Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has been fired, according to multiple reports Monday afternoon.
This comes shortly after Pederson expressed confidence that he’d return in 2021 before multiple reports on Sunday confirmed that his job security isn’t as secure as initially believed. The 53-year-old initially had a meeting with team owner Jeffrey Lurie last Tuesday before what is believed to be the conversation that confirmed his firing on Monday.
“I have spent the last few weeks evaluating everything from this past year and looking ahead. We are all very disappointed with the way our season went and eager to turn things around, not just for next season but also for the future of the franchise,” Lurie said in a statement. “Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what that collective vision would look like moving forward. After taking some time to reflect on these conversations, I believe it is in both of our best interests to part ways.
“I have known Doug and his family for more than 20 years and they will always be family to me. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and everything we have accomplished together over the last five seasons. Everyone in the organization understands the type of man and coach that he is, and how much he means to all of us as well as the City of Philadelphia.
“We all look forward to the day he will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame as a Super Bowl-winning head coach, and we are confident he will have success with his next team.”
Under Pederson’s watch, the Eagles have regressed mightily since winning the Super Bowl in February of 2018. They put together one of their worst seasons in 20 years, going 4-11-1 in 2020, finishing last in the worst division in football, the NFC East.
The team’s regression was highlighted by the dramatic steps taken back by once-perceived franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, who had by far the worst season of his professional career.
Things descended even further when Pederson made the decision to bench Wentz for Jalen Hurts in Week 13, opting to start the rookie in each of the Eagles’ final four games of the season.
It led to the relationship between Wentz and Pederson being broken beyond repair as a trade demand could very well be on the horizon for the quarterback.
The strategy under center was obviously one of the biggest hot-button issues surrounding Pederson’s future with the Eagles. Hurts performed admirably in his starts, but even his standing within the organization was questioned when he was pulled from a one-possession game in Week 17 against the Washington Football Team in favor of Nate Sudfeld — a career backup who had only appeared in three games in three seasons with the team.
It appears Lurie still believes in Wentz considering he just showed Pederson the door, but that remains to be seen for now.
There was also a stark contrast in philosophy when it came to the coaching staff, which is believed to be a main point of dispute between Pederson and Lurie.
Pederson wanted to promote Press Taylor to offensive coordinator, move Andrew Breiner from pass-game analyst to quarterbacks coach, give defensive-line coach Matt Burke the defensive coordinator role after Jim Schwartz left, or bring back former defensive-backs coach Cory Undlin for the role.
According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lurie was “underwhelmed,” and wants the Eagles to bring on “external candidates with top credentials.”
Normally, the coaching staff is up to the head coach, but that hadn’t been the case in Philadelphia. Most notably, the Eagles let go of Mike Groh and Carson Walch just one day after Pederson said they would be returning for the 2020 season.
“As the leader of this organization, it is imperative for me to do what I believe is best for everyone as we look ahead to the future and move into our next chapter,” Lurie said. “I know that we have work to do to get back to where we want to be, but I also believe that we have an exceptionally strong group of people in this organization who can help set us up for future success.”
All things considered, though, it may not matter who is calling the shots because, at the end of the day, this is an organization that lacks the talent to legitimately field a winner. That ultimately falls on Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman.