As the Eagles’ abysmal season winds down, it seemed as though the only thing left was limping to the finish line. The team is barely healthy, the quarterback situation is far from resolved, and NBC is torturing us with Sunday Night Football. The lackluster stumble into December seemed to be verging on irrelevancy until two major coaching reports came out. Doug Pederson is most likely returning in 2021, while Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz will not. These two moves are most likely preceding multiple coaching staff changes as the Eagles offseason picture begins to take shape.
Jim Schwartz’s Complicated Legacy– Schwartz is reportedly taking a year off. After the 2020 season, he’ll evaluate his options and mull retirement. Schwartz has long been a point of contention among the fanbase. The Eagles made the playoffs in three of his five seasons as DC, and he has “Super Bowl LII Champion” forever associated with his name. The Eagles defenses under Schwartz have been anchored by stout defensive line play. The criticisms of the Eagles’ defense usually occur when the defensive line doesn’t alter plays. Selling out to stop the run, playing a single-high safety, and leaving corners on islands can lead to disaster. For every time the Eagles made a big stop under Schwartz, it felt like there were just as many listless, sticks-defense backbreakers. Schwartz’s scheme has been constantly critiqued, but the lack of adjustments and player development under him will always be used against him. Schwartz won’t be remembered among the likes of Buddy Ryan and Jim Johnson, but he wasn’t as bad as his job as some believed. The Eagles won big games under Schwartz’s tenure and that’s all that matters. Food for thought: if the Eagles had the same personnel, but ran a Tampa Two oriented defense, would it have made a difference ?
Doug Pederson has a very clear message- The Eagles will reportedly not fire Doug Pederson. After three straight postseason appearances, the four-win Eagles will be picking in the top of the draft. The Eagles leaking the job security of Pederson before the end of the season says one thing; fix it or else. The Eagles are aging and expensive, not to mention wading into a quarterback conundrum. They’re looking for a jumpstart before a serious rebuild needs to take place. Defensive coordinator won’t be the only position vacant. Special Teams Coordinator may be available. There will undoubtedly be changes on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles have offensive assistants and analysts, but need to hire a real OC and quarterback coach. Asking a coach to retool a staff and improve is no small task but it’s Doug’s life jacket for this sinking ship of a franchise.
Howie Roseman is INCREDIBLE at deflecting blame- The Eagles roster has not improved in three seasons, but nobody can find an incriminating report against the man who constructed this debacle ? Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz had their futures debated in Philadelphia since October but the General Manager who built a terrible football team is safe ? Howie Roseman doesn’t mind the reports about Pederson and Wentz’s relationship because it insulates him from the problem. This feels like the part in the mob movie where the boss sets everyone up to save his own ass.
If the Eagles double their win total next year, but miss the playoffs, will that be enough for Pederson to survive? It’s not hard to envision Roseman self righteously thinking he gave the coaches sufficient talent and they bungled it. Botching numerous drafts and handing out albatross contracts should not be tolerated by Jeffrey Lurie. The Eagles have needed better linebackers, cornerbacks, and wide receivers since the Super Bowl. They will go into the 2021 Draft needing the same three positions. Nobody in the Eagles organization has been worse at their job than Howie Roseman. He actively damaged a team with a positive trajectory by failing to add talent and depth. The coaching staff hasn’t maximized all they’ve been given, but every issue on the Eagles can be directed back to Howie Roseman. The coaching staff failed in 2020. The franchise quarterback failed. The general manager failed. The front office needs new solutions for answers they can’t provide. It’s disgraceful and insulting to our intelligence to act like Howie Roseman can fix the Eagles.
He shouldn’t be in charge of the salary cap. He shouldn’t make trade acquisitions. He shouldn’t be in the same zip code of the phone on draft day, Chip Kelly was right, Howie Roseman isn’t a football guy.