Philadelphia Eagles

Doug Pederson's Future, Eagles' Coaching Search Thoughts and More

Doug Pederson's future and more in Roob's 10 Observations originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Understanding the mutual frustration between Doug Pederson and Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman, how the new coach might affect Jason Kelce's future and some crazy Carson Wentz and Miles Sanders stats.

It's all in this week's Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations! 

1. I can see both sides of the story when it comes to Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie trying to meddle in Doug Pederson's potential 2021 coaching staff. Building a coaching staff has never been one of Pederson’s strengths and we all know the most stable coaches he’s had - Duce Staley, Jeff Stoutland, Justin Peelle, Dave Fipp, Cory Undlin - are guys he inherited from Chip Kelly’s staff. And he’s wound up having to fire a lot of the guys he’s brought in. So you can see why Lurie and Roseman would want some say in Pederson’s next staff and might find his ideas for the 2021 staff (Press Taylor as offensive coordinator, Andrew Breiner as QBs coach, Matt Burke as defensive coordinator) lacking for a team that clearly needs some new vision. BUT ... you can also see why Pederson would be tired of being told what to do around here and who to hire. Dude’s won a Super Bowl. I don't blame him for wanting to do it his way. Classic case of philosophical differences. And that’s not even getting into their differences over Carson Wentz. Pederson had a bad year as a coach, Roseman had a bad year as a GM and Lurie is having a bad year as an owner. Pretty clear why everybody involved needed a change.

2. If Staley doesn’t get this job, that’ll make him 0-for-4 interviewing with the team that he’s spent 17 years with as a player and coach. If I’m the new coach, I’m doing everything I can to keep Duce here because you want at least one or two holdover coaches and nobody is more respected in that locker room than Duce. But if I’m Duce, I’m not staying unless it’s as offensive coordinator. He’s given so much to this organization and another snub would be a pretty clear sign that there’s literally nothing this man can do to get promoted here. 

3. Even though the Eagles are interviewing a bunch of defensive coaches - Todd Bowles, Jerod Mayo, Robert Saleh - I'll still be surprised if they don't go offense. I think there's value in talking to those guys and hearing what they have to say about the Eagles' defensive personnel, but I still think it'll be an offensive guy - Josh McDaniels, Eric Bieniemy, Brian Daboll, Joe Brady, or Duce.

4. With a new coaching staff coming in and quite possibly a new offensive line coach replacing Jeff Stoutland, I wonder how that would impact Jason Kelce’s decision whether to retire. Kelce has played eight of his 10 seasons under Stout and made all four of his Pro Bowls and all three of his all-pros under Stout. He swears by the guy, and I wonder how interested a 33-year-old Kelce, with a Super Bowl championship and all those individual honors, would be in starting over with a new position coach. Kelce has played courageously through so many injuries the last few years. He’s got a young family and a lot of interests outside of football. So you can picture the allure of him calling it a day. I can’t imagine watching the Eagles without him. Hope he keeps playing for purely selfish reasons.  

5. If Kelce does retire, I’d move Isaac Seumalo to center and see if there’s any way Andre Dillard can play left guard.

6. Surprising that the Chargers went with Brandon Staley over Brian Daboll. Especially surprising considering general manager Tom Telesco played high school football with Daboll at St. Francis High in Buffalo. With the Chargers job now taken, Daboll is sure an intriguing candidate for the Eagles’ job considering the improvement we’ve seen from Josh Allen this past year. Daboll is a creative play caller who knows how to get an offense into a rhythm. Imagine if the Eagles hired Daboll and the Bills wind up hiring Pederson as offensive coordinator? McDermott and Pederson go back over 20 years to 1999, when Pederson was the Eagles’ opening-day quarterback and Bills coach Sean McDermott was an entry-level defensive coach. Pederson loves play calling and designing game plans but doesn’t seem to love a lot of the other aspects of head coaching, so it could be a good fit. The past year has been bizarre enough that a Pederson for Daboll 1-for-1 swap wouldn’t surprise anybody.

7. Amazing that with wins the past couple weeks over the Colts and Ravens, McDermott already has the second-most playoff coaching wins in Bills history (behind of course Marv Levy with 11). This is a franchise that’s been around for 61 years. I have a hunch McDermott wins No. 3 on Sunday in Kansas City no matter who starts at quarterback for the Chiefs.

8. For those of you who think I’ve been too hard on Carson Wentz, keep this in mind: His 72.8 passer rating was 20.8 points below the league average. The last regular NFC quarterback in his 20s (minimum 400 attempts) with a passer rating at least 20 points below the league average was Vinny Testaverde in 1988. His rating was 48.8 and the league average was 72.9. That was 32 years ago.

9. The last Eagles head coach who didn’t keep any assistants from the previous coach’s staff was Ray Rhodes in 1995. 

10. Miles Sanders averaged 5.3 yards per carry this year but only 13.7 carries per game. How rare is that? In the last 30 years, only four other starting running backs who averaged 5.3 yards per carry averaged fewer carries per game: 

  • 9.7 … DeAngelo Williams, 2011 Panthers [5.4]
  • 10.9 … Matt Breida, 2018 49ers [5.3]
  • 11.4 … Charlie Garner, 2002 Raiders [5.3]
  • 12.7 … Jamaal Charles, 2009 Chiefs  [5.9]

But each of those four backs was on a team with another running back that had at least 100 carries (Tyrone Wheatley with Garner, Larry Johnson with Charles, Jonathan Stewart with Williams and Alfred Morris with Breida. Sanders is the only one in the group that didn’t have a teammate with 100 carries. In fact, the last NFL running back to start at least 10 games, average 5.3 yards per carry and average fewer than 14 carries WITHOUT a teammate with at least 100 carries? It was Nick Pietrosante of the 1960 Lions, who averaged 13.4 carries and 5.4 yards per carry. Teammate Dan Lewis had 92 carries. In a 12-game season. In other words … you can make a pretty compelling case that Sanders this year was the most under-utilized running back in NFL history.

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