If the Philadelphia Eagles are seriously considering firing Doug Pederson, then they better poll the locker room first. Multiple players and assistant coaches went on the record this week with superfluous praise and ringing votes of confidence for the head coach. No one wants to see Pederson leave at the end of the year.
Yet there are reports floating around that team owner Jeffrey Lurie has considered dropping the ax on Pederson. The 2020 Eagles were supposed to compete for a Super Bowl. Instead, they are mired in a quarterback controversy and may miss the playoffs. The good news? Pederson still has three games to prove all his supporters right. His top assistant, Duce Staley, called him a “hell of a coach” on Friday while lobbying hard for him to return in 2021.
“I don’t want him to go anywhere,” Staley told reporters. “All of the assistant coaches feel the same way. I’m speaking for all of them right now. The things as far as what he’s done for us, such as giving us the opportunity to have a voice and giving us the opportunity to do certain things, has been awesome.”
All-Pro center Jason Kelce banged the drum loudly for Pederson earlier his week, with several teammates jumping in that drumline. Jordan Mailata talked about how the head coach uses “Aussie banter” to make him feel at home. Pederson coaches him up all the time, teaching him tricks of the trade and challenging him every day on the practice field.
“Doug, man, he’s funny,” Mailata said. “He likes to throw a lot of banter my way, a lot of Aussie banter every day — and I appreciate it because I miss home. He’s done a lot of work with me, in regards to throwing random questions out there when I pass by him and making sure I understand the gameplan.”
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Pederson Still Not Giving Up Play-Calling
There has been an uproar about Pederson not wanting to give up the play-calling duties. Some have blamed his stubbornness for Carson Wentz’s struggles. Why didn’t Pederson call more roll-outs for the benched quarterback? Wentz has always thrived out of the pocket. Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts had four designed roll-outs on the Eagles’ opening drive last week.
Perhaps it was an odd coincidence. But Pederson has repeatedly said he enjoys calling the plays. Staley, who serves as running backs coach and assistant head coach, doesn’t feel he should cave in and give it up.
“I don’t want him to give it up,” Staley said, “because he’s really good at it, and he should continue to do it. He’s been a hell of a coach for this organization, bringing a Super Bowl, of course.”
Staley went on to compare and contrast Pederson’s style with Bill Cowher. The Eagles assistant played for the “CEO coach” in Pittsburgh and remembered him not calling the plays. But what worked for Cowher might not necessarily work for Pederson. Besides, he always asks for input from his assistants.
“Awesome head coach. Awesome,” Staley said. “He’s one of those guys that lets you work. You got an opinion. He asks you your opinion. He wants to know.”
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