Philadelphia Eagles

Should Howie Roseman Have Been Fired?

Jeff Lurie's decision to fire Doug Pederson but keep Howie Roseman is outrageous, Reuben Frank argues.

Firing Doug Pederson while keeping Howie Roseman is outrageous originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

You could have made a pretty good case for keeping Doug Pederson or firing him. 

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You can’t make a pretty good case for keeping Howie Roseman.

At least  not in his current role. It’s just not debatable anymore.

Pederson was terrible this year, and we all saw it. His play calling magic dried up, his in-game decisions were often baffling, his inability to get Carson Wentz going was bewildering and his handling of the QB change against Washington was dubious.

But you can’t win without players and that’s where Howie comes in.

And Jeff Lurie’s blind spot for Roseman is going make it very difficult if not impossible for the Eagles to get back to the top of the NFL, no matter who the coach is.

Would Pederson have been fired if the Eagles had drafted D.K. Metcalf instead of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Justin Jefferson instead of Jalen Reagor,  T.J. Watt instead of Derek Barnett?

Probably not.

The front office failed Pederson through year after year of poor drafts and to some extent questionable free agency additions, and it’s left the roster void of the kind of young talent you need to win in this league.

Once you get past Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert, Jordan Mailata and Alex Singleton, where is the nucleus? Where are the stars of tomorrow? Where are the impact players in their 20s? Maybe Jalen Hurts makes it into the conversation at some point, but at this point there isn’t one player in his 20s on the roster who anybody would rank among the four or five best at his position in the league.

That’s what the next coach will inherit. Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson if they’re healthy, Jason Kelce if he decides to keep playing and a whole bunch of unproven youngsters.

For Lurie to hold Pederson accountable and not hold Roseman accountable is outrageous. You can’t blame Pederson for going 4-11-1 with a bad, aging roster and not hold Roseman accountable for the bad, aging roster.

I don’t have to remind anybody that the Eagles have selected exactly one Pro Bowl player in their last seven drafts, and that was Carson Wentz, the quarterback whose year-long slump in a lot of ways led to Pederson’s dismissal.

One Pro Bowler in the last seven drafts.

And the last defensive Pro Bowler the Eagles drafted outside the first half of the first round was Trent Cole, 15 years ago.

The 2015 draft belongs to Chip Kelly, but Roseman’s failure to provide Pederson (and Wentz) with capable wide receivers, his failure to draft a single defensive star for eight years and counting, his failure to adequately replace Malcolm Jenkins, his failure to move on from aging players like Jason Peters, DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery … it’s left the roster in shambles.

To keep Roseman and fire Pederson is to tell Eagles fans that Pederson was a bigger impediment to success than Roseman, and I’m not buying that.

We’ve suggested for several years now that the Eagles would be best served by Roseman handling salary cap and contracts and a strong personnel guru with a proven record of success working alongside him with final say over all roster decisions.

With each passing year that Roseman has final say, the Eagles are bound to drift farther and farther away from being a contender.

Yes, injuries have decimated the roster the last few years, but honestly, even a completely healthy Eagles roster as it's built right now can’t compete with the teams who are still alive in the playoffs.

Something had to change. After a 4-11-1 season, that much is obvious.

But firing Pederson and keeping Roseman avoids the real issue with this franchise.

They don’t have nearly enough good players. And changing coaches doesn't fix that.

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