By Peter Gleason
It has been obvious for months to even the most casual observer, that Eagles coach Doug Pederson needs to be fired.
He is in the deep water and he simply does not know how to swim.
But even after the Eagles embarrassed themselves and their fans by not showing up for yesterday’s 37-17 loss to the Cowboys, Pederson was still out to lunch:
“I’m part of the solution moving forward, too,” Pederson said minutes after the Eagles were eliminated from postseason contention with a 37-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that dropped them to 4-10-1.
The Eagles have one more game left, although it’s unlikely anything can happen in the season finale against Washington that will sway owner Jeffrey Lurie’s decision.
The Eagles are 22-24-1 (23-26-1 including the playoffs) since winning Super Bowl 52. The last time the Eagles had double-digit losses in a season, Andy Reid was fired — and he was the winningest coach in franchise history. Pederson’s most ardent supporters can argue this season is a blip. His loudest critics can argue the Super Bowl was the blip. Lurie is the ultimate arbiter.
“I think my disappointment is just how everything has gone obviously this season,” Pederson said. “It’s not what we expected to start the year.”
They’re tied for the fewest wins in the NFC, and they’ve beaten only one team that played its starting quarterback: the Giants (with Daniel Jones). The opposing quarterbacks in the other three wins? Nick Mullens, Ben DiNucci and Taysom Hill.
“As the leader of the team, it starts with me, right?” Pederson said. “If I don’t look at myself in the mirror, it’s hard for me to correct anybody else. That’s what I mean when I say it starts with me. I have to look at myself in the mirror and make sure I’m doing everything I can in my power, whether it be play calls, decision-making in the game, personnel in and out of the football game, whatever it might be to help our team win.”
“He’s a great motivator,” said Brandon Graham, a defensive captain who’s played for the Eagles throughout Pederson’s tenure. “I love Doug. At the end of the day, I understand this part of it. Hopefully, things happen the way we want it to with him being back. But that’s above my pay grade.”
“Listen, we had a lot of expectations going into the year,” Pederson said. “And I think key positions on the staff were back and have some moving parts on offense, obviously. Things began to start to slowly unravel with the injuries. … What’s unfortunate is where we are and we didn’t make the most of our opportunities when we had.”
“Listen, I’ve been around this league a long time, 25 years I believe as a player and a coach, and we’re always based on and evaluated on our performance,” Pederson said on Dec. 1. “Right now, that’s obviously not my concern as far as that decision goes. That’s out of my hands.”