Where Things Stand

Posted: November 24th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Where Things Stand

With the Eagles sitting at 3-6-1 and not much reason for optimism, fans are mad. Bench Carson Wentz. Have Doug give up play-calling duties. Heck, let’s go a step further. Fire Doug. And absolutely fire Howie. It’s time for a change.

I get those sentiments. Anyone suffering through Eagles games this year has had those thoughts. Sundays are supposed to be fun. That’s not the case this year. The Eagles are losing and almost as bad…they’re boring. The offense isn’t piling up points. The defense isn’t compelling. There’s no edge or personality to this bunch. They just lose games.

Then Wentz and Pederson get in front of the cameras and tell us they are going to keep working and will fix the mistakes. But they never do get fixed.


As Pederson loves to point out, the Eagles are still in first place. That will almost certainly change this week. Washington and Dallas play each other. One of them will get to four wins. The Eagles play Seattle on Monday night. Even the 2017 Eagles couldn’t beat Seattle. I’m not betting on this bunch to.

Winning the NFC East would be fun in a weird way, but the best thing for this organization would be to continue to lose so they get a high pick. There would be benefits to winning the division. Wentz would get a playoff start and that has value. Vets like Jason Peters, Brandon Graham and Jason Kelce would get another taste of postseason action. The rookies would also benefit from the experience.

Still, the thought of adding an impact player who could help the team for the next five years or more is enticing. The lazy joke is to wonder if the Eagles would waste the pick, but they’ve done well with early picks: Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Carson Wentz. Those guys were all Top 15 selections. Once you get to the 20’s, things get a lot more erratic.

I’m not cheering for the team to lose, but reality says it will happen and it really would be the better option.

As much as Pederson loves to talk about the Eagles still being alive, there is a legit chance the Eagles could finish last. That would be quite the accomplishment, finishing last in the worst division in modern NFL history. Just the idea of that has to get Jeffrey Lurie’s attention.

If I were Lurie, I would call Pederson to my office today. I’d tell him this is still his team. He makes the calls on how things happen (who calls plays) and who plays. I would let him know that there would be a thorough review at the end of the year and he better have good explanations for his decisions.

When asked after games why Carson didn’t throw on the move more or why Jalen Hurts didn’t play more, Pederson responds “I probably should have done more of that”. He can get away with snarky answers like that to the media, but he sure as hell better have detailed explanations for Lurie.

Pederson is coaching and talking his way out of a job. He won a Super Bowl and he’s won games the past two years, but this team is such a mess that it has eaten through a lot of goodwill that he built up. Beyond that, Pederson makes the team look bad each time he meets the media. He’s defensive. He offers countless excuses. He delusionally focuses on the positive angles (“These deck chairs look shiny” said the crew member on the Titanic).  Pederson offers messages that would make sense for a good team going through a rough patch. This is a bad team. The messages to the players and the public need to be very different than what we’re hearing.

I still think Pederson is a good coach, but he obviously isn’t doing a good job this year.

I would want Pederson to know that he’s got the right to keep Jason Peters at left tackle, but that he will be held responsible for that decision. Owners should never dictate to a coach who to play. You just have to let the coach know there will be repercussions for his decisons. Is Peters playing over Jordan Mailata worth risking your job? That is Pederson’s decision.

The gloves must come off, with Lurie dealing with his coach and with Pederson dealing with his players. Things are only going to change if there is true accountability.

As for Howie Roseman, I would fire him. Howie has made some terrific moves over the years and he built a Super Bowl roster in 2017. Kudos. He’ll forever have a place in Eagles history.

Howie’s decisions since then have not worked out as he hoped. Since bringing the Lombardi to Broad Street, here are the five best players Howie has brought to Broad Street:

Miles Sanders
Darius Slay
Dallas Goedert
Josh Sweat
Travis Fulgham

That’s hardly the foundation of a Super Bowl run.

You could argue that Malik Jackson belongs in there over Fulgham and we certainly don’t know how the 2020 rookies will pan out, but that’s part of the point. We haven’t seen anything great from the group. There are compelling rookies all over the NFL…just not in Philly. The moves just aren’t working out any more.

There are holes all over this roster. Just as bad, there doesn’t seem to be a plan. It feels as though he’s grasping at straws. There is a clear need for someone with vision running the personnel side of things.

There is no need to keep Howie around. You could let him go now and start the search for a new GM. The roster is what it is. What Pederson does between now and January matters. The same isn’t true with Howie.

I have no idea if Lurie will even consider putting Doug and Howie on the hot seat, let alone do it. Lurie tends to be a smart, patient man. But this organization is heading in the wrong direction. Letting Howie try to fix it would be a mistake. If he had the answers, the team wouldn’t have these problems.

Pederson is worth keeping if he can explain things and is open to change. There is a real need for honesty as to what has gone wrong the past three years. And that means that a coach or two that he likes is probably going to have to go. There needs to be more accountability than loyalty. The NFL is about winning, not friendship.

Normally I’m a very optimistic person. Heck, I thought this team was actually going to be good back in August/September. It wasn’t until the Bengals game that it really hit me that there were real problems.

The more I’ve seen of this team, the more frustrated I get, on and off the field. They lose and then the messaging to fans and the media comes off as delusional. This team is a few plays from being 1-8-1 and yet we’re continually hit with optimistic takes.

The 2020 season has been miserable and boring, but the upcoming offseason could be very interesting. If Lurie does stick with Doug and Howie, he’s playing with fire. Fans would turn on this team at the first sign of trouble next fall. That’s why this is the time to make tough decisions.

This is the time for change.


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