By Rob Maaddi
Doug Pederson has accepted responsibility for the Eagles’ struggles. Carson Wentz and other players have done the same. Darius Slay put the loss to Seattle entirely on his shoulders.
But the blame for the team’s misery starts at the top with Jeffery Lurie and Howie Roseman.
Have they taken any responsibility?
“Those conversations are private,” Pederson said Monday. “I’m not going to get into that. This is not the time or the place to really get into those types of conversations.”
The Eagles are 3-7-1 and have been going backward since winning a Super Bowl because of poor personnel decisions across the board from the draft to free agency and contract extensions.
Reports surfaced last week that Lurie’s frustration with his team reached the point where he didn’t travel to Cleveland. The team said he was being cautious because of COVID-19 ahead of visiting his mom for Thanksgiving.
Lurie should be frustrated with himself. If the report that he influenced the decision to draft J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over DK Metcalf or Terry McLaurin is accurate, that’s inexcusable. An owner should not make draft decisions. Sure, he has to sign off on selecting a player who is going to command a huge contract in the first round. But he needs to let his football staff make football decisions.
Lurie also reportedly forced Pederson to fire offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch, one day after the coach said they were staying. A Super Bowl champion head coach should have the authority to select his coaching staff.
There’s growing concern that Lurie has become a meddlesome owner. That’s a recipe for disaster, especially when the personnel boss has made monumental mistakes over the years.
Everyone knows the egregious misses Roseman has made the past two seasons from passing on Metcalf and Justin Jefferson to choosing Jalen Hurts in the second round in order to build a “quarterback factory” when the team had far more pressing needs. Jalen Reagor still might prove he can play, though he created no separation against the NFL’s worst passing defense Monday night.
Hurts also may end up becoming a solid player but his presence has created an awkward situation that wasn’t necessary.
It seems Pederson is working hard trying to find ways to use Hurts because the front office wants to justify spending a second-round pick on him.
It also appears Pederson is giving Alshon Jeffery snaps that should go to Travis Fulgham and John Hightower because the front office has to justify his contract.
Poor drafts have crippled this franchise. Wentz is the only Pro Bowl player they’ve drafted since Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz in 2013. More than 100 players make the Pro Bowl each year and yet the Eagles have also selected three guys in the past eight drafts.
All-Pro is a more prestigious honor. The Eagles have drafted only seven players who’ve been a first-team All-Pro since 2000.
Here’s the list and the year they were named to the Associated Press All-Pro team: Jason Kelce (2017, 2018, 2019), Fletcher Cox (2018), Johnson (2017), LeSean McCoy (2011, 2013), Brian Westbrook (2007), Shane Andrews (2006), Lito Sheppard (2004)
Changes are coming, even if the Eagles find a way to win the putrid NFC East.
Lurie, Roseman and Pederson delivered the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. Three years later, the team is broken.