Doug Pederson on Hot Seat? Eagles Players Dish on Coach ‘Losing the Team’

Doug Pederson

Getty Doug Pederson is prepared to go "full steam" ahead as the Eagles' coaching staff has been approved to return to work.

It would be too early to hit the panic button in a normal year. Looking ahead at the Eagles’ schedule, it’s full-on hysteria.

The Eagles have looked rather lifeless in their first three games, highlighted by a disheartening Week 3 tie to Cincinnati. Now they’ll run the menacing road gauntlet of San Francisco (2-1) and Pittsburgh (3-0) before returning home to face (gulp) Baltimore, arguably the prohibitive favorites to win the Super Bowl. It’s not sunny in Philadelphia right now. Neither is Doug Pederson’s future.

The Eagles have thrived in times of adversity under Pederson by throwing on that underdog cape and reeling off wins. There’s no shortage of fight in this team, although the talent level might not be there. It’s going to up to the head coach to draw it out and the players in the locker room believe in him to do so.

“I know that he hasn’t lost the team; nobody is worried,” defensive end Brandon Graham told reporters. “We know we just have to get a W and things will definitely take care of themselves. Us giving up on each other, nah, we work too hard for that.”

Graham certainly did his part against the Bengals after recording two sacks and bringing his trademark energy all afternoon. The Eagles’ defense wasn’t perfect but held their own when it counted. Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made a crucial pass break-up late in overtime on 2nd-and-16, then Fletcher Cox busted though for a third-down sack to force a punt. Mistakes, especially pre-snap penalties, killed Philly on both sides of the ball. They finished with 11 for 93 yards.

“We have been underdogs ever since I have been here,” Graham said. “As soon as things go bad, people want to start panicking. We are not panicking. We know it’s just a different type of year and we are going to get it right.”

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Eagles Say ‘Nobody is Down on Themselves’

Every player says it but do they actually believe it? Jalen Mills cited his five years in Philly as evidence that this team does.

The Eagles strong safety has been part of some magical runs in Philly — hey, Nick Foles reminded everyone about one of those on Sunday while quarterbacking the Bears to a come-from-behind win — and won’t quit. Not yet. Mills’ focus remains on getting “in the dance” and waltzing out with a trophy.

“We have one goal: make it to the postseason,” Mills said. “And once you make it to the postseason, you know, you want to be in the dance. So I don’t think at this point, nobody is down on themselves. The dudes may feel some type of way because we did tie. But at the end of the day, we’ve been here before. We’ve got the coaches and we’ve got the players to fight through this.”

Pederson’s motto for this uncertain 2020 campaign has been “Stronger Together” and the team has bought in. No one would take the bait and throw their head coach under the bus despite some questionable decisions, particularly that head-scratching punt at the end of overtime. Everyone has moved on to San Francisco.

“I trust and respect coach’s decision, those are his to make,” quarterback Carson Wentz said. “Even the fourth down later [in overtime]. We were all kind of unsure as to what was going on, even, because we had a field goal lined up ready to go. I mean, I get it. Those are tough decisions to make and I trust coach fully.”

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