Eagles Wake-Up Call: Doug Pederson’s Priorities
The last time the Eagles’ win total dropped by at least three, a new head coach quickly turned the team around and won 10 games the following season. This year, Doug Pederson is hoping to replicate Chip Kelly’s early success in Philadelphia, as well as Andy Reid’s reversal in Kansas City.
“I just came from a place where we turned the culture of the organization around, we turned the culture of the community around, and two out of the three years, we’re in the postseason,” Pederson said Tuesday on 97.5 The Fanatic. “It can be done. In my opinion, we’ve got a little bit better talent here, and I’m looking forward to working with these guys.”
Whether Pederson achieves that success will largely be determined by his quarterback. After praising Sam Bradford at his introductory press conference, Pederson seemed to express a more patient approach in deciding Bradford’s future yesterday, noting that free agency is more than a month away, before concluding: “We’ve got time.”
Part of evaluating Bradford’s future is analyzing the quarterbacks in this year’s draft. With the Eagles suspending their search for a new personnel executive and Jeffrey Lurie’s vague public comments, it’s unclear who will make the final decisions in the draft and free agency. Howie Roseman seems to be in charge, but Pederson was asked to clarify the power dynamic on the radio yesterday.
“Well, if you heard Jeffrey Lurie in the press conference, he came out basically and said that he had the final say on a lot of the decisions,” Pederson said. “I think, when we get to free agency and we get to the draft, it becomes a little easier when you’ve got all the hands and you’ve got all the information, and you’re making those decisions. I think it becomes a unanimous decision, one way or the other.”
While the Eagles haven’t made a reported move to retain Bradford since the season ended, the team has been aggressive with other players. Brent Celek, Vinny Curry, Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson have all been re-signed to deals that combine for more than $85 million guaranteed, according to Spotrac.
Pederson touched on a plethora of other topics, from building his coaching staff to get “as much experience on both sides of the football” as possible, to his ability to connect with players because of his 12-year NFL career. He also revealed Reid’s advice to him — “be honest” and “be yourself” — and why training camp may remain at NovaCare — “you don’t have to pack up your office and move.”
But he still wasn’t able to escape clock management questions. In his introductory press conference, Pederson explained why Kansas City’s final drive in New England took so long. Yesterday, he answered more questions, sticking by his initial response two weeks ago that the Chiefs didn’t want to give Tom Brady the ball back.
“Head coaches evaluate those situations [and] coordinators evaluate those situations,” Pederson said. “We sat there on Sunday morning, we evaluated it, and we said, ‘We would’ve done the same thing.’ I take that now, I learn from it, and I move forward.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Vinny Curry signed a five-year deal worth $47.25 million, with $23 million guaranteed.
“It was clear from the beginning they wanted to go offense.” Eagles notes from the Super Bowl.
The Eagles have put their personnel head search on hold until after the draft in late April.
“The money arrow is always pointing up in the NFL.” On the Eagles’ aggressive offseason plan.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The Eagles’ search for a personnel head is a farce, writes the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, and Howie Roseman is going to be calling the shots no matter what.
If it wasn’t clear before, there is no dispute now — Howie Roseman is in complete control of Eagles personnel. He will head the draft, free agency and every move the team makes this offseason.
Jeffrey Lurie declined two weeks ago to define publicly Roseman’s role – or how he planned to hold him accountable – but by streamlining the front office to the point that there is only one man at the top, the Eagles owner doesn’t need to do either now.
So when a Danny Watkins or a Marcus Smith is drafted, it’s Roseman’s decision. When a Nnamdi Asomugha is signed in free agency it’s Roseman. When the 90th man on the roster is released and some no-name is picked up off the street, it’s Roseman.
After seemingly wise moves in January, the Eagles shouldn’t have big problems with the salary cap, writes CSN Philadelphia’s Andrew Kulp.
The NFL salary cap is a fluid situation. The number is constantly on the rise. Many players don’t finish their contracts, essentially creating new money every offseason. And besides, when an organization has an expert cap navigator, as the Eagles do in Howie Roseman, there’s a certain level of trust in the process.
Roseman learned under former Eagles executive Joe Banner, who was notorious for aggressively re-signing the club’s young talent. By making deals early, Banner was able to get players into below-market deals, far cheaper than what he would have to pay once they reached free agency, after going to a Pro Bowl or two and simply as a result of a natural inflation.
The Eagles aren’t getting a steal with [Zach] Ertz, [Lane] Johnson or [Fletcher] Cox, yet the cost would only grow higher next year for a trio of players who would be difficult to replace. These are the types of players that precious cap space are meant for.
Vinny Curry will address the media at noon about his contract extension.