Eagles reportedly treated Doug Pederson “like a baby”

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Despite seismic changes in sports media, #Longreads persist. The question is whether anyone ever reads every word of any of them.

I’ll wager that far fewer than 4,312 people read all 4,312 words of a three-byline opus from TheAthletic.com regarding the disintegration of the Eagles, only three years after the team won Super Bowl LII. I wanted to. I tried to do it. And after five or seven paragraphs, I did what mostly everyone else surely did — I scrolled and skimmed for anything potentially relevant or interesting.

There were several relevant and interesting nuggets in the article. Here they are.

The Eagles reportedly treated former coach Doug Pederson like “a baby,” according to unnamed sources who claim that Pederson was beaten down by relentless second guessing. In 2019, for example, after a Thursday night win at Green Bay, Pederson was grilled by owner Jeffrey Lurie (an analytics aficionado) over the fact that Pederson hadn’t called more passes.

“[Pederson] was ridiculed and criticized for every decision,” an unnamed source told TheAthletic.com. “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.”

Said another unnamed source, “The fact that Doug had the success he did with all the shit 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.'”

Per the report, the undermining of Pederson began in only his second season, which ended with a Super Bowl victory. Prior to the start of the 2017 campaign, word spread through the organization of a three-hour meeting between Lurie and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Multiple unnamed sources told TheAthletic.com that “there was a feeling around the team that Lurie was vetting an in-house replacement for Pederson in the event the Eagles got off to a slow start.”

The article points to tensions between football and analytics, a dynamic hardly unique to the Eagles. One unnamed source described the team’s analytics department to TheAthletic.com as a “clandestine, Black Ops department that doesn’t answer to anybody except the owner.”

That’s how it currently works in plenty of NFL front offices. And it’s why so many coaches have embraced analytics. If they don’t, the analytics employees tell ownership that, if the coach had done what the analytics called for, the team would have won.

Complicating matters in Philly is that owner Jeffrey Lurie is very involved in the draft preparations, and he always has been. But that’s his right, as the owner of the team, to be as involved or uninvolved as he wants. With most if not all owners finding a way to state preferences when it comes to huge decisions, it’s better if those owners actually have put in the work.

In Philadephia, enough work was put in to win a Super Bowl. That’s the good news. The bad news is that things have collapsed quickly. Chances are that the failures in Philadelphia bear plenty of fingerprints.

41 responses to “Eagles reportedly treated Doug Pederson “like a baby”

  1. Well it isn’t shocking. The problem with ownership is they want to put their stamp on the winning when they should leave that to people who have lived in the sport.

  2. any team owned by the dope Jeffrey Lurie will never be successful. Players hate the place; they just stick around because at some point, Lurie will have to overpay to have a team that is even close to competitive.

  3. Jeffrey Lurie has always been one of top maybe 5 owners in the league. Up until 2017. If Doug wouldn’t have won the Bowl he would’ve been fired and replaced by Schwartz. The past 4 yrs Jeff changed. He’s now that meddling Jerra Jones guy now then the laid back ket his people do their jobs. He berated Doug every Tues, he insisted on picking players HE thought they should draft over what everyone else suggested. He sits back and let’s that little Tyrant Roseman do whatever he wants, to include berate players like Lane Johnson, Wentz, Malcolm Butler ect. When Doug got fired everyone thought ownership would reel in Wentz. But, Wentz saw firsthand what Howie was doing to this team and not giving him weapons to succeed. Wentz didnt quit on his team as local media insists. Wentz jumped overboard from the Titanic to get away from Howie. Andy Reid wouldnt have stood by. Now we know why Jeff hired coaches like Reid (never coached b4 or was a Coors) Doug Peterson (same thing and never called plays) and now Sieranno who’s super green. It’s so Jeff/Howie can control them, their staff and add players Jeff and Howie want. Until Howie gets fired. The Eagles wont start winning again.

  4. 1 It sure doesn’t sound like he was treated like a baby. It sounds like he was treated with disrespect.

    2 Unnamed sources are weak. Name them or don’t print the story. They should have the guts to come forward.

  5. Howie Roseman needs to do contracts only. He should have no say what so ever in who the team pursues, doesn’t pursue etc. As long as Howie has as much or more input than the coach its failure.

  6. Jeff Lurie shows the typical behavior of someone who inherited their money, and didn’t make it themselves.

  7. As an invested Eagles fan, I read everyone of the 4312 words – some of them twice. As an outside observer, Mike glossed over the article and didn’t think that the Jeff/Howie organizational operations were atypical. Mike didn’t dig deep enough to see all of the skeltons that Jeff and Howie have buried in their closet. If you are an Eagles fan, you are alarmed that Jeff/Howie, deluded that they are geniuses by the Eagles SuperBowl win, seem to think that they know more than their footbasll people. I am now starting to believe that the Eagles SuperBowl victory was more of a miracle tha the U.S. Hockey teams win in 1980.

  8. Always entertaining to watch the disfunction of Philly. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving franchise.

  9. Analytics has taken over and killed the watchability of baseball – please don’t let it do that to football.

  10. Doug is a great coach, but he clashed with Howie. (I think most coaches clash with Howie).
    The problem is, they are afraid to have a Chip Kelly part 2, so instead of removing Howie from the equasion, they removed Doug.
    My only problem with Doug was his inability to put together a good supporting staff. It seems like the position coaches struggled, which also could have been because of the Howie-Pederson power struggle.

  11. As an owner, Laurie has the right to put his stamp on the way the team/roster is managed. But he has to accept responsibility for it’s failure and not blame others. He wants his cake but is making others pay for him eating it!
    The whole Chip Kelley disaster is still fresh in his mind so he wants to be involved and not trust the people he hires.

  12. coltsfan20 says:
    April 13, 2021 at 12:12 am
    any team owned by the dope Jeffrey Lurie will never be successful. Players hate the place; they just stick around because at some point, Lurie will have to overpay to have a team that is even close to competitive.

    lurie may be a dope but a colts fan should never talk about a team owner and use the word dope. i think bob irsay’s baby boy had a car full didn’t he?

  13. According to Lane Johnson and the rabid Eagles fan base the Eagles organization is nothing but Fun Land for everyone while the Patriots organization is no fun. What a joke. Eagles win one title and they go off running their mouths as if they were a Dynasty like the Patriots Steelers 49ers Packers Cowboys. When in fact they just got lucky with a one year wonder QB and Coach and GM.

    Greetings from New England to the bums in Philadelphia.

  14. Greetings from New England Losers……..oh by the way we wrapped two championships around the one lucky one you won. And we also beat the Eagle bums for our 3rd championship and made Donovan McNabb puke on the field from pressure. Oh by the way your wonder boy coach is out of NFL while Belichick keeps winning championships which he will do again near future. That ought to shut up fat boy Lane Johnson.

  15. I have no strong feelings about the Eagles one way or another, but I read the whole article, and it was well worth the time–and it’s not like it’s a hardship to read 4K words. I much prefer an in-depth piece of journalism to the hot takes that have come to dominate sports news.

    The article gives a real insight into how things can go wrong when well-meaning people within an organization have clashes of philosophies. It’s also a cautionary tale about what can happen when you have an owner who wants to be deeply involved in personnel and game planning decisions.

  16. Sad to say it looks like Lurie is following the lead of Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder. Micromanaging when you aren’t a football guy is not going to get you back on track. And btw #firehowie

  17. As an Eagles fan, it doesn’t explain how they got to and won the SB. But, this explains the NFC East being a league doormat of late. The ownership from D.C., Philly, Dallas and New York… really the worst in decades. We’re a long way from the Duke and Bert Bell I guess.

  18. touchback6 says:
    April 13, 2021 at 9:58 am
    I just hope Lane Johnson feels like it was fun
    ———————————————————————

    How original.

  19. Classic case of the owner and front office taking 100% credit for success but not wanting any blame at all for failure. I was never a huge fan of Pederson–he made some strange playcalls at times and basically catered to Wentz’s weaknesses which made no sense–but he did win a Super Bowl yet they treated him like he had Hue Jackson’s win percentage.

  20. Lurie and Roseman are complete buffoons who think they are geniuses! Can’t be easy working for an undynamic duo like that!

    Thanks for the Super Bowl, Doug!
    Sincerely,
    Forever grateful Eagles fan

  21. And we all wonder why Doug didn’t call more running plays? Looks like Lurie would lose it if he did!

  22. It’s hysterical how many Patriots fans come in and troll Eagles articles with their “fun” and “dynasty (which nobody ever said)” comments. It’s been 3 years. You guys have so much to be happy about in the last decade, but seriously….you lost. Get over it

  23. The Eagles and their fans reaped what they sowed from New England Fans………….

  24. Note how Howie Roseman was able to shift most of the blame to his owner when he submitted his always-available-to-the-media-off-the-record remarks for this article to TA?

    Nobody has put more knives in others backs to save himself than Roseman, and NFL media keeps soaking up what Howie sells and puking it back up in article after article. Remember when they were worshipping at the feet of ‘genius’ Trader Howie? Yeah, good times.

    You know you have a problem GM when you see he’s ALWAYS right next to his owner, in his ear. It’s invariably the guys who aren’t qualified talent evaluators, and Howie’s draft record is *pheewww* turrible.

    Philly has a problem owner, no doubt. But the only way to begin edging him out of interfering in football decisions is hiring a competent GM. There’s an inverse relationship between football competence and backstabbing office politics to stay employed. One of these days NFL media will become wise to Howie’s schtick, but it’s the Eagles who need to figure it out right now.

  25. st0n3r78 says:
    April 13, 2021 at 4:08 am
    Howie Roseman needs to do contracts only. He should have no say what so ever in who the team pursues, doesn’t pursue etc. As long as Howie has as much or more input than the coach its failure.

    ——————————————/
    Howie isn’t good at contracts, either. See, Alston Jeffrey, Malik Jackson et al.

  26. This is NOT surprising if you’ve been an Eagles fan for a while. Lurie showed some signs of this when he had Joe Banner in the front office as team president. The fan base actually nicknamed him “Nickles” for being so cheap. They heavily valued money over putting together a competent Superbowl winning team. Prime McNabb should honestly have one or two rings yet had basically zero weapons outside of T.O for a year. The man was throwing to Freddie Mitchell and Todd Pinkston.
    However if you were turning 30 years old the Banner/Lurie Eagles did not want any parts of you; weren’t signed in FA, got cut, or was traded away.

    So in hindsight Lurie berating Howie before the Superbowl win, and then the later superbowl win going to Lurie’s head is not surprising.

  27. people can defend coach Pederson if they want … there is no excuse for the multiple times during a game that, on 2nd and long, he ran the ball up the middle .. he ran a boring predictable offense and the world was surprised when he was hired as the eagles head coach … even Foles called Philly Philly because he thought Pedersen’s 4th down call was nuts .. he said it on the record.. just the facts ..

  28. Lurie’s choosing Roseman over Pederson shows he’s just another rich bonehead. Enjoy that ring Eagles fans because it won’t be happening again anytime soon

  29. I feel bad for Sirianni because he don’t stand a chance to succeed.

  30. coltsfan20 says:
    April 13, 2021 at 12:12 am
    any team owned by the dope Jeffrey Lurie will never be successful. Players hate the place; they just stick around because at some point, Lurie will have to overpay to have a team that is even close to competitive.

    ———————————————-

    It’s kind of amazing how wrong you crammed into only two sentences.

  31. rfkimball says:
    April 13, 2021 at 1:08 pm
    The Eagles and their fans reaped what they sowed from New England Fans………….
    —————————————————————————————-
    We actually don’t care that much about New England. But keep obsessing. 3 years and counting

  32. Lurie, Roseman, Pederson *all* were damn lucky to have Frank Reich around. There is zero chance of those three stooges getting a ring without his work with both Wentz and Foles.

  33. “In Philadephia, enough work was put in to win a Super Bowl. That’s the good news. The bad news is that things have collapsed quickly. Chances are that the failures in Philadelphia bear plenty of fingerprints.”

    This is quite a mouthful.

    It may just be the case that Doug needed to be treated like a baby to some degree. So far, it seems the best thing he did was take a step back and let people like Reich and Schwartz do their jobs. We all remember the articles that came out after the super bowl about Doug’s ability to “tap into the talent on his staff.” That could just be a nice way of saying, “this guy was out of his depths and was smart enough to know it.”

    There were reports in late November that Lurie had observed practices at mid-season and left in disgust, because the practices were utterly disorganized, the players were not listening to Pederson, and Pederson appeared to have given up on trying to coach them.

    It’s easy to hate Lurie, but if treating Pederson like a baby won them a SB, and then giving him carte blanche afterwards resulted in practices like that, I would fire Pederson, too.

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