Two days after a report emerged indicating Pederson would be back for 2021, the team trotted him out alongside Howie Roseman in a joint postmortem press conference. Pederson’s appearance there seemed to confirm his return.
Alas, it did not.
The Eagles moved on from Pederson after he “failed” both his exit interview and a second-chance meeting with Jeffrey Lurie.
And so now the Eagles are running a head coaching search they reportedly didn’t expect to be having. More insight from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo:
I’m told that this was a Jeffrey Lurie decision here. There are three big voices in the Eagles organization. It’s Jeffrey Lurie, it’s Howie Roseman, it’s team president Don Smolenski. From what I gather, it was the one loudest voice, the only one you really need in this one, Jeffrey Lurie who really made the push for Doug Pederson to be dismissed here and that Howie Roseman and Smolenski were trying to salvage the situation and go forward with Doug Pederson still as the head coach of the team.
And that’s pertinent here in response to your question because I don’t get the sense that this team expected a coaching search to be happening right now. They’re kind of scrambling a little bit.
The requests are in for Robert Saleh and Todd Bowles, those two have been out there, we can confirm that. But I wouldn’t look at it and say: ‘these are the targets.’ Because this team is just getting their feet underneath it as they start a coaching search while six other teams are already deep into theirs. So, I think there’s a little bit of frustration on that part, and I think it’s tough to get a read right now on who’s going to wind up being the guy for the Eagles.
There’s no denying the Eagles are behind the eight ball. No other coach has been hired yet, sure, but multiple candidates have already conducted multiple interviews. One of the Eagles’ targets, Saleh, is already set to have a second interview with the New York Jets.
It’s not super reassuring to hear the Eagles are “scrambling.” You’d prefer to hear they’re operating with a more calm and calculated approach. I don’t think it’s like we’ll see the Eagles hastily rushing into a decision ... but their candidate pool might very well shrink due to their tardiness to the searching process.
A team landing their top candidate isn’t always everything, to be clear. We saw the Eagles do OK after striking out on Ben McAdoo and Adam Gase and ‘settling’ for Pederson instead.
Well, that is, until Lurie determined he was no longer the answer.