The Philadelphia Eagles suffered a bad loss to the New York Giants on Sunday so now it’s time for everyone to play the blame game. Including whomever urged NFL Network’s Mike Silver to share the following about Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz:
“Doug Pederson is extremely well-liked in that building but the facts are facts. They’ve been starting slowly. The offense lacks rhythm or cohesion, seems to been in a rut. And I think if it continues, all options are on the table. There’s a feeling that Pederson may be listening to too many voices. There are a lot of offensive assistants on that staff and Pederson is amendable to their suggestions. The game plan doesn’t fit together. And even the voices in his headset, on the analytics side, you saw today they got to within 21-17 in the third quarter, they went for two, what seemed to be an analytics decision, didn’t make it, and all of a sudden were down more than a field goal. So a lot of frustrations swirling in the air in that building.
The idea that there are “too many cooks in the kitchen” was one that was raised at the time of the Eagles finalizing their 2020 coaching staff hires. This offense has sorely lacked an identity all season long.
Pederson ultimately deserves a lot of blame, to be sure, but one can wonder how much control he truly has over his staff. He didn’t want to get rid of his former offensive coordinator, which was a problem, but he was forced to do so. Is it unthinkable, then, that new coaching staff hires were forced upon him in some capacity?
Regardless, Pederson hasn’t found a way to make it all work. He doesn’t have answers right now and it’s a big problem.
“Carson Wentz this season is a far cry from the guy who was tearing it up in the first part of 2017. There are some sloppy practice habits that he’s been allowed to perpetuate, that have carried over, not checking the ball down or knowing when to give up on a play, forcing the ball to predetermined receivers, and maybe overestimating his once elite athleticism. And, look, they drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round. That was clearly a signal that they are not necessarily standing pat at that position. So, I think, organizationally, they would like to continue to build this around Carson Wentz, but if this downward spirals, there’s a sense that it could all be blown up.”
The line about “sloppy practice habits” is concerning. Pederson predictably denied that characterization on Monday but, if it’s true, that’s clearly an indictment of Wentz. It’s also an indictment of quarterbacks coach Press Taylor, whose effectiveness has been questioned here for some time now. It’s hard not to think there’s a serious lack of accountability and tough love.
Pederson and Wentz can quiet this chatter by finding a way to turn things around. But it’s hard to have confidence in them doing that right now. And thus the leaks may only continue.