Doug Pederson's Success will Make Him Difficult to Replace as Eagles Coach

by Marc Narducci | Jan 12, 2021
Doug Pederson's Success will Make Him Difficult to Replace as Eagles Coach
Three seasons after winning the Eagles their lone Super Bowl, Doug Pederson, as everybody knows by now, is looking for a new job. In his five seasons he went 42-37-1 and the Eagles qualified for the playoffs three times, going 4-2 in the postseason. 
“I believe it is in our best interest to part ways,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement.  
In a statement, Pederson left with class. 
“It has been an absolute honor serving as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles,” Pederson said in a statement. “As difficult as it is to say goodbye, I will always look back on my time here with appreciation and respect.” 
Pederson, who spent 10 years in the NFL as a quarterback, with 100 games and 17 starts, didn’t burn any bridges.  
“Thank you to Jeffrey Lurie for the opportunity and to Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski for their partnership and support over the last five seasons,” Pederson continued in his statement “To all of our coaches, players and staff, thank you for believing in me and allowing me to lead us on this journey. The memories we made here, together will always have a special place in my heart.” 
Pederson had two years left on his contract. It wouldn’t be surprising if he is coaching well before then. Including the Eagles, there are seven NFL head coaching vacancies.  
Did this come down to Pederson being kept over Carson Wentz? 
There were reports that Wentz, who was benched after the 12th game, had a strained relationship with Pederson. 
Wentz’s four-year $128 million extension kicks in next season. Did Lurie choose between his high paid quarterback and Pederson? 
There was also the perception that Lurie and Roseman were dictating Pederson’s staff and that Pederson wanted more control. 
What is known is that the Eagles went 4-11-1 with an injury plagued team that for the first 12 games had arguably the worst quarterback play in the NFL. 
Wentz would have likely been MVP had he not suffered a season-ending ACL injuring in 2017. As recently as last year, Wentz was still a quality quarterback, leading the Eagles to four consecutive wins at the end of the season to make the playoffs.  
Last year Wentz had a 93.1 passer rating, which is a solid figure. This year he dropped down to 72.8, which is what should be expected from an undrafted rookie free agent. 
The guess here is that Wentz, 28, will now be back and that Lurie and Roseman are double-downing on him. 
Now it appears as if Lurie will hire an offensive-minded head coach in an attempt to turn Wentz back into an elite NFL quarterback. As for Wentz’s struggles this year, Lurie said during his press conference, “it is very fixable and I fully expect him to realize his potential.” 
Lurie went to former Eagles coach Andy Reid for his input on Pederson. At the time, Pederson was offensive coordinator under Reid for the Kansas City Chiefs. 
Now, don’t be surprised if Lurie returns to Kansas City. 
Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has all the right credentials. He was an NFL running back, a college assistant, a long-time NFL assistant. While Reid calls the plays for the Chiefs and he did when Pederson was there, Bieniemy has a major role in the offense as coordinator and the development of Patrick Mahomes as the NFL’s most dangerous player. 
There will be plenty of names thrown out, but one thing is imperative – the Eagles have to get this right. They have bungled recent drafts, which is a major reason they are in this situation and if they are to return to their previous glory, they have to find a coach capable of doing what Pederson has accomplished for this franchise.  

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Author: Marc Narducci


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