Three years removed from guiding the Philadelphia Eagles to the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy, Doug Pederson may be on the hot seat. His play-calling looks stagnant. His quarterback appears broken. And the entire offense might be more dysfunctional than an episode of Jerry Springer.
Now there are reports that Pederson’s job is on the line. Multiple NFL writers have weighed in on the possibility of Pederson getting fired at the end of the year. One theory has the embattled head coach not being “totally unhappy” if it happens.
On Tuesday, Pederson was asked specifically if ownership had given him any “reassurances” about his future with the organization. Surprisingly, he provided a rather blunt answer to a loaded question.
“I haven’t been reassured one way or the other, no,” Pederson said. “Listen, I’ve been around this league a long time, 25 years I believe as a player and a coach, and we’re always based on and evaluated on our performance.”
The NFL has long earned the moniker of “Not For Long” for good reason so it would shock no one if Pederson is let go. The Eagles have gone a very pedestrian 19-16 (including playoffs) since getting fitted for their Super Bowl rings.
It’s not good enough in hard-scrabble Philly and Pederson knows it. Luckily, the men in midnight green still have a decent shot at winning the NFC East if they can string together a few wins over the next five weeks.
“Right now, that’s obviously not my concern as far as that decision goes. That’s out of my hands,” Pederson said. “But what’s in my hands and in my control is getting the team prepared and ready for Green Bay this weekend. So, I’m not going there mentally. I’m looking forward to playing again this week, getting back on the grass tomorrow with the players, and getting ready for Green Bay.”
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Relationship with Jeffrey Lurie Remains ‘Good’
Last week’s bombshell report that Jeffrey Lurie skipped the Cleveland game out of frustration upped the volume on sports-talk radio. It was compounded by rumors of the Eagles owner providing input on key personnel decisions and sometimes allowing GM Howie Roseman to override Pederson on both draft picks and coaching hires. Again, nothing has been proven or confirmed by the team.
Pederson has been the one left to sit up in front of the press and take the heat. Sure, the poor coaching decisions — like not taking an easy field goal down 20-9 with 8:35 left — are one thing but acquiring talent goes all the way up to the front office. Are they accepting blame, too?
“Those conversations are private,” Pederson said. “I’m not going to get into that.”
But Pederson did provide an update on the status of his relationship with Lurie. They communicate regularly and “cover a lot of ground” during their weekly meetings. Pederson denied any friction, then challenged reporters to bring up the same topic to the billionaire owner.
“Our relationship is good. We communicate a lot throughout the week,” Pederson said. “Listen, some of these questions might be for Mr. Lurie obviously, but my job is to prepare the team and get ready for Green Bay.”
Sounds like Camelot, right? On to Green Bay.
Carson Wentz Unhappy with Jalen Hurts’ Pick
Wait, there’s another unsettling storyline out there: Carson Wentz was upset when the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler talked to a bevy of NFL executives for an in-depth piece on Wentz’s future in Philly and the constraints of his $128 million contract. It’s a good read and one of the most glaring issues has to do with Wentz’s reaction to the team spending a second-rounder on Hurts.
“All that ground he gained over Nick, everything he fought past to get to this point, you pull it right back [by drafting Hurts],” Fowler’s source said.