Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie chose to part ways with head coach Doug Pederson over discrepancy in vision. Lurie, who has owned the team for 25 years, says Pederson was focused on winning in 2021, while his plan is focused on mid and long-term success.
In a 41 minute virtual press conference, Lurie fielded dozens of questions centering around what went wrong in Pederson’s five years at the helm. Particularly this season, as the team finished the year 4-11-1 with a franchise quarterback regressing to the point of being replaced by a rookie.
The Eagles owner says he and the former head coach were good friends for 20 years and the decision as difficult. He applauded the success the Eagles had in the past five seasons and said he wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Pederson with another NFL franchise by the end of the week.
The 2020 season ended in dramatic fashion, as the Eagles benched Carson Wentz in favor of the rookie QB Jalen Hurts. Wentz finished the 2020 season with the 28th lowest QBR (49.7), just 2,620 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions (tied 34th in NFL).
Lurie says the decision to fire Pederson wasn’t based on the performance of one position group or one player, but over Pederson’s desire to win next season at all costs.
Wants to get younger. Lurie’s focus is not on getting this fixed right away in 2021.— Allie Berube (@allieberube) January 11, 2021
Lurie says his vision is more “how can we get back to where we were before.” As in worried about next 3-5 years not the immediate, which Pederson was concerned about.
Throughout the season, and really since the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2017, fans and media members have been highly critical of long-time general manager Howie Roseman and the lack of talent development. Some point to the lack of draftees who go on to be selected into the Pro Bowl.
Lurie, however, doubled down supporting his general manager. The owner challenged the criticism by saying that the team has had great success in his two and a half decades at the helm winning the NFC East Division and competing in NFC Championships. The Eagles have only appeared in one NFC Championship in the past 12 years.
On Howie criticism & talent eval., Lurie: “you gotta look at every aspect of drafting & talent acquisition… over last 10-15 years, we’ve had a lot of success winning divisions or in NFC Championship games.”— Allie Berube (@allieberube) January 11, 2021
Says he’s very critical of talent, but team record speaks for itself.
When asked about what would make a successful next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lurie said he’s looking for a strong leader who is constantly curious about the schemes other teams are running. The owner says he will lead the search, as he always does, and considering minority candidates is “top of mind.”
Lurie says he will lead the search for the next head coach, as he always does.— Allie Berube (@allieberube) January 11, 2021
President Don Smolenski & GM Howie Roseman will be involved.
Doesn’t want to specify much on characteristics, but says they want someone who is a strong leader with a constant curiosity.
Pederson spent five seasons at the helm with a record of 46-39-1, and one Super Bowl Championship.
In a statement released by the Eagles, Pederson said he would always look back on his time in Philadelphia with appreciation and respect.
“The memories we made here, together, will always have a special place in my heart,” Pederson added. “To the City of Philadelphia, thank you for embracing me and this team. I truly appreciate that passion you bring every single day — at home, on the road, and in the community. No matter what, you were always right there with us. Although I am disappointed that this chapter of my career has come to an end, I am extremely proud of what we accomplished together. Through all the ups and downs, one thing remained constant about our team — an unwavering commitment to battle through adversity and to achieve our goals not as individuals, but as a collective unit. There is no better example of that than when we celebrated the first Super Bowl Championship in Eagles history together with our city. That is a memory we will all cherish forever.”