Yesterday, not even three full years removed from the franchise’s first Super Bowl Championship, the Eagles parted ways with Doug Pederson. I have been an advocate for this move since the end of the regular season, but Doug’s departure alone, in the absence of any changes to the front office, is absolutely fucking catastrophic and puts on display for the whole world the sheer dysfunction that has plagued this organization for the past three seasons.
I won’t sugarcoat this for him. This is not meant to be a defense of Doug Pederson. He was downright bad in 2020, average at best in the previous two seasons, and failed miserably in his most important long-term goal of making a top-5 QB out of Carson Wentz. All of those things considered, firing him is completely understandable.
He was also not even close to the biggest cause of the Eagles’ fall from glory. The most important thing for this team to get back to contention is to hit on their draft picks (no shit) and Howie Roseman has hit on exactly zero (0) draft picks since 2013. To give him the chance to fuck up both a coaching hire and another draft in which the birds will be picking sixth in each round is malpractice.
For over a year now the whole NFL has known what Jeffrey Lurie does not: Howie Roseman is bad at his job. To fire Doug and not address this much more pressing issue is problematic at best and completely damning to the next decade of Philadelphia football at worst.
It’s not just that they didn’t fire Roseman, it’s that Lurie has seemed to defer to him on any and all important decisions. Ultimately it seems Pederson’s lack of control over his personnel and staff that pushed him to be more accepting of his untimely departure. Even if Pederson isn’t the right man to lead this team through what looks to be a lengthy rebuild, why would any coach worth half a shit want to come to this dumpster fire organization led by these two clowns?
The Eagles have no salary cap room at all, no young talent, a quarterback controversy, a normal amount of draft capital, and a owner/GM willing to not only fire a head coach only three years removed from a Super Bowl but send him out in truly embarrassing fashion. These guys likely forced Pederson to blatantly tank a game on national TV, blamed him and only him for it, and then canned his ass. That was Doug Pederson’s last game wearing that Eagles visor. That’s fucked.
The entire NFL is literally laughing at us. If you’re an Eric Bieniemy, Joe Brady, Lincoln Riley, etc. why in God’s name is this a team you’d want to take charge of. It’s quite literally a nightmare scenario.
Ever since the Super Bowl victory, Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman have both been absolutely blind to their own shortcomings, and as more time goes by it seems they insist on taking more and more control. It’s a recipe for disaster.
There’s a lot of implications here as far as what this means for Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts. While Lurie claims the decision is related to the future of their former consensus franchise quarterback, that’s pretty hard to believe considering the reports that Wentz and Pederson’s relationship was “fractured beyond repair.” I still think that if you can trade Wentz’s contract you have to do it, but knowing Howie he won’t because that would be him admitting he ever made a mistake.
There are lots of good coaching candidates out there that may well be an upgrade from Pederson, but the bottom line is that even if they want to come lead this team into the future, they’re in for a fucking shit storm. Until the guys in charge of picking the players aren’t constantly trying to outsmart the whole league, the Eagles’ ceiling is nothing.
I’m horrified about what’s going to happen next. I’m excited about snagging Lincoln Riley and letting him and Jalen Hurts cook, but that feels too fun/obvious. We’re much more likely to take Mike Kafka out from under Andy Reid considering that would be just about the most limp-dick move we could make. Whoever comes in here to take this job is in a really tough position. You might has well take a shot on a high ceiling low floor kinda guy.
Doug has been far from perfect in recent years and over the past few days it seemed more and more apparent that this marriage between the franchise and Doug was headed towards divorce. I think that move in a vacuum is perfectly fine. but this isn’t a vacuum, it sucks much harder than a vacuum. The context surrounding letting Pederson go is abysmal and it makes it clear just how weird the power dynamics inside this organization are.
I said around week 5 of this season that it was becoming clear it was going to be “one of those seasons. We just have to hope we don’t become one of those franchises.” Unfortunately, I’m becoming more pessimistic by the minute that we’re doomed to live out the 2020’s with a dog-shit football team.
If you asked any Philadelphian with half a brain what the problem is with the Eagles they’d tell you it’s Howie. That Lurie is too blinded by friendship to see that and has actually seemed to award Roseman even more power over staff decisions and let him lead his third head coaching search in eight seasons is petrifying. It’s incredibly frustrating that the only people who matter can’t see what is so obvious to the rest of us.
This is likely the most important offseason of this century for the Eagles. They are in a deeper hole financially than all of their rivals and have now lost the coaching stability that gave them even the slightest advantage. To have any hope of making it back to the pinnacle of the sport in the next half-decade, they likely have to nail this coaching hire as well as this draft.
How in the world could anyone trust Howie fucking Roseman to do that? The situation is bleak. If three years ago you told me Wentz would be the worst quarterback in the league and Pederson wouldn’t be the Eagles head coach I likely would have broke into tears. This basically could not have gone worse and it hurts like hell that the person most responsible is the one tasked with fixing it.
To summarize, I think we’re fucked. I hope I’m wrong.