What else does he need to see? What else does he need to hear? What else does he need to learn?
Jeff Lurie has lived through a living, breathing five-year Doug Pederson resume. What else is there to find out?
If Lurie decides not to fire Doug Pederson, he’s got good reason not to. We’re only three years out from a Super Bowl triumph, just two years out from a third straight postseason berth and even during the disastrous 2020 season, you can’t question the effort of what was left of Pederson’s roster.
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If Lurie decides to fire Pederson, he’s got good reason as well. Pederson’s game-day decisions this year were increasingly baffling, his inability to get Carson Wentz fixed was alarming and the team has certainly regressed each year since 2017.
An ESPN report Sunday morning indicated that Pederson and Lurie have already met since the season ended and will meet again soon and that Lurie needs to feel confident about Pederson’s vision for the future of the team following that meeting to keep him.
It’s also Jan. 10 and the season has been over for a week and six teams with head coach openings are already deep in the process of finding new coaches.
I get Lurie’s desire to do his due diligence and be sure he’s making the right decision, but the longer you wait, the more you risk losing the right guy if you do fire Pederson.
First of all, the window to interview candidates from the two No. 1 seeds has opened and closed. If Lurie wanted to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy or Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, two of the top candidates for head coaching jobs, he could have done it this past week, but now he can’t until those teams lose or have a week off before the Super Bowl.
The Falcons, Lions, Texans, Jaguars, Chargers and Jets have all already begun the interview process and the top candidates, like Jim Caldwell, Joe Brady and Robert Saleh, have all been interviewing with teams for a week. Candidates such as Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, whose teams play on wild-card weekend, have to wait until their season is over.
There's a reason teams make these decisions the moment the season ends, to try to get in front of the process and have the best possible chance at their top choice.
And beyond that, the longer you wait to make the hire, the more the coach you do end up hiring will be hamstrung building a staff.
And if you are a candidate or even an assistant coach, do you really want to go somewhere where the owner seems so indecisive?
But there are additional risks to waiting.
The longer Lurie keeps Pederson hanging, the more he risks damaging Pederson's credibility in the locker room. Every coach needs the complete support of his owner, and without it the coach’s voice doesn’t resonate quite so powerfully with his players and assistants.
The coach needs to be the unquestioned leader of the football team, and every day that Lurie waits to figure this out, the more he damages Pederson’s ability to lead if he does retain him.
There’s a reason that every time Lurie has fired a coach – Rich Kotite, Ray Rhodes, Andy Reid, Chip Kelly – he’s done it either one day after the season or, in Kelly's case, with a week left in the season.
Lurie is a smart guy and he’s been a tremendous owner for this franchise for 27 years now, and I understand that he wants to be absolutely sure before he jettisons the only coach that’s ever led the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship.
But I don’t understand what more he could possibly need to see or hear at this point to make an informed decision.
Nobody is more aware of Pederson's strengths and weaknesses as a coach than Lurie.
Whether or not he keeps Pederson or fires him, the best thing he can do for the long-term success of his football team is do it now.
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