According to Chris Mortensen and Tim McManus, Doug Pederson’s future as Eagles head coach is, “not firm.”
It was reported that Lurie and Pederson met last Tuesday to possibly discuss changes to his coaching staff, specifically on the offensive staff. But, according to Jeff McLane, that meeting did not yield the expected results for either party.
Which of the following are reasons this organization has entered a freefall since winning the superbowl just 3 short years ago?
- A) The offense has regressed every season since 2017
- B) Draft selections have not yielded the expected production and subsequent picks have shined
- C) The Quarterback’s play has fallen off a cliff
- D) Over reliance on veterans
- E) Players not placed in positions to succeed on both sides of the ball
- F) Position coaches development of players have been lackluster at best
- G) Constant overturn on offensive coaching staff
I could keep going, but if you answered all of the above, you’d be correct.
With this latest report that Pederson could potentially be on the outs in Philadelphia, that sums up the organizational dumpster fire that this team has become in just 3 years.
Let’s look at the facts:
- Doug Pederson
- Went on a book tour and soaked up all the admiration in the world after winning ONE (yes plural) Superbowl, albeit with a backup quarterback.
- Promoted his wide receivers coach, Mike Groh (who was fired by his own father when he coached under him) to offensive coordinator and had to be strong armed to part ways with Groh after the offense showed no improvement in the 2 years with Groh as the coordinator.
- Again had to be strong armed to bring in relative upgrades to his coaching staff, didn’t hire an offensive coordinator, and the offense appeared stagnant and uninventive yet again.
- Considered promoting the QB Coach, Press Taylor, who he promoted to QB coach in 2018 and passing game coordinator before the start of this past season (The Eagles had the 28th ranked passing offense in 2020), to offensive coordinator. Taylor, as the QB coach, has also overseen the development of Carson Wentz since 2018 and Wentz subsequently regressed each year since 2017 and in 2020 into one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league under Taylor’s tutelage.
- Has struggled to find the correct position coaches to develop his players and hasn’t correctly utilized talent (See: Reagor, Jalen)
- Howie Roseman
- Has drafted just 2 Pro-Bowlers since 2013. One of which, as stated above, has regressed into the worst starting quarterbacks in the league. And the other, Miles Sanders, had the 7th highest yards per rushing attempt total in the NFL but the 21st most attempts (Doug Pederson calls plays).
- Has consistently relied on veterans when the writing on the wall showed it was time to move on.
- Has failed to surround his franchise quarterback with elite level talent, instead opting to value both production and analytics over flat out talent
- Reported to be very difficult to work with (evidenced by what appears to be yet another power struggle)
- Reported to routinely go against scouts, who’s job it is to scout prospects and set the draft boards, during drafts
- Drafted a QB in the second round months after his franchise QB had just lead the team to the playoffs and threw for 4,000 yards with no receiver having over 500 yards.
- Jeffrey Lurie
- Has watched this all happen and enabled it
The three facets of the organization–Ownership, Front Office, and Coaching Staff all have roles in the organizational regression that has ensued since they hoisted the Lombardi trophy on February 4, 2018.
When you have Alshon Jeffery, Jason Peters, and DeSean Jackson (who has missed 24 of 32 games since returning to the Eagles) making a combined $22.1 million, all are at or above 30 years old, and missing multiple games due to nagging injury, that is a philosophical roster building issue. Roseman himself acknowledges this.
“As much as there’s a little voice inside of your head that said, you know, now is probably the right time to change it, I think that’s my responsibility that I didn’t really listen to that as much as possible and now we’re in the situation we are in now where change is necessary and change is inevitable to this roster,” Roseman said in the end of the year press meeting.
The sentiments expressed in that statement mirror the entire organization: Still hanging on to 2017.
And it’s seen everywhere. That success was there (In 2017). The level of comfortability was there (In 2017). People telling them how great they were, was there (that includes the Quarterback). And since that period of time (2017), they’ve struggled. Things haven’t been comfortable.
And looking at Jeffrey Lurie, it’s that level of comfortability that has led to him letting this go on. Roseman is a Joe Banner protégé. When Lurie purchased the Eagles in 1994, Joe Banner was his first GM hire and the second was Roseman who he’s been with ever since. That level of comfort Lurie feels with Roseman has, in my opinion, clouded his judgement and blocked an objective view of the reality of this football team.
Pederson and Roseman can go back and forth on who’s to blame, as it has been reported that they are, but there’s no one person to blame. The entire operation has failed.
Ultimately, the Eagles as an organizational whole have no one to blame for the dysfunctional and lackluster heap that this organization has become, but themselves. There is no coherent vision to put this team back where it was 3 years ago. Sure, firing the head coach and bringing in a shiny new offensive genius may fix things in the now, but if the same decision maker is leading the front office, what really changes?
Lurie is dealing with the consequences of his own loyalty and the only fix, as it appears currently, is to rip off the bandaid and completely change the guard of this organization.