short, everything. The Eagles stunk out the joint in 2020. Nothing worked. Carson Wentz finally broke, the North Dakota man played as if he’d never held a football before. Wentz’s regression was alarming; he became a turnover machine. His QBR of 49.7 saw him land 28th in the rankings. Not acceptable after the Eagles gave him $128 million. Pederson failed to correct Wentz’s flaws, although it can’t all be on the coach, Wentz is also responsible.
Wentz didn’t work hard enough to better himself; a coach can only do so much. The firing of Pederson might provide Wentz with a lifeline in Philadelphia. He was linked with various teams including the Indianapolis Colts.
Pederson eventually dropped Wentz and gave the starter’s job to rookie Jalen Hurts. The former Alabama player played well in his brief cameo at the end of the year. It led to reports saying that the relationship between the team and Wentz broke. Doug Pederson needed to handle the situation a lot better; however, he got no help from his franchise quarterback. Once the relationship failed, there was a metaphorical strike next to Pederson’s name. Owner Jeffery Lurie likes to be involved; he made an enormous investment in Carson Wentz. Doug Pederson’s failure to do that put him under pressure.
Week 17 saw Philadelphia welcome Washington to the Linc. There was nothing on the line for Philadelphia; conversely, everything was on the line for Washington. The Giants’ win earlier in the day left them on the brink; New York needed Philly to win to get them into the playoffs. Instead, Doug Pederson pulled Hurts midway through the game for Nate Sudfeld.
The Eagles played with no spirit or determination. It looked like they threw the game. That is unacceptable in Philadelphia; it is also intolerable to the locker room. The players go out there and risk their bodies; they don’t want to see their head coach throw the game. In team sports, you cant lose the players, when that happens, the end is nigh.
Ultimately, Jeffery Lurie and Doug Pederson were unable to work with each other. That is an untenable situation. Pederson didn’t like Lurie meddling in team business. Lurie felt it was his right considering he owns the team. Pederson is unlucky; owners should not interfere in football affairs, sadly for him, he doesn’t own the team. Lurie does, and he thought it was fair to tell Pederson what to do, Pederson didn’t.
A divided locker room full of egos, interfering owner, and an old team devoid of depth all combined to destroy Doug Pederson in Philadelphia. Everything went wrong in 2020 for Doug Pederson, some of it his doing, some of it not his doing. The Philadelphia Eagles are a mess; that won’t change overnight regardless of Coach Pederson getting fired.
What Next for Pederson?
It is easy to forget that Pederson turned around this Eagles team after the Chip Kelly disaster. Furthermore, no one can doubt Pederson’s credentials; he is a Super Bowl winner. Doug Pederson can coach in the NFL. His next landing spot could be as coordinator in Kansas City if Eric Bienemy takes a head coaching role in the league. Pederson will be ok in the long-term.
What Next for Philadelphia?
The Eagles’ long-term picture is blurrier. They are miles behind the other teams in the coaching race. For example, the Detroit Lions have two more interviews to do before they make a decision, the Eagles are now in danger of missing out on the top candidates. Add, that to cap armageddon, a thin roster, and a tricky owner; the Eagles are in a difficult position. Don’t expect a quick rebound. There are major personnel decisions needed, plus they must get the fans back on their side.