Last week, ESPN reported that Doug Pederson was expected to return as the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach in 2021.
However, that report included the following caveat: “though he does have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with owner Jeffrey Lurie to discuss plans for the 2021 season.”
A source told me that meeting did not go well for Pederson. A new ESPN report also indicates as much:
Doug Pederson’s status as @Eagles coach is not firm, sources tell @Tim_McManus and me.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 10, 2021
Pederson could be out if owner Jeffrey Lurie is not confident about Pederson’s vision going forward after the two meet again soon.
Lurie’s concerns extend well beyond Carson Wentz, per sources.
Based on this, it sounds like Lurie is giving Pederson one last chance to convince him he’s the right man for the job. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.
It’s not perfectly clear what Lurie is looking for in Pederson’s vision. Does the owner want the head coach to relinquish his play-calling duties? Does it go beyond that?
In any case, the feeling here is that it would be pretty lame for the Eagles to scapegoat their Super Bowl-winning head coach. Pederson was hardly the only reason for the team’s 4-11-1 record in 2020. General manager Howie Roseman, who is apparently infallible to Lurie, and Carson Wentz absolutely deserve their fair share of blame. They’re arguably more at fault than Pederson.
It’s at least a little strange that the Eagles are dragging their feet when it comes to determining Pederson’s future. Other teams with head coaching vacancies are already well into the interviewing process. The Eagles would seemingly be behind the eight ball if they decide to move on.
One can wonder if the delay has to do with the Eagles potentially trading Pederson. I wrote about that possiblity at length earlier on Sunday morning. In that post, I covered what the Eagles might do to replace him:
[...] maybe the Eagles have quietly been doing their homework. Perhaps they can heavily lean on agent connections, such as Howie Roseman and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator both being represented by Bob LaMonte. Or maybe the Eagles would just pivot to promoting assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley to Pederson’s old position. They could then look to hire an offensive coordinator with play-calling duties since Staley doesn’t have experience in that role. I’m only spit-balling here. But it makes some sense?
I also touched on why the Eagles’ supposed desire to keep Wentz could be related to Pederson’s potential departure. If Wentz’s relationship with his head coach is truly “fractured beyond repair,” then the quarterback could be delivering an ultimatum that it’s either him or Pederson returning in 2021.
Regardless of the machinations, it’s now clear that Pederson is in legitimate danger of not returning for a sixth season as the Eagles’ head coach. A big week lies ahead.
Should the Eagles fire Doug Pederson?
This poll is closed
FIRST UPDATE: Additional insight from the Inquirer:
Have been unable to confirm this report, but can report that Doug Pederson was unlikely to be keen about having to make major offensive coaching changes again, per source close to the #Eagles coach.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 10, 2021
He looks upon Press Taylor as a protege and was considering promoting him to OC. https://t.co/Hi2bDo8DwJ
Doug. No. What are you doing?
Coaching staff is just one issue. There is also Carson Wentz’s future in relation to Pederson, and the Pederson-Howie Roseman dynamic which has been strained the last year, per NFL sources. https://t.co/MTqNTiaFQ3— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 10, 2021