(AP Photo/John Amis)
Major media personalities and fans have been calling for Doug Pederson’s job recently amid this season’s struggles. His job is very much on the hot seat and he may very well be gone after this season. As of just 3 months ago, this would have been unthinkable for most people and still is to many..
After all, he became a legend in this city after bringing the franchise’s only Super Bowl. He then followed it up with leading decimated rosters to the playoffs in each of the next two seasons.
With the way things have looked this season, it is hard to blame those who want to see a change at head coach. Yet, I advise everyone to put things into perspective when calling for Doug’s job at the moment.
First, he is working with another roster decimated by injury as he has had to do for multiple seasons during his Philadelphia tenure. Losing 3/5 of his projected opening day offensive line. He has a franchise quarterback who has struggled this year and performed as a bottom 5 Quarterback this year. His general manager, Howie Roseman has failed over the past off-seasons to bring in the pieces needed to maintain a competitive team for 2020.
Yes, his decision-making and play-calling have been questionable this year, and maybe he should give up play-calling for the time being. But, this season is not a proper evaluation of Doug. His resume speaks for itself. Three consecutive playoff appearances, tied for the 3rd longest active streak in the NFL and of course the Super Bowl in 2017.
It could be argued he is the most unappreciated Super Bowl Champion head coach in NFL history. During the off-season, his organization completely undermined his decision to bring back his Offensive Coordinator, Mike Groh and overstepped Doug and fired Groh. Now reports are coming out that Doug’s preferences for draft picks are being ignored.
Super Bowl Champion head coaches do not typically get mistreated like that. Super Bowl winning coaches typically get the chance to pick the roster they want and it can be argued that this is Howie’s team, not Doug’s.
With that said, here is what Doug needs to do in order to come back as head coach in 2021:
· “Just win, baby!”: If by divine intervention, this team came back to take a second consecutive NFC East title, that would probably be enough. Yes, it feels unlikely, but the Eagles sit only ½ a game out right now. In a week-to-week league, anything could happen over these last 5 games.
· Re-instill the confidence in Jeff Lurie: As reported and seen on Monday Night Football, Jeff Lurie is disgusted by what he sees on the field right now. If Doug were to bring an improvement in the offensive performance, the tide may change. Instead of scripting plays leading to 3 and outs to start the game, some long drives would do the offense wonders. More creative play-calling leading to getting Carson Wentz out of the pocket and plays by Jalen Hurts could bring more offensive production.
· If Carson Wentz plays well: Having Carson Wentz play well could save Doug’s job, even if the team still misses the playoffs. Doug would deserve a large amount of credit for helping turn Wentz’s performance. If Carson were to look like his old self, the same guy that had almost a 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio just last year, this might make upper management feel more confident about Doug being the guy to restore Carson’s career in 2021.
The bottom line is over Doug’s tenure, he has proven to be a top NFL head coach. His Super Bowl season proves that. He has proven to be an incredible leader of men. His ability to guide a locker room through tremendous adversity has shown that quality in him. This is a man, who lost his starting QB and took a backup all the way to a Lombardi Trophy. A man, who, followed that up with taking a 4-6 team and having them finish that season one score away from the NFC Championship game, and then another NFC East title with a bunch of practice squad players the following year.
These accomplishments should not be taken lightly and I advise everyone to not take Doug for granted. Doug has done enough over his tenure as Eagles’ coach to be back in 2021.