Philadelphia Eagles change course, hearth division head coach Doug Pederson after 5 seasons
PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles on Monday fired coach Doug Pederson, ending a partnership that resulted in the first and only Super Bowl title in city history.
Pederson was expected to remain as coach despite a 4-11-1 finish this season, but several meetings with owner Jeffrey Lurie over the past week failed to convince his boss that Pederson had a solid vision like his address myriad problems faced by the team. Sources said from navigating the Carson Wentz situation to fixing a criminal offense that ranked 26th in the standings (20.9 PPG) and 28th in the rankings (207.9 YPG) in 2020 .
Lurie explained the decision to leave Pederson during a video press conference Monday.
“My first loyalty is what will be best for the Philadelphia Eagles and our fans in the next three, four, five years. It is not based on whether someone deserves to keep their job or to be fired, that’s one other bar. ” Said Lurie.
“It’s not about, ‘Did Doug deserve to be fired?’ No, he doesn’t deserve to be fired. That’s not where I’m from and that’s not the benchmark in the evaluation process. “
Lurie said the decision to move from Pederson was not specific to Wentz or any position group, but rather focused on repeating the offense overall in a season when the NFL set a new record for points scored. He made no commitments to return to Wentz next season, but suggested that the new coaching staff would work with him to get him back on track.
“I don’t think an owner should decide that. Carson is a quarterback to me and virtually everyone in our organization who was in many ways elite in his first four years, comparable to some of the great quarterbacks of the first four years in the league The fifth year, obviously unsatisfactory for some reason, there are likely several reasons for it.
“I think the way I see it we have an advantage and a talent. He’s a great guy. All he wants is to win big and win Lombardi trophies for Philadelphia. This guy is tireless. He has to be Heart in the He is exactly what you want. And it is up to us as a team with a new coach and coaches to really bring him back to the elite advancement he was capable of and at the same time understand it is in Has done a lot of quarterbacks in her fourth and fifth years. If you keep track of that, you can come up with many, many quarterbacks who have a single year that was all about, ‘Whoa, the touchdown to that interception ratio ain’t what you want. ‘And we’re talking about some great ones like Peyton and Ben and people like that.
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“So I tend to think that this wasn’t the best season for our offense, it was a bad season and we also had a bad season for Carson in terms of what he has shown in the past. Very repairable and I fully expect him to reach his potential. “
In a statement released by the Eagles, Pederson said it was “an absolute honor” to serve as the Eagles’ head coach.
“As difficult as it is to say goodbye, I will always look back on my time here with appreciation and respect,” he said, adding: “… The memories we made together here will always have a special place in mine have heart. In the city of Philadelphia, thank you for hugging me and this team. I appreciate the passion you bring with you every day – at home, on the road, and in the church. No matter what, you have always been right there While I am disappointed that this chapter of my career has come to an end, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together, and with all the ups and downs, one thing has remained constant on our team – an unwavering commitment to the fight a better example than when we and our city celebrated the first Super Bowl championship in the history of the Eagles. It’s a memory we will all cherish forever. “
According to sources, Lurie was also not convinced of Pederson’s plans for his coaching staff. Pederson pushed for passing coordinator / quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to be named offensive coordinator rather than recruiting a more established candidate. The question of how to fill the void left by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who wants to take the year off football in 2021, was also unsolved.
Wentz fell dramatically in his fifth year and was replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts in the final quarter of the season. Wentz has planned to seek a deal in the off-season because his relationship with Pederson was irreparably broken, according to league sources. The trust issues between the two work both ways, sources said, although Pederson recently said his relationship with Wentz was okay.
Pederson’s layoff significantly increases the likelihood of Wentz staying in Philadelphia, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Sources describe a 2020 Eagles crime of lack of identity, partly due to a sizeable and mismatched group of assistants and counselors who struggled to get on the same page over the past off-season. The lack of a central vision of what the offense should look like made quarterbacking an advancement, and all voices created a cacophony for Pederson and Wentz, sources said.
As for Hurts, a second-round election last April, Pederson did not give a clear indication of whether he felt the franchise had its future quarterback if the Wentz Eagles were to move on. Treatment of the last game of the season, in which Hurts was drawn in a 20-14 loss to Washington in favor of Nate Sudfeld, also left questions unanswered as to whether Pederson had lost his players’ trust.
However, tight end Zach Ertz tweeted “Love You Coach” after news of Pederson’s dismissal was announced Monday. Safety Rodney McLeod also wished Pederson well on Twitter.
I love you trainer pic.twitter.com/1TmhVI0ROz
– Zach Ertz (@ ZERTZ_86) January 11, 2021
I wish all the best for my husband, Dougie P, for the next stage of his life. Great coach who never blinked in our toughest moments in the last 5 seasons. Most importantly, history was made in Philly !! First HC to win! SB 52 Champs. Good luck
– Rodney McLeod (@ Rodney_McLeod4) January 11, 2021
Pederson was only the eighth NFL head coach to win a Super Bowl within his first two years at the helm when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots to claim the Lombardi Trophy during the 2017 season. This was the first of three direct playoff appearances for the Eagles under Pederson before the wheels fell off in 2020. He set a record of 46-39-1 in five seasons with the Eagles, including four playoff wins.
Lurie said Monday he expected Eagle’s assistant head / running backs coach Duce Staley to be among the candidates to replace Pederson, calling him “a great representative of the Eagles” who “knows our values”.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen contributed to this report.