What does firing Doug Pederson really result in?


Milan Varia

Coach Doug Pederson was fired Monday, January 11th, 2021. What does that entail for the team moving forward?

“This is the new normal!”

Those were the words of Doug Pederson on February 8th, 2018-the same day as the Super Bowl parade.

Three seasons later, the same man who brought the first Lombardi trophy to Philadelphia has, shockingly, been fired by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. Throughout the last year, fans have witnessed many surprises on and off the field. The fan experience has been very depressing, with many events leading to this surprising downfall. After playing to keep his job safe, Pederson gets fired eight days following Black Monday.

Is Pederson being fired the right choice? From a coaching perspective, I believe so. Yet, the decision is also pretty bad because of how untimely it is. So much has gone wrong since the NFL Draft, making this job not appetizing at all. 

This choice is also highly ignorant by the organization. They are avoiding so many other problems with this team that deserve more attention than Pederson. Without a doubt, this team is in the most disarray of any NFL franchise. Not only do the Eagles have to deal with an extremely questionable GM, but there is also a very controversial QB situation. The internal dumpster fire makes the decision seem questionable. 

There are six other coaching vacancies in the NFL, and the Eagles are easily the worst situation to walk into from any other team. The Chargers have an extremely talented offense with plenty of room to grow in Hebert; the Jets and Jaguars have some of the most picks and future assets; the Falcons almost have the all pieces to make the playoffs; the Lions have a great young receiving core. The only team that could be arguably worse arethe Texans. However, if Watson can repair his relationship with management, the Eagles have the worst situation. There is not much young talent. 

That is the biggest issue with this team. There are not many players that have a bright future. Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz, and Jordan Mailaita are the only players that will produce. But other than those three, there is not much value. Jalen Reagor has had his bright spots, but he was not involved enough in the offense. A bigger problem, however, is Howie Roseman. He is the one behind this talent problem. Finding talent starts at the draft, but historically, Howie has not performed well. His list of busts includes, but is not limited to, Donnell Pumphrey, Danny Watkins, Marcus Smith, Sidney Jones; only 2 pro bowlers were drafted by Roseman since 2016. 

Howie Roseman’s many blunders do not end at the draft. He is also the reason why the Eagles are 78 million dollars in salary cap. 78 million. Even if Carson Wentz is traded, and Howie can get away with not paying any of his guaranteed salary, the 78 million is not halved. While at the moment, the long term signing of players like Alshon Jeffrey, Malik Jackson, Darius Slay, and Brandon Graham seemed worth it, each player has not produced at their level of pay. Blaming the players is not fair. He signed a bunch of veterans nearing the end of their peaks. Nearly every important contract is one of a player who is 30 years old or older. Howie did not plan for the team to dominate long term.

Roseman has to be seriously assessed. 

There is not any other team that has a GM who has gone through 3 different coaches. It is upsetting how Lurie has failed to see this. He deserves to be on the hot seat more than Pederson ever did. The issues simply do not end.  

Another bullet-point on the list of never-ending problems involves two combined aspects: the draft and the new coach. Firing Pederson may increase the likelihood that Wentz stays. 

The problem with this is that many candidates looking for a head coaching position may want a new QB. Many potential coaches may prefer to trade Wentz and start Hurts, or even target someone like Justin Fields of OSU or Zach Wilson of BYU in the draft. 

Choosing Wentz shows commitment to a player who has a rocky relationship with the team. What coach wants to walk into that? If the player at their most important position not only is not committed but also had one of the worst regressions in NFL history. Moving on from him and starting fresh is what any coach coming in would want. Tanking for a WR is not something teams do in the NFL, yet it appears to be the case here. 

In the same way, Lurie will not hire anyone that wants to move on from Wentz. This alone significantly decreases the list of potential candidates. Both Eric Bieniemy and Urban Meyer, two of the top coaching candidates, have no interest in this.  The list may diminish by the day. Lincoln Riley, the current head coach at Oklahoma University, may not be hired either for the same reason. The disconnect between Wentz and the organization is still there. Hiring Hurts’ old college coach will effectively make Wentz want to cut all ties with Philadelphia.

So, realistically, the Eagles are looking at a limited list with Brian Daboll, Arthur Miller, Todd Bowles, and Mike Kafka.

The best coach for the Philadelphia Eagles is, indisputably, Brian Daboll. Daboll is the current Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator and is regarded as the person who made Josh Allen. 

Daboll was hired the same year as Allen was drafted. Throughout their time together was a continuous development to his game. Allen went from 2,074 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, and 12 INTs in his rookie season to 3,089 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and 9 INTs in his sophomore season. Then, of course, Allen is now playing the best ball of his career, putting up MVP numbers: 4,544 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, and 10 INTs. All of his progression is in direct correlation to having Daboll as his mentor. 

There are not many other coaches in the NFL who can fix Wentz and his bad mechanics. But if Daboll believes he can do so, he will jump at the opportunity to coach him. If Wentz returns as a top 12 QB next season, the Eagles will have a chance to redeem themselves and not be the ‘Philadelphia Browns’ for the next 5-10 years.  

But regardless of who comes in, they enter a team with a split locker room and confusing, flawed power dynamics. As fans, the wait could be long before a coach is chosen, and even longer until the team returns to success.