Doug Is Done

Posted: January 12th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

Doug Pederson is the only coach to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia. Just three years later, he is gone, fired by the team he worked for as a player, assistant and head coach.

Not for long, indeed.

Owner Jeff Lurie met with the media and shared his thoughts on the situation.

“Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what the collective vision would look like moving forward,” Lurie said. “After taking some time to reflect on these conversations and look ahead, I believe it is in both of our best interests to part ways.”

Lurie talked about the Eagles going through a transition period and the need for long term and medium term thinking. As he explained, Pederson was more focused on the short term.

The coaching staff was a great example of this. Pederson reportedly wanted to promote Matt Burke to defensive coordinator or go hire Corey Undlin, who had been on the staff from 2015-2019. Pederson wanted to make Press Taylor his offensive coordinator. Were these really the best candidates? It sure feels like Pederson was more focused on hiring coaches he knew and was comfortable with. That’s just not how you fix 4-11-1.

Lurie is looking big picture. Let’s take a chance on finding the best assistants. There will be some misses, but if you hit on enough of them, you get back to having a strong staff, the foundation of a good team.

After Lurie and Pederson talked it out, it must have been pretty clear they were thinking differently and that was going to be an issue in a critical offseason for the future of this franchise.

Based on Lurie’s explanation, I absolutely think he made the right decision. As I wrote yesterday, I think part of the problem is that Pederson didn’t truly understand how bad things had gotten.

The Eagles went 4-11-1, despite playing in arguably the worst division in modern NFL history. Of those four wins, three came against backup QBs. The other win came against Daniel Jones. The Eagles trailed by 10 or more points in 12 games. This wasn’t a bunch of back and forth games where the Eagles came up just short. They were down big in several games.

There is a lot that needs fixing.

Pederson is delusional if he thinks getting back the right side of his O-line and having a full offseason will fix this team. That would help in a major way, but the issues go well beyond that. And you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. Again…does Pederson truly understand how bad his team was this season?

It sure sounds like Pederson had on rose-colored glasses in regard to what needed to be done. If there is any good news to come out of Monday, it is that Lurie is thinking long term. Hire a good coach. Build a strong staff. Load up on young talent. Try to build something you can sustain.

As Lurie explained, this isn’t about Pederson deserving to get fired. Pederson has a Super Bowl title, two division titles, a winning record and he’s a good leader. He just wasn’t the right guy for the Eagles going forward. You don’t keep someone because they deserve it. You must have the right coach for your organization based on the future, not the past.

The bad news to come out of Monday is that Lurie is delusional in regard to Howie Roseman. There is just no other way to put it.

Multiple reporters asked Lurie about the shortcomings of recent drafts and personnel decisions. Lurie gave some convoluted answers about needing to study the big picture and understand all the moves and all the options. I’m not sure Lurie understands just how obsessive fans are these days. Die hards study the roster and personnel moves the way convicts study their cases looking for technicalities that can get their case overturned.

Lurie kept stressing that Roseman surrounded himself with outstanding people and the Eagles had a good process. Les Bowen pushed back, asking if they had so many good people, why were the drafts so weak. Lurie went back to his convoluted answer. Ugh.

There wasn’t a lot of talk about hiring a new coach. Lurie made it clear he wasn’t in a rush. He was going to find the right guy, not the first guy. He did say Duce Staley would be a candidate.

Lincoln Riley is the first guy I would call. He is arguably the top offensive coach in college football. He’s developed multiple QBs (including some guy named Jalen Hurts). You look at the success of young offensive coaches like Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur. It is hard not to want someone like that to run your team in this day and age.

We’ll talk more about the coaching search and the attractiveness of the Eagles job in a separate post.

There is a part of me that is sad to see Doug go. He won the Super Bowl we all coveted for so long. At his best, he seemed like a good guy and someone that was fun to pull for. There is a part of me that wonders if he wanted out of Philly.

Lurie and Roseman forced Doug to make some coaching changes last year. This year Doug decided to stick to his guns. I respect him not caving in to save his job, but I’m not sure the guys he fought for were worth it.

I think this move was right for both parties. Give Doug more of a veteran roster and he should be good. The Eagles need a coach who will embrace young players and really focus on player development.

The Eagles are going to be “retooling” as Lurie put it. They will try to win right away, but the roster will be focused more on the future than the present. You must play young guys and see who can help you moving forward. This should mean no more Vinny Curry over Casey Toohill decisions.

I’m happy Lurie has this mindset. I wish he had it in 2020 as well, but that didn’t happen.

It sounds like Carson Wentz is more open to staying with Pederson’s departure. We’ll have to wait and see who the new coach is before there is any real talk of what to do with Wentz.

It is frustrating that Howie Roseman will get to help choose another coach (his third) and used the #6 pick in the draft. He should be out the door or in a very different role. Instead, he’ll be making key decisions that shape the future of the franchise.

Yay.

I hope he proves us all wrong and does an amazing job. The last five years just don’t give us a lot of reason for excitement and optimism about finding young talent.

A crazy offseason just got crazier.

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