Much Ado About Something

Posted: January 7th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

For a couple of days, Doug Pederson got to be the worst man in all of football. He didn’t want to win. He sold out his players, who then lost respect for him. He had no respect for the integrity of the game. He also invented cancer, polio and malaria. He hated children, puppies and people who smiled. For two days, Doug Pederson was the worst person in the world.

The hyperbole was a million times worse than anything you could imagine. Or more.

Fans, coaches, players and the media went after Pederson. They ripped him up one side and down the other. How could he throw Nate Sudfeld into a close game with a playoff spot on the line for the Giants and WFT?

I mean, WTF?

This shocking move shouldn’t have been shocking at all. Pederson told plenty of people, including the NBC broadcast crew, that he was going to play Sudfeld. This wasn’t Pederson trying to lose. Pederson was simply trying to give his backup QB a chance to play.

Pederson isn’t guilty of demeaning the game of football. He didn’t sabotage the 6-10 Giants. And he didn’t lose his team or make them hate him.

Jason Kelce explained exactly what happened. He did say he was surprised based on the circumstances. I know I was shocked the Eagles were just down 17-14 in the second half. I thought Washington would have a double-digit lead. Had that been the case, playing Sudfeld wouldn’t have generated any buzz.

This is where I do think Pederson is at fault. I get wanting to reward Sudfeld with some snaps. He’s been part of the team for four years and hasn’t been able to get on the field since 2018. Pederson didn’t want to evaluate Sudfeld. He just wanted to give his backup QB a chance to play.

The problem is that Pederson had to know that he just couldn’t do that in a tight game. Pederson can say what he wants about trusting Sudfeld, but there is no question that Hurts is the better player. Because of the score, Pederson should have left Hurts in. That would have been the right thing to do, for his players and for the teams in the playoff hunt.

I don’t know if Pederson doesn’t care or if he’s clueless. I got the feeling he was shocked by the criticism, which would make you think he didn’t anticipate it. Maybe he is just awful at knowing the room, so to speak.

The ironic thing is that Pederson’s goal was to help Sudfeld and I think he hurt him. Sudfeld came into a game when it was raining, he had a makeshift OL and was facing a Top 5 defense. The results were just what you’d expect. Sudfeld looked bad. He did not help himself with potential free agent suitors.

I don’t think there will be any long term effects from Pederson’s decision. People will grumble, but it is just an excuse to be overly angry about something. That will fade with time.

I would love to hear Pederson’s talk with Jeff Lurie. I would ask him a few questions about Sunday night and whether it was worth it to put himself and the Eagles in a bad light just so he could get some snaps to his #3 QB. It would bother me to think Pederson didn’t get the problems that decision might cause. Is he really that naive? Not a good look for a coach trying to keep his job.

That was the wrong move for that situation.

*****

And so it begins. Rich Scangarello will not be the last assistant coach to be let go. There will be multiple changes in the coming weeks. That’s what happens when you go 4-11-1 despite playing in the worst division in recent NFL history.

Heads gotta roll. Scangarello just happened to be first.

He was supposed to bring some of the Kyle Shanahan offense to Philly. I sure didn’t see much of it. I supported the hire, but it just didn’t work the way anyone hoped it would.

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