Doug Pederson Not Kicking Embattled Jalen Mills to the Curb

Doug Pederson is clearly standing by embattled cornerback Jalen Mills. 

Throughout this week, there have been countless calls from fans for Mills to lose his job. The defensive breakdowns in Tennessee and, really, this whole season weren't all his fault, but Mills' mistakes have been easy to spot and it's made him a scapegoat of sorts. 

But Pederson and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz have been very supportive of Mills this week. And on Friday, Pederson was asked if the team's loyalty for Mills is because he's the best player for the job or because of all he's done for the Eagles over the past couple seasons. 

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Pederson's answer was interesting. 

Yeah, I think it's a little of both. No. 1, he is the best player for the position, and No. 2, his body of work, what he's done over the course of two-plus years. So we've got a ton of confidence in him.

Listen, that's something that if a quarterback goes through a slump, we're going to wrap our arm around him, encourage him, keep him coming and keep coaching him. I don't believe in just kicking guys to the curb [and saying], ‘OK, you're done. Let's go with the next guy.'

We continue to work with everybody and work with the entire roster that way. He's obviously no different.

Some of that, of course, makes sense. Mills has done a lot for this team and he was part of the team that won a Super Bowl. But teams who are looking in the rearview aren't watching where they're going. The Eagles need to be careful of that. 

Is he the best guy for the job right now? That's debatable. And it's a little scary that wasn't the only reason Pederson gave for sticking with him. That's the only thing that should matter. 

The interesting thing about the idea of kicking Mills to the curb is that it probably wouldn't go that way. If the Eagles did decide to make a switch, Mills and Sidney Jones would probably flip spots. Mills would still play a lot, but wouldn't be a starter. Perhaps the team would have to worry about how the ultra-confident, green-haired corner would handle that. 

For as much as fans have been calling for Mills' job, it doesn't appear the Eagles are ready to bench him anytime soon. Mills declined an interview request this week. 

Maybe he'll have happier things to talk about after Sunday. If not, those calls from fans won't get any quieter. 

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