Despite having raised the Lombardi Trophy just three years ago, the Eagles shook up the football world by firing Doug Pederson after a 4-11-1 season.
They will now be on the hunt for a new head coach, one who will face the tough task of turning the team’s fortunes around.
This change was not out of the blue. Far from it, actually, as Jeffrey Lurie and Doug Pederson’s first meeting following their last game clouded Doug’s future in Philly.
Still, after the season concluded, there were reports that said Pederson would be back in 2021.
There’s plenty to unpack following this franchise-altering decision, from the cause of Pederson’s exit to where the Birds go now.
Breaking Point Behind Lurie and Pederson Was Battle Over Control
Around Monday afternoon, numerous reports started coming out about Lurie and Pederson’s visions for the offense and how the coaching staff should be built. It’s not hard to imagine this disagreement was the breaking point.
Per Phila Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, Pederson expressed more of an internal mindset, where he wanted to promote QB coach Press Taylor to offensive coordinator, and bring back ex-Eagles coach Cory Undlin for the defensive coordinator role.
Lurie, however, wanted more external moves by bringing in proven coaches.
On one hand, Lurie’s meddling could be considered detrimental to a head coach and prevent them from putting a staff together they believe will succeed.
On the other hand, these tidbits paint Pederson in a rather bad light. Taylor’s QB group saw one of the worst regressions in recent history, and there have been reports that Taylor is too soft on Wentz.
Undlin headed a Detroit Lions defense that gave up 6,716 yards and allowed 32.4 points per game, both NFL worsts. Yes, the familiarity aspect is there, but how can Undlin’s performance inspire any confidence?
The parting of Pederson feels like the best possible outcome for all sides. For the Eagles, Lurie and Roseman get to pick an HC that won’t cause a power struggle. For Pederson, he gets to potentially go to a much brighter opportunity and get full control.
Pederson Leaves Behind Big Shoes To Fill
Regardless of how it ended, Pederson’s time here will be remembered fondly. In five seasons, Pederson compiled a 42-37-1 record with three playoff appearances and two division titles.
Not to mention the first Super Bowl championship in the team’s history.
While this past season was extremely tough on Pederson, there’s no doubt he is still a very solid head coach with an impressive pedigree.
He brought Philadelphia fans the ultimate prize, and he will always be remembered fondly.
If anything, this creates more pressure on the incoming coach. The only way to live up to the expectations set before you is to win a Super Bowl. It’s a tough spot to be in, for more than one reason.
Instant Success Shouldn’t Be Expected From New HC
If fans are hoping for a quick fix, they’ll be disappointed. The Eagles’ woes run much deeper than the man holding the playbook.
This is a team that is, to put it lightly, a jumbled mess. From underperforming young players to overpaid veterans and lack of financial flexibility, the negatives overshadow the positives.
Howie Roseman continuing to operate as the general manager also raises many questions. How much input will the new coach have during the draft, and how much power will they have overall?
If the answer to that question is little to none, then the fans shouldn’t expect huge changes in talent acquisition unless additions are made to the front office. After all, Roseman had a hefty part in assembling this year’s team.
Of course, perhaps there should also be optimism, even if it does seem silly. The Eagles seemed like they were dead in the water following 2015, and Pederson was an underwhelming hire.
A change of pace may not be the most popular decision in Philadephia, but it may end up being a necessary one for all involved.