Jeffrey Lurie: I had “nothing to do” with Week 17 quarterback change

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Who ordered the Code Red? Owner Jeffrey Lurie claims it wasn’t him.

During Monday’s video conference with reporters regarding the firing of coach Doug Pederson, Lurie was asked whether he had a role in the decision to remove quarterback Jalen Hurts from the second half of the Week 17 loss to Washington for Nate Sudfeld.

“No, nothing to do with it whatsoever,” Lurie said. “I heard that Doug wanted to give Nate some time. And I understand the circumstances, but Nate, I think he holds the record for his debut in the NFL against Dallas for the best completion percentage. He was awesome. What is it, 19 out of 22? You know, unstoppable. He was our backup in the Super Bowl because we had so much confidence in Nate. We talked about [how] we are going to advance far here, we hope, and who is going to be there if Nick [Foles] gets injured, and we had a lot of confidence in Nate.

“I’m at practice a lot. Our coaches know much more than I do. [Sudfeld] throws the best long ball on the roster. I think what happened was he, if you remember, broke his wrist in the preseason a year ago. Our plan was to give Nate a lot of playing time in that preseason. The whole idea was to establish is Nate our long-term backup? Is he a potential starter in the league? And how good is Nate, because he’s awfully good in practice? And then we tendered him a second-round exclusive rights designation worth millions of dollars and therefore, it just showed where we thought he was both as a quarterback and as a teammate. What happened this year, the preseason got wiped out, so there was no chance to use him this year either.

“Doug had said we were going to use as many young players as we could. Jalen [Hurts] had the injury in the Dallas game in the second quarter. He, of course, wants to play, but you know, significant hamstring. I think Doug just wanted to give Nate a chance. He deserved it. He’s been part of our Super Bowl-winning team. He contributed to the scout team. He contributed so much. I think it was just with good intentions. The circumstances weren’t the best, maybe the communication wasn’t the best, but we would have loved to have eliminated Washington.”

The communication definitely wasn’t the best, not with now-former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz saying in the days before the game that the goal would be to keep Washnington from winning the division. The sudden move to evaluate Sudfeld felt like cover for either trying to enhance draft status or attempting to keep Hurts from pulling off the kind of season-finale win that would create a strong presumption among fans and media that he’d been the no-brainer Week One starter in 2021, or both.

If it wasn’t Pederson’s call to make the switch, don’t assume that Pederson will blab now that he’s a former employee. He has a two-year buyout; even if he gets another job, he’ll want (and be entitled to) the difference between what the Eagles owe and what he receives elsewhere. If he airs out dirty laundry, the Eagles could try to shut off the financial faucet.

While the Hurts-Sudfeld switcheroo likely didn’t trigger the firing of Pederson, the reality is that clearing out Pederson goes a long way toward clearing out any lingering odor from the apparent tank job. The next coach will have far bigger smelly fish to deal with, however — starting with who will the quarterback be?

26 responses to “Jeffrey Lurie: I had “nothing to do” with Week 17 quarterback change

  1. So the guy who got fired was helping the franchise get a better draft pick? Because he wouldn’t be around next year? Ya, makes total sense…

  2. Hurts was terrible thru 3 quarters. Dude had 72 passing yards. He should’ve been benched. Sudfeld could’ve pulled a Heinecke. He didn’t….but to act like Hurts getting benched was like pulling Joe Montana in his prime is a bit of an overstatement.

  3. Maybe there isn’t a vast conspiracy at foot and Peterson actually thought Nate might give them a better chance than the guy who was playing terribly. Y’all are so hung up on Hurts that you’ve got tunnel vision. What if Wentz had started the game, gone 7 for 20 or whatever and they pulled him for JH? Even if Hurts had come in and stunk it up like NS did, there wouldn’t be nearly this much drama. Perhaps Peterson thought Nate would go out and do what he’d been doing in practice. If it worked he would look like a genius. Unfortunately it didn’t play out that way.

  4. It wasn’t just the QB change that was fishy. They passed up on the tying field goal to go for it on 4th and long and absolutely seemed to be calling plays hoping they’d fail.

  5. Regardless of your opinion of who should have been playing QB at what point, Pederson butchered the communications and the expectations. Those are two things a good manager is always ahead of and on top of. His decision left the players, the fans, the coaches, the announcers and the owner all scratching their heads. It could not have been done more poorly.

    The clumsiness of the QB switch reflected poorly on his management skills. He could have pulled the same move without any controversy had he simply managed communications and expectations more effectively ahead of time.

  6. tsuscrumhalf says:
    January 12, 2021 at 10:41 am
    Hurts was terrible thru 3 quarters. Dude had 72 passing yards. He should’ve been benched. Sudfeld could’ve pulled a Heinecke. He didn’t….but to act like Hurts getting benched was like pulling Joe Montana in his prime is a bit of an overstatement..

    ……………………………………………………………………………

    you forgot to mention besides the yards….he had scored ALL of their points in the game…so yoou know there’s important things like that..

  7. The Hurts/Sudfeld controversy automatically puts a stench on Pederson that will make teams hesitant to hire him as a head coach. He’s going to have to re-earn that opportunity as an asst. coach and hope time makes memories fade enough.

  8. To Say that you had nothing to do with the QB change in week 17 is a little detached. Especially if you hired all 5 people in this case: Recap …you hired the GM who wouldn’t replace QB1 early enough. You hired the coach who eventually replaced him with QB2, and the GM/Coach who executed on replacing the QB2 with QB3 in week 17. To recap, you hired the GM (2 times as GM), the coach (3x -player-assistance-Head Coach), QBs 1 through 3 at least once each, and 2 of them twice (contract extensions). Whose name is on the bottom of these checks? … but you had nothing to do with it? Said all CEOs who don’t like getting their hands dirty.

  9. Those saying that Hurts was terrible are all conveniently ignoring the fact that he scored 2 rushing TDs and had the Eagles within 3 points. Pederson could have tied the game with a field goal, but decided to go for it and failed.

    Hurts was doing fine until pulled. All of the players were angry about that move.

  10. Why was Jalen Hurts benched: PFF grades: Wentz 65.0, Hurts 56.2. He was playing poorly, anyone who saw the game knows he wasn’t doing well, following the pattern of the second half of every game he started.

  11. Yes, yes yes. Hurts scored the eagles two touchdowns on two runs of 6 yards each.

    Here’s what he did with the Eagles offense after that point and before he was replaced:

    Drive 1: 3 and out, 0 yards gained, 0-3 passing, punt

    Drive 2: End of half, but if you want to count it he was 0-1 passing

    Drive 3: 3 and out, 7 yards gained, 0-1 passing, punt

    Drive 4: 8 plays, 30 yards, 2-4 passing, punt

    Drive 5: 7 plays, 11 yards, 0-3 passing, turnover on downs.

    When you look at that, replacing Hurts seems like a genuine effort to win. He was 2 for 12 passing. Good grief.

  12. i think the eagles should be held accountable for the odor they created for many years to come…

  13. It’s obvious that Doug Peterson had the Impractical Jokers in his ear telling him to yell F the Giants as play Sudfeld.

  14. mogogo1 says:
    January 12, 2021 at 11:24 am
    It wasn’t just the QB change that was fishy. They passed up on the tying field goal to go for it on 4th and long and absolutely seemed to be calling plays hoping they’d fail.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    They called plays like they were trying to lose all year. No difference there.

  15. elvoid says:
    January 12, 2021 at 12:31 pm
    Yes, yes yes. Hurts scored the eagles two touchdowns on two runs of 6 yards each.

    Here’s what he did with the Eagles offense after that point and before he was replaced:

    Drive 1: 3 and out, 0 yards gained, 0-3 passing, punt

    Drive 2: End of half, but if you want to count it he was 0-1 passing

    Drive 3: 3 and out, 7 yards gained, 0-1 passing, punt

    Drive 4: 8 plays, 30 yards, 2-4 passing, punt

    Drive 5: 7 plays, 11 yards, 0-3 passing, turnover on downs.

    When you look at that, replacing Hurts seems like a genuine effort to win. He was 2 for 12 passing. Good grief.

    ********

    Dummy every week qb go 5 drives without scoring then score on their 6th or 7th drive hurts would have won game

  16. I don’t know if Lurie did or didn’t have anything to do with it, but that sure was a long-winded “no” answer for someone that didn’t have anything to do with something…

  17. Does this also explain why Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert and even Carson Wentz were inactive among others? Come on man, YA TANKED!

  18. *It wasn’t just the QB change that was fishy. They passed up on the tying field goal to go for it on 4th and long and absolutely seemed to be calling plays hoping they’d fail.*

    C’mon. It was 4th and 4. Some risk to go for the lead there instead of the tie, but not unreasonable given the difficulty of moving the ball down the field on the WFT D, and also a call consistent with Pederson’s longtime MO. Then DP makes a great play call – and Hurts two-hops a pass to a WIDE OPEN Quez Watkins in the end zone.

    Then on the next drive, DP pulls Hurts for Sudfeld. DP, the longtime backup QB, giving Sudfeld, another career backup QB, a shot in the 4th quarter of the last game of Sudfeld’s contract, right after Hurts, who hadn’t done anything since before halftime, screws up big time. Put aside the NYG, and it makes perfect sense.

    Sudfeld ended up not playing well, but there is no guarantee that Hurts would have played any better. DP and the Eagles did not throw this game. WFT won it.

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