Doug Pederson Breaks Silence on Eagles’ Departure, Carson Wentz Feud

Carson Wentz, Doug Pederson

Getty Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz were both forced out of Philadelphia after a rough 2020 season for the Eagles.

Doug Pederson gave a tandem press conference alongside Howie Roseman on Jan. 4 to discuss what went wrong in 2020 how to fix it for the future of the Philadelphia Eagles. One week later, Pederson was gone after the two sides parted ways.

No one has heard or seen the 53-year-old Super Bowl champion since that fateful day. There were reports saying Pederson was taking the 2021 season off to relax and regroup. Meanwhile, the Eagles hired Nick Sirianni and watched the Carson Wentz drama unfold in slow motion. And everyone else wondered what Pederson was thinking. Well, there finally appears to be some closure.

Pederson joined NBC10’s John Clark on a Zoom call to kick off his new Takeoff podcast for NBC Sports Philadelphia. The two chatted about a wide array of topics, including Pederson’s shocking dismissal three years after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as well as his son’s path to the NFL draft. Josh Pederson is a 6-foot-5, 237-pound tight end from Louisiana-Monroe.

“Obviously, we had a rough season this past year and things didn’t go our way and the injuries and whatnot,” Pederson told Clark. “But I don’t focus on that. I focus on the good times, the good things, the people I’ve met, the relationships that I have and still hold dear to my heart. That, to me, gives me closure on any decision that was made.”

While Pederson never clarified whether he quit or was fired, the former Eagles coach hinted that a major difference of opinion had to do with his “underwhelming” choices for assistant coaches. It was reported that he wanted to promote Matt Burke to defensive coordinator and Press Taylor to offensive coordinator, two decisions that didn’t sit well with Roseman or team owner Jeffrey Lurie. Burke and Taylor were both jettisoned by Sirianni.

“I’m going to always continue to stand up for the guys that I want to surround myself with and try to put my best foot forward,” Pederson said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I feel like as the head coach, you should have that opportunity to have the guys around you. Because then it’s on me, then it’s my decision. If it goes south at that point, then that’s something I have to live with.”

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Any Friction Between Pederson and Wentz?

Pederson had been accused of butting heads with Wentz last year, including a span of eight to nine weeks where the head coach and quarterback didn’t speak to one another. Wentz felt hurt and betrayed after getting benched for Jalen Hurts, according to reports, and blamed Pederson. Wentz still hasn’t spoken publicly on the situation, but clearly, there was some frustration on the quarterback’s end. Even Pederson admitted that much.

“I do believe there’s a bit of a misnomer out there, where Carson and I were on such bad terms, and I’ve never felt that way,” Pederson said. “I’ve always felt like I was going to do the right thing for the Philadelphia Eagles, but yet I understand what he was feeling and what he was going through. I know there was frustration there.”

That frustration boiled over and caused the Eagles to trade Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. Pederson said he was “excited to see” what Wentz can do under Frank Reich while showering equal praise on Hurts as he becomes the new face of the franchise.

“Guys really gravitate to him. His work ethic is second-to-none,” Pederson said of Hurts. “I think the coaching staff, if they’re patient with him and really teach, and dial things in for him, and really tailor the offense around his skill set, he’s going to have success.”


Ryan Fitzpatrick No Longer Eagles QB Option

The favorites to land the backup spot behind Hurts had been free-agent quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor, Jacoby Brissett, or Ryan Fitzpatrick. All three men have direct ties to the new coaching staff. Well, check one of those names off the wish list.

Fitzpatrick inked a one-year deal worth $10 million with the Washington Football Team, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He’ll take over for outgoing starter Alex Smith who was released to save $14.9 million against the cap.

Fitzpatrick threw for 2,091 yards and 13 touchdowns in seven starts last year for the Miami Dolphins. There was a belief he may join the Eagles to reunite with new passing-game coordinator Kevin Patullo who served as his quarterbacks coach in New York from 2015-16.

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