Doug Pederson is one of the most accomplished football coaches in recent memory.
Prior to the season, Pederson’s Eagles won two division titles, made the playoffs three times, and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after beating Tom Brady and the Patriots in an epic Super Bowl. At the peak of their powers, Pederson’s Eagles were at the cutting edge of offensive innovation, while also churning out future head coaches and promoting assistants. In effect, Pederson seemed locked into the future of Philadelphia football.
And yet, this is how the team announced his departure:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 11, 2021
The Eagles followed back-to-back-to-back playoff appearances with a 4-11-1 clunker in 2020. More than that, they witnessed the continued regression of Carson Wentz, thrust developmental quarterback Jalen Hurts into action, and essentially (and intentionally?) fumbled around in Week 17 for the sake of draft positioning. I mean, why else would Nate Sudfeld replace Hurts in a game that hung in the balance? Altogether, it was one of the ugliest seasons you could imagine. And in the end, Pederson — who was 42-37-1 with a 4-2 record in the playoffs — was still dismissed by management.
Which brings me to this: If Pederson, with his accolades and accomplishments can be fired, what makes Matt Nagy so safe?
That’s a serious question, so give it serious consideration.
Pederson has a winning record in the regular season and in the postseason. He has seen his underlings move onto promotions as offensive coordinator (John DeFilippo) and head coach (Frank Reich). And most importantly, he has won a Super Bowl title. A coach with that résumé doesn’t often hit the market when he is still in high standing. And yet, there is a general vibe that Matt Nagy’s job is safe despite not winning a playoff game in three seasons and overseeing two years of regression from his offense.
We’re on Day 2 of obsessive refreshing of social media feeds waiting for news announcing possible changes at Halas Hall. Elsewhere, teams are making definitive statements with swift and decisive action. Not to say that moving with the quickness means a team will definitely do the right thing. But the Bears were already behind teams whose seasons ended two Sundays ago. More waiting will put them further behind the pack.