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Putting the criticism of Eagles’ head coach in perspective…

Yeah, I know, when you endure a tough loss the buck stops right there on Doug’s desk…

And I’ll be the first to admit that Doug Pederson’s proclivity to abandon the run in favor of the pass is becoming annoying…

But to be fair, it’s not the reason the Eagles lost in Kansas City… We muffed a few plays that should have been made.

That said, it’s only two games into a new season and we’ll get better at executing the routine stuff on the field as the feeling for 60 minutes of consistency among the 48 active guys on any given Sunday (or Monday or Thursday) becomes sharper.

The problem with being Doug Pederson these days is you have no track record of overcoming the impatient fan and media criticism coming your way. Tough to be a 2nd year coach in a winning-starved franchise with a legion of frustrated fans worldwide, and you can’t point to the times in the past when you came up with the answers to relieve the temporary distress.

Heck, even some of the players are grumbling publicly about Doug’s strategy on offense, or his excessive patience with a certain young player on the offensive line.

One of our veteran commenters—“CETS”—agrees with South Philly Ben that Doug has totally overinvested in Isaac Seumalo at left guard. Isaac had a very rough day in Kansas City:

“Seumalo was losing his one-on-one matchup badly.  [His failure to stop] one outside rusher also negated Wentz being able to roll to his left or right.  Seumalo getting pushed back into Carson’s lap with or without a blitz prevented Wentz from stepping up.”

Yeah, it wasn’t pretty, but did it cost us the game? I would submit the win was still there for the taking if we had just done a few unrelated things better—like maybe not fumble away a punt, or maybe not whiff on Kareem Hunt too often in the open field, or maybe not overthrow Alshon Jeffery or underthrow Torrey Smith on a couple of plays. The missed FG chip-shot didn’t help, either.

So it’s not all on Doug. It’s a physical game, and Doug ain’t out there in pads.

For now Doug is saying all the right things, standing by his men, so to speak:

“As coaches, we’re also very critical and want to make sure that these guys are coached up and playing right and doing the right things. For the most part they are. Are players going to get beat in this league? Yes. That’s a good defensive front [in KC] and again we’ll evaluate this week in practice as we go. But as of right now we’re not going to make any changes and we’re going to keep going.”

As for the out-of-balance run game, Doug admits it has got to change:

“We’ve got to focus on the run game and we’ve got to get the run game fixed,” Pederson said. “We have to have a great plan going and commit to that. It just takes pressure off your quarterbacks as well.

“You don’t want to throw the ball that many times. You want to have more of a balance obviously. The run game is a part of that … Do I want him to drop back that many times? No. But at the same time, I have to look at the whole picture, the whole pie.”

Again, if you take him at his word, Doug is well aware of the flaws in his offense and is not dodging the current criticism of his game plan. You just have to believe things are still a work in progress which will ultimately lead to a mid-season offensive surge.

But trust me, things could be a whole lot worse. I take you to my colleague in New York, Andy Furman, and his description of the tar’n’feathers fan brigade already lining up to torch the Giants’ second-year head coach after a miserable loss to the Lions last night, 24-10:

“Ben McAdoo is failing as a Head Coach. This is not Ray Handley. But it is coming close. Anything in the Handley zip code is bad.

“How is McAdoo failing? His playcalling is atrocious. He is clueless. After 9 months of lack of adjustments in response to an incompetent OL, he finally goes to small ball West Coast Offense and it works! The Giants get their only TD of the 2017 season. AND THEN THE WCO disappears as soon as it appeared.

“Hello???? McFly???? Hello!!

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The Giants OL can’t pass protect to save Eli’s life. Yet there is McAdoo again calling slow developing pass plays. Steve Young at halftime accurately explained that Eli can’t pat the ball…. meaning the playcalling must be short passes to provide cover to a woeful OL. That’s called scheming to your roster’s (strengths and) weaknesses.

“We tweeted: AT WHAT POINT DOES FLOWERS’ INCOMPETENCE BECOME McADOO’s NEGLIGENCE?

“Right about now, Giants fans.

“The underachievement is palpable. This story is so far past Flowers’ poor play. That we are watching Flowers seemingly routinely blow up his team while McAdoo does nothing about it is unconscionable. This is how you lose the team. Handley didn’t have the respect of the players. McAdoo will lose the respect of his players by not helping Flowers and/or by not benching Flowers.

“Delay of game at the 1 yd line.

“Drop of a ball right in the hands of Marshall.

“Seemingly endless amounts of irresponsible lack of pocket contain in the pass rush.

“12 men on the field.

“Kickoff out of bounds.

“Eli holding the ball for 2 seconds too long.

“Terrible woeful tackling all game, punctuated by a special teams punt return for a TD.

“Bad football. Undisciplined. Sloppy. Mismanaged resources. The Giants have scored 13 points in 2 games. They are 0-2. While you can argue they are their record, the underachievement is what is noteworthy. There are bad teams that deserve to be 0-2 because they don’t have players. The Giants have plenty of players who are being completely mismanaged. Marshall is wasted. Eli has no rhythm. The OL has no confidence. The Defense is now seeing freelancing via reckless passrushing w/o regard for contain. The D is not getting support and they are ditching.

“I don’t want to hear about Jenkins and Goodson not playing. The Giants deserved to lose but they also had the ability to win. When a team fails to play up to its ability, that’s underachievement. If McAdoo does not adapt to what his team is, they will continue to underachieve and they will continue to lose. ”

So you see, dear Eagles fans, in comparison things are not as bad as you think right now with Doug as our head coach… unless he loses to the Giants this coming Sunday!

 

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