The NFL is a results-driven business and, at least from the outside, it appears that the walls are quickly closing in on Doug Pederson.
There were already reports about mounting frustration from Eagles ownership and that was before another paltry offensive performance from the Eagles in a 23-17 loss on Monday night football. That loss dropped them to a pathetic 3-7-1 through 12 weeks of this miserable season.
When asked on Tuesday if he had been given assurances that he’d be allowed to finish out the season, Pederson said he hadn’t heard one way or the other.
“Listen, I’ve been around this league a long time, 25 years, I believe, as a player and as a coach,” Pederson said on Tuesday afternoon. “We’re always based on and we’re evaluated on our performance. Right now, that’s obviously not my concern as far as that decision goes. That’s out of my hands. What’s in my hands and in my control is getting the team prepared and ready for Green Bay this weekend.
“I’m not going there mentally. I’m looking forward to playing again this week, getting back tomorrow with the players and getting ready for Green Bay.”
A report from the Philadelphia Inquirer surfaced last week that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has been increasingly frustrated by the performance of his team. While the Eagles claim Lurie skipped the Browns game to be cautious about COVID-19 before spending Thanksgiving with his mother, the report said the growing sentiment inside the NovaCare Complex was that he skipped it out of frustration.
And it’s easy to see why Lurie would be frustrated.
This season, the Eagles and Pederson have been the opposite of what he wants. Lurie wants his team to be on the forefront offensively. He wants innovation, creativity, intelligence out of his head coach and play caller. Instead, he’s gotten utter incoherence.
“Our relationship is good,” Pederson said when asked about any mounting pressure from Lurie. “We communicate a lot throughout the week, we have our typical weekly meeting and cover a lot of ground. But that relationship is good. 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.”
Of course, it’s not like firing the head coach would solve all the Eagles’ problems. You can make a very strong case it wouldn’t even solve their biggest problem. There’s a lack of talent, specifically young talent, on this roster.
But when asked about any blame the front office has taken for the results this year, Pederson said those conversations are “private” and declined to expand.
In an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia last week, ESPN’s Louis Riddick, a former Eagles front office member, said the issues with the Eagles are much bigger than the head coach and quarterback, pointing at the recent draft record.
That might be true, but coaches typically end up on the hot seat first. Like the late Bum Phillips once said, “There’s two kinds of coaches, them that’s fired and them that’s gonna be fired.”
It’s hard to believe that less than three years after Pederson led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory, we’re already asking questions about his job security. But the NFL is a performance-based business and the Eagles are trending the wrong way and fast.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: