Birds Dump Doug: Eagles Fire Super Bowl-Champion HC After 4-Win Season
The day after he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis following his team's upset of the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson implored Philadelphians to get used to the winning feeling.
This would be the "new norm," Pederson shouted to a mesmerized crowd at the steps of the Art Museum in Philadelphia during a championship parade held to honor the city's first Super Bowl title, a feat 52 years in the making. Three years later, after winning just one playoff game and on the heels of a four-win season, Pederson's new normal is unemployment. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fired Pederson, the team announced on Monday, after the two couldn't mutually agree on the solution to fixing the issues that led to the franchise's worst record since 1998. In a statement released by the team, Lurie sahe had "tremendous" respect for Pederson and what the coach accomplished but that it's "imperative for me to do what's in the best interest for everyone as we look ahead to the future and move into our next chapter." Here's the full statement:
Sources had told Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher that Pederson needed to outline his vision for changes on the coaching staff and ways that he planned to get the Eagles righted after a terrible season in which Pederson's offense ranked among the NFL's worst and his quarterback, Carson Wentz, was benched after 12 games. Mosher and Caplan discussed this in great length in the latest Inside The Birds podcast. But Pederson's vision when they met in Florida on Monday apparently didn't sit well with Lurie, who will be seeking his first head coach since 2016, when Lurie hired Doug Pederson away from his offensive coordinator post from the Kansas City Chiefs to replace Chip Kelly, who was fired after three seasons. Here's the statement from Pederson:
Lurie, who has prided himself on patience and finding the right personality fit to be the head coach of a big-market franchise, will be looking for his third head coach since firing Andy Reid after the 2012 season. At the core of this breakup is Pederson's preference for his assistant, Press Taylor, to remain on the staff in a prominent coaching role. Taylor, the team's quarterbacks coach, had "passing game coordinator" added to his title last year. But the Eagles' pass offense was one of the league's worst this season and Wentz just finished the worst statistical season of his career. Wentz is also reportedly unhappy with the team and has asked the Eagles to trade him. It's unclear whether Pederson's firing will change Wentz's mind. The coaching staff also had other significant holes for Pederson to fill, including defensive coordinator, with Jim Schwartz opting not to return in 2021. The Eagles will face some obstacles in finding their next head coach. The new coach will inherit a tenuous quarterback situation, a shaky salary-cap situation as the Eagles are way above next year's projected cap, an enormously powerful general manager who has survived a power struggle with a past head coach and a franchise that has leaned heavily on analytics in many facets of its operations. Stay tuned for more from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan on the situation... – Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the "Inside the Birds" podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.