Last night saw what many will remember as the beginning of the end. Carson Wentz was pulled after a dismal first half against the Green Bay Packers in favor of rookie QB Jalen Hurts. The offense started to show immediate signs of life and as a result, has left Pederson with a tricky decision. It’s one he ultimately wants to make on his own.
This is a little confounding. Pederson has a literal army of offensive assistants and coaches around him who were brought in to advise him and help create a new-look offense. It looks as though he wants to ignore all the noise and focus on what may be the toughest decision he’s ever had to make.
In his press conference today, the relationship between Pederson and Wentz was referenced to as a marriage. The two both joined the Eagles as rookies in their position in 2016 and have been through hell and back together. It’s fitting then, that Pederson treated today’s press conference like he’s experiencing a breakup that he doesn’t want to talk to his friends about.
“I’m not prepared right now to make any statement or decisions on that.” He opened the day with when asked about the decision. “I’m still processing a lot of things and going through a lot of things before I make that decision. When I know, you’ll know.”
But when asked about the ‘marriage’, his response opened a window into the pressure he’s likely feeling right now.
“We are married to this. It’s something that I pride myself on and we’re definitely — he and I are definitely in a situation that we’ve got to work ourselves out of.” Pederson said. “My job is to help him and to help him improve and to get better and to help this football team win.
My job is also to take and look at the big picture, too, and look at the entire football team, right? Those are all things that I’ve got to consider as we move forward.”
It can’t be easy having to bench someone you’ve spent five years championing on and watching blossom into a star quarterback. That star is now fading and things aren’t as bright as they once seemed. But for Pederson to put all of this on his own shoulders, to me, also carries a hint of wanting to make sure he protects the move.
All throughout the week, discussions surrounding play-calling duties ran the table. Rich Scangarello two-minute drills? Fun. Press Taylor getting more responsibility? Confusing but okay. When asked about the play-calling last night, Carson Wentz was either playing dumb, or had no idea that these changes were being facilitated.
If Doug Pederson is throwing decoy grenades in order to keep control, would that really be surprising considering how many offensive coordinator/head coach candidates surround him? On both sides of the ball, Pederson faces now-legitimate threats from all angles. His job is on the line. This is the biggest decision a Head Coach can make and this could be Pederson’s way of saying ‘this is my Ship, I’m going down with it’.
“Really, I look at — I just don’t want to be — I don’t necessarily want to be swayed by others’ opinions, because sometimes that can cloud judgment, right?” Pederson explained” And even sometimes as a play-caller, you go with your gut. You see things in-game and you make decisions in-game that hopefully benefit the football team. Kind of with that being said, I feel like that’s the right thing to do in this situation.”
Regardless of what the reasoning is, Pederson taking full ownership of this decision is either going to save the remnants of a Super Bowl winning organization, or blow it up entirely. If it’s the latter, he already knows he’s going out with a bang, but it’s on his terms and nobody elses. The chips are on the table. The wheel is spinning. Now we wait.
Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire