There will be no excuses for Doug Pederson in 2020. No fall guy either.
It's not that the Eagles' offense wasn't on him before - it was - but with the new offensive coaching staff structure, which breaks the traditional mold, there will be little room for doubt.
The entire offense is on Doug's shoulders now.
We learned on Wednesday that the Eagles are promoting Press Taylor and giving him the added title of passing game coordinator. This means the Eagles will have a passing game coordinator and a run game coordinator in OL coach Jeff Stoutland. It also means that Pederson is still the play-caller, the head coach and basically the czar of offense, which would be a much cooler title.
There will be input from Stoutland and more from Taylor. And, sure, it sounds like there will be input from two new coaches with fresh ideas - Jeff Lurie loves his collaborative processes - but with all his power, Pederson should get almost all the praise or criticism for the offense's performance in the upcoming season.
For the last few years, it always seemed like the Eagles' offensive coordinator - first Frank Reich and then Mike Groh - got too much credit or too much flak for the performance of the offense. And when things soured offensively in 2019, it was easy to point a finger at Groh and fire him, as the Eagles' did a month ago. But the fact is, no one really knows how much of the offense's struggles (or successes later in the season) were because of Groh. Similarly, we don't know how much of the offense's success in 2017 was because of Reich. Sure, it was easy to see the difference and conclude that there was causation: the offense was good when Reich was here, Reich must be a good OC; the offense wasn't as good when Groh was here, Groh must be the problem.
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But we don't know.
What we do know is that throughout his four years as head coach, Pederson has always been the top offensive coach on staff. He has always been the play-caller and decision-maker.
So entering 2020 without an official offensive coordinator simply busts down the facade. This offense is - and always has been - Pederson's unit.
Would the Eagles have benefited from adding a fresh voice to take over for Groh as the offensive coordinator? There's certainly a case to be made and it seemed like they were heading in that direction. But even if that happened, it would have still been on Pederson to value that person's input and actually implement their ideas.
It's not like Pederson won't get input from the coaches who will be on his staff in 2020 either. He still has Stoutland, who is one of the most highly regarded coaches on his staff. He still has Duce Staley. He still has Taylor, who will now have an expanded role as a 32-year-old coach who is viewed around the league as an up-and-comer.
And now we've learned that Pederson will have two new voices in Rich Scangarello and Andrew Breiner, who will both reportedly be added to the staff in still-undefined roles. Scangarello is a former NFL OC in Denver and worked under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Breiner has worked under Joe Moorhead and he's been a college head coach.
So both of those guys will theoretically be the ones bringing some fresh ideas to an offense that could probably use some fresh ideas.
But it's up to Pederson to listen to them. It's up to Pederson to listen to Taylor and Stout. It's up to Pederson to implement those new ideas, blend them with what we know works, get the most out of Carson Wentz, call the plays on game day and be the innovative and creative offensive mind we've seen him be in the past.
It's all on Doug. At least we all understand that now.
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