A lot of people were stunned by the way the Eagles and their first Super Bowl-winning HC, Doug Pederson, parted ways to end the 2020 season. Three years after winning the Super Bowl, the first season below .500 was enough to end an era.
Normally, when a Super Bowl-winning coach hits the open market, they don’t stay there for long. Sean Payton stepped down from coaching the New Orleans Saints and had two teams ready to pounce right away.
While Doug Pederson has received interviews from multiple teams, he has also been passed up by said teams which begs the question:
Why are teams passing up on a Super Bowl HC, and why isn’t he a favorite for any of the jobs?
The answer is a very simple one, and the devils are in the details. Maybe Jeffrey Lurie made the right choice all along.
2020 wasn’t just on the QB
Many people will blame the disastrous 2020 Eagles season on Howie Roseman or Carson Wentz.
The 2020 roster was never that good, and the QB clearly regressed as a passer sure. But the coaching job that Doug Pederson and his staff did was one of the worst in Philadelphia Sports history.
Starting spots were awarded to players not based on production or how they were playing the week before, and were instead awarded based on experience. The Jason Peters/Jordan Mailata debacle was the best example.
It wasn’t until the end of the year when Peters was benched for Mailata. Mailata’s 2021 season has all but ensured that Pederson’s decision to honor Peters was nothing short of a disaster.
Add in the fact the offense had clearly regressed in terms of play-calling and overall scheme development, and you have a unit that was riddled with issues and a Head Coach who did little to fix them.
Anonymous Sources plagued his team
The mark of a good Head Coach is to turn around turmoil and build a credible organization. That means the “rat poison” on social media is ignored, fights are hushed, and anonymous sources are all but a funny joke.
The opposite happened under Doug Pederson’s watch. As early as 2018, a year after the Super Bowl, anonymous sources were debating on who the better QB on the team was.
The anonymous sources didn’t stop though. Throwing too much to Zach Ertz, not being a good leader, all different noise surrounding the QB could have been quelled by the HC. Doug never really ended talks of these anonymous sources, and really only added fuel to the fire by NOT addressing it in the locker room.
Sean Payton doesn’t really have the anonymous sources that plagued his time in New Orleans. Neither did Bill Belichik or even Mike McCarthy.
The fact it was a problem with Doug Pederson’s tenure is a big reason why he hasn’t been the #1 coach on the market.
His staffing choices have been historically bad
Doug Pederson never hired his own staff when he took the Eagles job in 2016. The excellent staff that was built was done so by Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie. Pederson didn’t really have a say in his staff.
When some of the top assistants were eventually hired for better positions, Pederson had an opportunity to bring in fresh minds to further develop younger talent. Except he didn’t.
Pederson continued to offer promotions to people already on his staff even though they didn’t really deserve it. Press Taylor, Carson Walch, and many others were promoted instead of bringing in different voices and minds to help develop a passing game that was showing its age even back in 2018.
The question being asked to Doug is who he would fill out for his coaching staff. It’s documented he was prepared to go with Press Taylor as his OC after the 2020 season, something Lurie was rightfully pissed about and it led to Pederson’s dismissal.
Doug’s lack of awareness on his coaching staff and his inability to allow newer thoughts and schemes into his offense is something that is clearly holding him back from getting a new job.
There were a lot of factors that hurt Pederson’s final year. Some were not his fault, others were clearly because of the type of coach he is.
One thing is clear though – the NFL doesn’t think of Doug Pederson as highly as Eagle fans think of him.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire