Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Troy Aikman: ‘Difference of opinion’ at Eagles quarterback position fueled Doug Pederson’s firing - Inquirer
The Fox Sports analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback was a guest on the Michael Irvin Podcast on PodcastOne, which drops Thursday morning. He said he spoke with Pederson after he was let go by the Eagles. Aikman said he gathered from his conversation with Pederson that “a difference of opinion in how they were going to move forward with the quarterback position” played a role in his firing. “Jeffrey Lurie has paid a lot of money to Carson Wentz, and they’re on the hook with him, and can’t get out of that contract right away,” Aikman told Irvin, his longtime friend and former Cowboys teammate. “It’s my belief that Doug Pederson felt that Jalen Hurts probably [should be] the quarterback going forward. But how does that mesh [with Wentz’s contract situation]? I believe it all came down to how they’re going to handle Carson Wentz.”
Understanding Rookie Quarterbacks with Clustering and Bayesian Forecasting: Justin Herbert had one of the best rookie seasons ever - PFF
Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts is certainly the most unique quarterback of the class, and the results of our clustering imply that his ceiling looks legit if he can maintain high performance in the unstable metrics in the majority of his seasons. However, due to his low draft stock and somewhat inconsistent play his median projection is the weakest of the class. What gives Hurts hope is that we clustered him together with Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, two quarterbacks who recently succeeded after rough rookie campaigns and will play against one another in the divisional round on Saturday Night.
Report: Eagles interviewed rising coaching star Joe Brady - BGN
What exactly makes Brady such an intriguing candidate? Well, he was credited for a major offensive turnaround as LSU’s passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2019. Under Brady’s influence, Joe Burrow went from being an afterthought to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Brady also coached prolific talents like Justin Jefferson (you may have heard of him?) and Ja’Marr Chase (you may have also heard of him).
From the Bleachers #49: I Will Love You Forever, Doug - BGN Radio
Shamus Clancy bids farewell to Doug Pederson, discusses how the 2017 Eagles changed his life forever and rips into Eagles management.
Mailbag: Should the Eagles draft a quarterback with their first round pick? - PhillyVoice
This is a strong quarterback draft class, as there are four that could reasonably go top 10. Personally, I agree with the first question that Hurts wasn’t so good that the Eagles should put off drafting a quarterback if a really good one is available. You have to get that position right, and if you’re in a position to get a quarterback you think can be a stud at pick No. 6 (or higher if you move up), it’s perhaps wise to strike while iron is hot, so to speak, rather than (a) depending on picking that highly again, and (b) hoping for another strong quarterback class down the line. Would an impact player at WR be nice? Of course! But ultimately, the quarterback is going to have the biggest effect on the number of games you win, and it’s not even close.
Search Update - Iggles Blitz
ROBERT SALEH. He is meeting with Lurie in Florida on Wednesday night. Gus Bradley had a similar meeting back in 2013 and was about to be hired when Chip Kelly called to say he had changed his mind and wanted the job. That must have been a wild night. I mention Bradley because Saleh reminds me of him, a defensive coach that is loved by his players and is very good at his side of the ball. The stories I’ve heard of Bradley from people behind the scenes make you realize that he is an amazing guy. But he stunk as a head coach. Saleh would need to sell Lurie that he had the right guy in mind to run the offense. Lurie has openly talked about how much he believes in the need for an elite offense. He’s not going with a defensive coach unless the guy can convince Lurie that the offense can thrive under his watch.
Doug Pederson’s 5 greatest accomplishments as Eagles head coach - NBCSP
Foles was incredible and was the obvious MVP. Corey Clement played the game of his life. Alshon Jeffery was huge. Zach Ertz caught the game-winner. Brandon Graham made the most important defensive play in franchise history. But Pederson called a perfect game. Perfect. You can try to say Foles called the Philly Special and, yeah, he suggested it. But Doug went with it. And he was as gutsy in that game as we’ve ever seen a head coach. He pushed every right button for the entire 60 minutes of that game and it took everything he had to pull off the 41-33 win. Pederson called a perfect game with his backup quarterback to take down the greatest quarterback and coach tandem in NFL history. It’s still hard to believe. But that entire game and that entire 2017 seasons, the Eagles were a reflection of their head coach. They never gave up; they always believed.
With Doug Pederson Out, the Eagles Should Not Be Attractive to Top Coaching Candidates - MMQB
For top coordinators wanting to be smart about picking the right spot for their first head coaching opportunity, the Eagles’ situation has a lot of red flags.
Pros and cons for each remaining NFL head-coaching vacancy - NFL.com
Cons: The QB situation could turn south if Wentz can’t figure things out and Hurts isn’t well-rounded enough to win. Then you’re left with a bad cap situation and without a winning starting QB. Other than the QB position, this roster needs a lot of work. With room to improve in the secondary, at linebacker and at receiver, the biggest area for concern is along a once-dominant offensive line, where there are more questions than answers following an injury-riddled campaign. The unit will get guard Brandon Brooks, who missed 2020 after tearing his Achilles in June, back, and hopefully a healthy Lane Johnson, currently the league’s highest-paid right tackle, whose 2020 campaign season ended after seven games. Jason Kelce is under contract through 2024, but there’s always a chance he steps away during the offseason (a decision Kelce’s mulled over the last few years). If he does, guard Isaac Seumalo will move to center, leaving a hole at left guard. Andre Dillard, a 2019 first-round pick who’s made just four starts in two seasons after missing the entire 2020 season with a biceps injury, is still a question mark until we see him return to game action.
Eagles won’t be penalized for QB decisions - AP
The Philadelphia Eagles won’t be penalized after the NFL looked into the way the team handled its quarterback decisions in the final regular-season game against Washington, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal the conversations. Doug Pederson, who was fired by Philadelphia on Monday, removed Jalen Hurts for third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a 20-14 loss on Jan. 3. The Eagles trailed by a field goal when Sudfeld, who hadn’t thrown a pass in a game since 2018, entered. He was picked on his second attempt and also lost a fumble.
An open letter to the NFL: Keep your hands off Joe Brady - Cat Scratch Reader
Now that we have thoroughly debunked your interest in Brady as a head coaching candidate, you may be asking why we keep stating that he is ours (which he is) and that you can’t have him (which you damn well can’t). That’s easy, for Panthers fans. You see, we’ve never really known consistent, intentional offense. We recently suffered through seven years of Mike Shula being restrained by a defensive minded head coach. Is Brady the brightest offensive mind that ever there was? No. Is he an improvement on our history? Easily. We actually trust that Brady isn’t confused when he sees guys on the field who aren’t wearing leather helmets. That’s new for us. It’s big. And he’s ours, damn it. Simply put: he’s good enough for us, but not good enough for you. Please direct your head coaching inquiries elsewhere.
Reports point to Chiefs QBs coach Mike Kafka as potential Eagles head coach candidate - Arrowhead Pride
With the Chiefs in the NFL’s Divisional round, the Eagles would not be able to interview Bieniemy or Kafka until after their season — or during the Super Bowl bye week, should the Chiefs make it that far.
Despite quick playoff exit, Washington fans believe in the future; NFC East rival fans not so much - Hogs Haven
Philly looks to be a hot mess at the moment. They have two quarterbacks, one locked in on a hugely expensive long term contract; both had losing records in 2020. Head Coach Doug Pederson was just fired after the team finished with a 4-11-1 record, despite three consecutive playoff appearances and a super bowl win from 2017 to 2019. Despite having fielded increasingly aging and expensive rosters over the past three seasons, and setting the Eagles to be over the 2021 salary cap by an estimated $51m, GM Howie Roseman retains both his job and the confidence of team owner Jeffrey Lurie, who described the road ahead as a difficult time that requires a new coach that is aligned with the Roseman’s vision. The hardest thing to understand here is what the 11% of Eagles fans who still believe in the direction of the team are optimistic about.
Cowboys fans need to take a realistic approach to the hiring of Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator - Blogging The Boys
In what has become something of a trend for the Dallas Cowboys, they have moved quickly to fill their vacancy at defensive coordinator. It only took days to replace Mike Nolan with former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, who first made his mark as the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Boom. It is a bit amusing that, just like with Mike McCarthy’s hire, there were worries that the firing of the old coach was taking too long and would cost Dallas the best names out there, only to have the Cowboys get ahead of the rest of the league in filling a crucial vacancy. Many think this was pretty much the best possible hire for the Cowboys, while others are criticizing how they have gone out and hired another failed head coach and Mike McCarthy bud who had a brief flash of glory with one of the most talented defenses in recent memory. How about we advocate a different stance here? One like waiting to see how things come together and then evaluating the success or failure. Radical, I know.
Giants’ offensive line: Tumultuous year, but hope going forward - Big Blue View
The Giants’ offensive line finished 24th in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards run-blocking stat and 27th in FO’s Adjusted Sack Rate metric. Pro Football Focus ranked the Giants 31st in its pass-blocking efficiency metric. Despite all of that, the news about the offensive line might be better than the end of season metrics indicate. The Giants do appear to have several ascending players worth going forward with on their offensive line, a better position than they have been in over the past few seasons.
NFL expert picks for the Divisional Playoff round - SB Nation
The first NFL Super Wild Card Weekend was a total blast. The only game that wasn’t close was Bears vs. Saints, and that had Nickelodeon to entertain us. The rest came down to the fourth quarter, with numerous games turning on a single play. If last weekend was anything to go off, this one should be an absolute blast. There’s an argument for any of the eight remaining teams to make a run to the Super Bowl, and we saw that this week in the expert picks. There isn’t a single unanimous pick across the board, with at least one member of the panel picking against the rest in our four games.
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