By HCR Staff | January 12, 2021
The Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson yesterday, a mere three years after winning the Super Bowl. Even for the cutthroat world of the NFL, this is a nearly unprecedented move – it’s only happened once before (firing of Colts head coach Don McCafferty in 1973).
Pederson’s firing shows there’s only one universal truism when it comes to business in the NFL, and that’s ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately?’
Patience and good will are in very, very short supply in the NFL. Over the last ten years, the money only has gotten larger, and with the advent of social media, the attention and scrutiny has grown more intense. Then when you add in the personal attributes of the people involved – ambition, ego, greed, and control – it’s a pretty toxic, albeit entertaining brew.
And that brew doesn’t care about what has happened before – it’s only hyper-concerned with the here and now. In the NFL, the ‘Here and Now’ force is more powerful than gravity.
No matter how well Pederson did in the past, he got steamrolled by the ‘Here and Now’.
Did Pederson deserve to be fired? Well, answering this question with a credible analysis is hard to do without knowing precisely the dynamic between the key people involved. For example, how much autonomy did Pederson have? And if he didn’t have total autonomy, how involved was owner Jeff Lurie or general manager Howie Roseman? If Lurie and Roseman were very involved, was their involvement constructive?
Lurie, Roseman and Pederson will each have their own interpretation of events. And since we weren’t on the inside, nor are we close to the key parties here, all we can do is look at certain underlying facts.
Fact #1 is that Lurie and Roseman have stayed loyal to each other – they’ve fired other successful head coaches before, namely, Andy Reid.
Fact #2 is that of the Lurie, Roseman and Pederson, the duo of Lurie and Roseman have more in common, from a personal history standpoint, than Pederson. For example, of these three individuals, Pederson is the only former NFL player. So Pederson may have a very different view of the game than Lurie and Roseman.
Fact #3 is that quarterback Carson Wentz’s contract was negotiated by Roseman and Lurie. Wentz’s contract is a big anchor right now on the Eagles’ immediate and near future; a giant investment has been made in him. And that investment dwarfs the financial investment made into Pederson.
Our preliminary take reveals that Lurie and Roseman are much more tightly aligned, and in a three-person dynamic, Pederson is the outlier.