Here’s how EYE understand what went down in a Florida meeting this week:
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie: “Doug, if you want to continue with us in 2021, you just have to follow some new guidelines from our management. We have a master plan.”
Former head coach Doug Pederson: “I’m sick of being told what to do and how to do it. You can fire me, no regrets. We had a good run together.”
Okay, it probably wasn’t as simple as portrayed, but I believe that’s the essence of the conversation.
Speaking of conversation, alumni readers of the EYE are encouraged to meet and greet again at a new Discord site. The Great JB99 created a chat room at Discord for all of us to chat and stage drunkapaloozas and whartnots:
you download the Discord app and search for “TheGreatJB99’s BriSuksEggBar”… will update you as more develops!
Here’s the TLDR version of the end of the Doug Pederson era in Philly:
Pederson was expected to remain as coach despite a 4-11-1 finish this season. But multiple meetings with team owner Jeffrey Lurie over the past week left his boss unconvinced that Pederson had a complementary vision for how to address the myriad issues facing the team, sources said, from navigating the Carson Wentz situation to fixing an offense that finished 26th in scoring (20.9 points per game) and 28th in passing yards (207.9 yards per game) in 2020.
Lurie explained the decision to move on from Pederson during a video news conference on Monday.
“My first allegiance is, what will be best for the Philadelphia Eagles and our fans for the next three, four, five years. It’s not based on does someone deserve to hold their job or deserve to get fired; that’s a different bar,” Lurie said.
Lurie said the decision to move on from Pederson was not specific to Wentz or one position group, focusing instead on the regression of the offense overall in a season during which the NFL set a record for points scored. Lurie did not commit to Wentz returning next season but suggested a new coaching staff would work with the QB to get him back on track.
Lurie also wasn’t sold on Pederson’s plans regarding his coaching staff, sources said. Pederson pushed for passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to be elevated to offensive coordinator rather than bringing in a more established candidate. The issue of how to fill the void left by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who plans to take the year off from football in 2021, also was unresolved.
Pederson became just the eighth NFL head coach to win a Super Bowl within his first two years at the helm when the Eagles beat the New England Patriots to capture the Lombardi trophy during the 2017 season. That was the first of three straight playoff appearances for the Eagles under Pederson, before the wheels came off in 2020. He compiled a record of 46-39-1 over five seasons with the Eagles, including four playoff wins.
Doug still has two years left on his contract with the team at $4 million/year, which is fully guaranteed.
For five years, Doug seldom disagreed with any suggestions or orders given to him by his two bosses, owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman. But when Lurie and Roseman gave him a firm no to his plan to make his 32-year-old protégé, Press Taylor, the team’s new offensive coordinator, Pederson finally decided enough was enough. And yada, yada, yada, the Eagles are looking for a new head coach.