As Doug Pederson enters Year 5 as Eagles head coach, there's a notable change to the structure of his coaching staff.
He doesn't have an offensive coordinator. And now we have a reason why.
Earlier this offseason, Pederson fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh a day after he said Groh was safe and then shook up the structure of his coaching staff, electing to move forward sans an official OC.
As the NFL world gets ready to take over Indianapolis this week for the annual NFL Scouting Combine, Pederson spoke the the Eagles Insider Podcast and finally explained his decision.
It's a great question because it's a question I have really pondered about for quite some time, really for many years. You look around the league and there are teams who don't have coordinators. There are teams that have coordinators. I've had a coordinator by title. I look at the structure of what we're doing offensively and how collaborative we put our game plans together. It's like players; it's not about one guy. Same way on the coaching staff. It's not about one coach who has to do everything. It's a collaborative effort.
"Bottom line, I'm the one calling plays on game day. So in some facets, you could consider me the offensive coordinator as well. The more I thought about it, I'm like, just again, I'm really excited about Press (Taylor). I think he's got a bright future. Giving him the title of passing game coordinator, really again, gives him the opportunity to give more thought and input on our game plans. Having Rich (Scangarello) being as a senior offensive assistant, he can assist and help sort of bridge the gap with [Jeff Stoutland] and Press and putting all the pieces together, along with myself and Justin Peele and Duce Staley. Just bringing our game plans together. That's what I want. That's my vision for this season and really having a seamless transition that way.
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"When we win, we win as a team. Again, it's not about one guy getting the credit. I feel like this is the best structure for us, for me as the play caller. Because there's times when I get pulled in a lot of different directions and I gotta lean on Press. And I'm going to have to lean on Rich and Jeff Stoutland and the guys to really pull the game plans together and really give me the information that I need as we prepare for games."
While Pederson - and really everyone inside the NovaCare Complex - has always stressed a collaborative effort in all football manners, he didn't really give any specifics about how the workload will be split and how Groh's former responsibilities will be divided up in the new power structure.
Hopefully, we'll get some of those answers in Indianapolis this week.
As a reminder, he's an updated look at the new structure of the Eagles' offensive coaching staff.
Head coach/play caller: Doug Pederson
Quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator: Press Taylor
Offensive line coach/run game coordinator: Jeff Stoutland
Senior offensive assistant: Rich Scangarello
Running backs coach/assistant head coach: Duce Staley
Tight ends coach: Justin Peele
Wide receivers coach: Aaron Moorehead
Pass game analyst: Andrew Breiner
It's not unheard of for an NFL coach with a clear focus on one side of the ball - like Pederson on offense - to not have an official coordinator. But this is just the first time he has elected to have this setup.
The optics weren't great a month and a half ago when Pederson gave Groh a vote of confidence only to fire him a day later, but on the podcast claimed he was still going through his evaluation process at the time.
At the time, one obvious theory was that Pederson wanted to keep Groh and the front office overruled him. But that's a theory that has been shot down multiple times by the Eagles. And Pederson on this podcast said that he listened to input from his bosses but, ultimately, the coaching staff is up to him.
"The coaching staff is my responsibility," he said. "I'm the one that hires them and I'm obviously the one that has to do the dirty work and sometimes let coaches go. That's my responsibility."
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