A report by The Athletic on the behind-the-scenes workings of the Philadelphia Eagles front office shows a toxic culture built on an uneven power structure.
Sheil Kapadia, Bo Wulf and Zach Berman cited sources close to the organization, who gave them information on the “downfall” of the Eagles in recent seasons. One of the main sticking points was the micromanagement of coach Doug Pederson, who was fired after the 2020 season.
“[Pederson] was ridiculed and criticized for every decision,” one source told The Athletic. “If you won by three, it wasn’t enough. If you lost on a last-second field goal, you’re the worst coach in history.”
Pederson was reportedly forced to sit down with owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman every Tuesday, meetings in which his decision-making was regularly questioned and criticized.
“They treated him like a baby,” a source added.
I said it when it was first rumored that he could be fired, I said after he actually was fired, and I’ll say it again now: the Eagles are complete idiots for firing Doug Pederson.
Pederson is lucky to be out of there and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t land a head coaching gig after the 2021 season. He should not be out of work for long.
Following the 2019 season, Eagles management reportedly threatened to fire Pederson if he did not let go of offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch. While sources close to Lurie said no “ultimatum” was given, Groh and Walch were fired. A similar situation reportedly played out in 2016 when management wanted then-offensive coordinator Frank Reich fired, but Pederson fought to keep Reich. The Eagles would win a Super Bowl with Reich as their offensive coordinator.
The Eagles as an organization have done a complete nosedive since Frank Reich left, and the fact that Lurie and Roseman wanted to fire him just shows you who was the true problem in that organization.
It wasn’t Frank Reich, and it wasn’t Doug Pederson.
It’s a wonder those guys were able to get it done and win a Super Bowl:
“The fact that Doug had the success he did with all the s–t going on in the building, sometimes I look at our Super Bowl rings, and I’m like, ‘Holy cow, I don’t know how we did it,’” one source said.
You’d think Lurie and Roseman would be a little more appreciative of the guy that led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title ever. You know: maybe defer to him every once in a while, give him some breathing room and leeway. Maybe a little trust and faith. Didn’t he earn some respect after he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy?
But no. They treated him like a child who couldn’t even wipe his own ass.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that this article is not telling the Lurie/Roseman side of the story. The sources quoted in the story–and just about any story, really–have agendas. It could’ve come from Doug Pederson’s camp in an effort to rehabilitate his image as he looks to get back into coaching again.
The Athletic article does say the sources cited in the story are “close to the organization.” It does not say they are in the Eagles’ organization. Obviously one got a Super Bowl ring so that source was at one point employed by the Philadelphia Eagles, but the way the article is worded makes it seem like that might not be the case today.
At any rate, it my view, it makes sense that this is the kind of stuff that goes on behind the scenes in the Eagles’ organization. Coaches who win Super Bowls typically are not fired unceremoniously within 3 years. That’s the kind of thing that only happens in highly dysfunctional organizations.
Only 34 head coaches in the history of the NFL have won Super Bowls. Doug Pederson is one of them and the Eagles made him walk the plank.
And they replaced him with this guy Nick Sirianni, who looked nervous, fidgety and already in way over his head in his introductory press conference:
This is par for the course for an organization that tanked the last game of the 2020 season in order to get a higher draft pick, then a few months later, traded that draft pick to move back.
I’m setting the Eagles’ over/under win total for 2021 at 3.5.