PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles on Monday sacked coach Doug Pederson, ending a partnership that resulted in the first and only Super Bowl title in city history.
Pederson was expected to remain as coach despite a 4-11-1 finish this season, but multiple meetings with owner Jeffrey Lurie over the past week failed to convince his boss that Pederson had a solid vision like his address myriad team problems. Sources said from navigating the Carson Wentz situation to fixing a crime that ranked 26th in the standings (20.9 PPG) and 28th in the rankings (207.9 YPG) in 2020 .
“I’ve spent the last few weeks evaluating everything from the past year and looking ahead,” Lurie said in a statement. “We are all very disappointed with the way our season has gone and we are keen to change things not just for next season but also for the future of the franchise. Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what that collective vision would mean. ” I believe it is in our best interests to break up after taking some time to ponder these conversations.
“I’ve known Doug and his family for over 20 years and they will always be family to me. I have a lot of respect for him and everything we’ve achieved together over the past five seasons. Everyone in the organization understands the type of.” Man and coach, who he is and how much he means to all of us and the city of Philadelphia, we all look forward to the day he is inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame as Super Bowl head coach and we are confident that he will he will succeed with his next team.
“But as the leader of this organization, I absolutely have to do what I think is best for everyone as we look to the future and move on to our next chapter. I know we have to do something to get back there.” We want to be, but I also believe that we have an exceptionally strong group of people in this organization who can help us prepare for future success. “
In a statement released by the Eagles, Pederson said it was “an absolute honor” to serve as the Eagles’ head coach.
“As difficult as it is to say goodbye, I will always look back on my time here with appreciation and respect,” he said, adding: “… The memories we made together here will always have a special place in mine have heart. In the city of Philadelphia, thank you for hugging me and this team. I appreciate this passion that you bring with you every day – at home, on the go, and in the church. No matter what, you were always right there, though I am disappointed that this chapter of my career has come to an end, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together, and with all the ups and downs, one thing has remained constant on our team – an unwavering commitment to the fight There is no better Example of when we and our city celebrated the first Super Bowl championship in the history of the Eagles. It is a memory that we will all cherish forever. “
According to sources, Lurie was also not convinced of Pederson’s plans for his coaching staff. Pederson pushed for passing coordinator / quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to be named offensive coordinator rather than recruiting a more established candidate. The question of how to fill the void left by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who wants to take the year off football in 2021, was also unsolved.
Wentz declined dramatically in his fifth year and was replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts in the final quarter of the season. Wentz has planned to seek a deal in the off-season because his relationship with Pederson was irreparably broken, according to league sources. The trust issues between the two work both ways, sources said, although Pederson recently said his relationship with Wentz was okay.
Pederson’s layoff significantly increases the likelihood of Wentz staying in Philadelphia, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Sources describe a 2020 crime of lack of identity, partly due to a sizeable and mismatched group of assistants and counselors struggling to get on the same page over the past off-season. The lack of a central vision of what the offense should look like made quarterbacking an advancement, and all voices created a cacophony for Pederson and Wentz, sources said.
As for Hurts, a second-round election last April, Pederson did not give a clear indication of whether he felt the franchise had its future quarterback if the Wentz Eagles were to move on. Treatment of the last game of the season, in which Hurts was drawn in a 20-14 loss to Washington in favor of Nate Sudfeld, also left questions unanswered as to whether Pederson had lost his players’ trust.
However, tight end Zach Ertz tweeted “Love You Coach” after news of Pederson’s dismissal was announced Monday. Safety Rodney McLeod also wished Pederson well on Twitter.
I love you coach pic.twitter.com/1TmhVI0ROz
– Zach Ertz (@ ZERTZ_86) January 11, 2021
I wish all the best for my husband, Dougie P, for the next stage of his life. Great coach who never blinked in our toughest moments in the last 5 seasons. Most importantly, history was made in Philly !! First HC to win! SB 52 Champs. Good luck
– Rodney McLeod (@ Rodney_McLeod4) January 11, 2021
Pederson was only the eighth NFL head coach to win a Super Bowl within his first two years at the helm when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots to claim the Lombardi Trophy during the 2017 season. This was the first of three direct playoff appearances for the Eagles under Pederson before the wheels fell off in 2020. He set a record of 46-39-1 in five seasons with the Eagles, including four playoff wins.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen contributed to this report.