Doug Pederson is out as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, three years after leading the franchise to their first Super Bowl title, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirms. The Eagles had a meeting with Pederson Monday in Florida, an opportunity for the Super Bowl-winning head coach to present his plans to fix the Eagles after a 4-11-1 season -- the worst record for the franchise since Andy Reid's final season in 2012.
"I have spent the last few weeks evaluating everything from this past year and looking ahead," Eagles owner and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "We are all very disappointed with the way our season went and are eager to turn things around, not just for next season but for the future of our franchise. Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what that collective vision would look like moving forward. After taking some time to reflect on these conversations, I believe it is both in our best interests to part ways.
"I have known Doug and his family for over 20 years and they will always be family to me. ... We all look forward to the day he will be inducted to the Eagles Hall of Fame as a Super Bowl-winning head coach and we are confident he will have success with his next team. But as the leader of this organization, it is imperative for me to do what I believe is best for everyone as we look ahead to the future as we look ahead to the future and move into our next chapter. I know that we have work to do to get back to where we want to be, but I also believe that we have an exceptionally strong group of people in this organization who can set us up for future success."
Pederson is the first Super Bowl winning head coach to be fired within three years after winning the title since the Colts' Don McCafferty in 1973. The Eagles and Pederson's relationship soured over the past year, particularly with the front office meddling with his head coaching decisions. The Eagles fired Mike Groh -- Pederson's choice as offensive coordinator -- one day after Pederson announced Groh would return to his position back in January 2020, a decision which irked the Eagles head coach. The final nail in the coffin was Pederson's plan to promote Press Taylor from passing game coordinator to offensive coordinator and bring back Cory Undlin as defensive coordinator (Undlin was the Eagles defensive backs coach from 2015 to 2019 and a holdover from Chip Kelly's staff). Undlin was the defensive coordinator for one season in Detroit, as the Lions allowed the second-most points in a season in NFL history.
Just over a week ago, Pederson believed his future was secure with the Eagles -- even anticipating he'll be back in 2021. The Eagles have made changes to the coaching staff over the past week, not renewing the contracts of senior offensive assistants Rich Scangarello and Marty Mornhinweg. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz retired and linebackers coach Ken Flajole is also reportedly not expected to return. Schwartz and Flajole have been on Pederson's staff since his first season (2016) while Scangarello and Mornhinweg were only on the coaching staff in 2020 -- the year the Eagles did not hire an offensive coordinator.
Pederson is 42-37-1 in five seasons as the Eagles head coach, winning the Super Bowl in the 2017 season (his second season as a NFL head coach). Despite two division titles and three postseason appearances on Pederson's resume, the Eagles are just 22-25-1 in the regular season since winning the Super Bowl (1-2 in the postseason).
The issues around Pederson include the struggles of Carson Wentz, who also has an uncertain future in Philadelphia. Wentz hasn't discussed his future with the franchise yet and has not spoken to the media regarding the ESPN report that his relationship with Pederson is "fractured beyond repair" and that he still plans to ask for a trade in the offseason. The Eagles decision to move on from Pederson is in part because of Wentz, a quarterback with four years and $128 million left on his deal who the front office believes can be fixed with a new head coach leading the offense.
Wentz was one of the worst quarterbacks in football in 2020, adding to the Eagles decision to move on from Pederson. Of the 35 qualified quarterbacks in passing statistics, Wentz ranks 34th in completion percentage (57.4%), 34th in interception percentage (3.4%), 34th in yards per attempt (6.0), and 34th in quarterback rating (72.8). He was sacked a league-high 50 times this season, or a league-high 10.3% on drop-back attempts.
The Eagles will work quickly to find Pederson's replacement, with plenty of candidates still available to fill the void.