A little less than three years ago, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was on top of the world. He and backup quarterback Nick Foles had just guided their club through a memorable playoff run that culminated in a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots, thereby bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia for the first time and solidifying Pederson’s status in franchise lore. But things change quickly in the NFL.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Pederson is on the hot seat. The Eagles have lost three in a row and now sit at 3-7-1, good for third place in the dismal NFC East. After the club’s loss to the Seahawks on Monday night, prominent players like Carson Wentz, Brandon Graham, and Jason Kelce held a meeting, for which Pederson was also present. Accountability and responsibility were among the items on the agenda, and it’s never a good sign when such conversations become necessary.
Team leaders also organized a players-only meeting on Wednesday, and while this past week of practice was described as lively and spirited, the Eagles are heavy underdogs in their matchup with the Packers this afternoon. If they cannot squeeze a postseason appearance out of a historically-bad division and an expanded playoff field, Pederson may very well be looking for new employment in 2021.
Indeed, Rapoport says that the 52-year-old head coach has not received any assurances about his future from owner Jeffrey Lurie, and there is speculation in the team’s facility that Pederson’s job is on the line. The tension and frustration in the building is said to be palpable.
Pederson has ceded some play-calling duties, but Wentz’s struggles and Pederson’s inability to find answers for those struggles has been a major theme of the season. In each of the past two seasons, though, Pederson’s troops have rallied in the final weeks of the campaign to secure a playoff berth, and they hope that 2020 will have a similar ending.
If Lurie does elect to part ways with Pederson, the Jets are one team that could have interest, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. New York is expected to fire Adam Gase at season’s end, if not sooner, and GM Joe Douglas worked with Pederson for three years as Philadelphia’s vice president of player personnel.
In his four-plus seasons as the Eagles’ head coach, Pederson has compiled a 41-33-1 regular season record, along with a 4-2 postseason mark. The team has won two division titles (and, of course, a Super Bowl) in that time.
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