PHILADELPHIA — Editor's note: The above video is from November 11.
Update: The Eagles have made it official. Here's the statement from owner Jeffrey Lurie:
Update, 4 p.m.: Pederson has released a statement through the Eagles.
Three seasons after leading them to the only Super Bowl championship in franchise history, Doug Pederson has been fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN.
The decision to let Pederson walk was made by team owner Jeffrey Lurie following a meeting Monday morning in Florida.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2017 season, famously defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 behind backup quarterback Nick Foles, who took over for injured starter Carson Wentz late in the regular season.
But ever since that magical run, the Eagles have been regressing under Pederson. They overcame another injury to Wentz in 2018, rallying behind Foles once again to defeat the Chicago Bears in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the New Orleans Saints a week later. Another slew of injuries followed in 2019, but Wentz rallied them into another postseason appearance with four straight victories to end the regular season. But Wentz was knocked out of the first-round game with the Seattle Seahawks, and backup Josh McCown couldn't pick up the slack.
This season was a disaster. Wentz struggled for most of the season and was benched with four weeks left. Backup Jalen Hurts managed to lead an upset of the New Orleans Saints, but lost his other three starts as the Eagles finished 4-11-1, good enough for last place in a historically bad NFC East division.
Despite all that, Pederson was expected to remain as coach, ESPN reports. "But multiple meetings with Lurie over the last week left his boss unconvinced Pederson had a sound vision for how to address the multiple issues facing the team," sources told ESPN.
Those issue range "from navigating the Carson Wentz situation to fixing an offense that finished 26th in scoring (20.9 PPG) and 28th in passing yards (207.9 YPG) in 2020."
Lurie was also not sold on Pederson's plans regarding his coaching staff, ESPN reported. Pederson pushed for pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to be elevated to offensive coordinator rather than bringing a more established candidate in.
The issue of how to fill the void left by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who plans to take the year off from football in 2021, was also unresolved, ESPN said.
The regression of Wentz, who signed a four-year contract extension worth $128 million prior to the season is one of the biggest issues facing the team. Wentz was reportedly unhappy when the Eagles used a second-round pick on Hurts just weeks after signing him to the extension.
Whether that had anything to do with the dramatic downturn in Wentz's play may never be known.
Wentz has planned to ask for a trade in the offseason because his relationship with Pederson is fractured beyond repair, league sources told ESPN. The trust issues between the two work both ways, ESPN said, citing sources, despite Pederson recently saying that his relationship with Wentz was fine.
ESPN reports its sources describe an offense in 2020 that lacked an identity, in part as a result of a sizable and mismatched group of assistants and consultants brought in last offseason who struggled to get on the same page.
"The absence of a central vision for what the offense should look like made quarterbacking an uphill climb, and all the voices created a cacophony for both Pederson and Wentz alike," ESPN reports.
As for Hurts, a second-round pick last April, there was not firm clarity from Pederson on wether he had a sense that the franchise had its quarterback of the future if the Eagles should move on from Wentz, ESPN said, quoting anonymous sources.
The handling of the season's final game in which Hurts was pulled in favor of Nate Sudfeld in a 20-14 loss to Washington also left questions about whether Pederson had lost his players' confidence, according to ESPN.
Pederson leaves Philadelphia with a record of 46-39-1 over five seasons.