Day One of the Doug Pederson Era came and went with no casualties.
So far, so good, Eagles fans …
Kidding aside, the criticism that has been heaped on the team’s new head coach has been mostly silly and often off-target ever since word slipped out last week that he was bound to return to Philly.
This time not as a nine-game buffer at quarterback for a fresh-faced Donovan McNabb, or even as a retired player sorting through a “how to be a coach in the NFL” starter kit with hands-on help from Andy Reid, but, rather, as the Big Cheese himself.
Nope, no more guinea-pig or underling status for this guy. Thanks to his current position, Pederson automatically becomes one of the most recognizable figures in the city … and its No. 1 target.
Good luck, pal.
Reality is, it’s neither to his credit nor his fault that Pederson finds himself in this position.
The fact he doesn’t have the resume or, from early indications, the chutzpah to be in this position isn’t on him. But here he is, blank slate and bland personality, just the same.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Lurie.
Not for nothing, but the mind-numbing, wash-rinse-repeat style of ownership that Lurie has graced Philly’s most beloved franchise with has more than run its lack of accountability course. Seriously, has there ever been a more transparent team of “that’s on me; I’ll take full responsibility for that (pick your screw-up)” individuals than Lurie, his front office henchmen and, sadly, his most well-known head coach to date?
Reid spent 14 years shielding players from criticism and placing the blame on himself … and that’s where it stopped. With words. Nothing else. No discipline. No change. No nothing. Just wash-rinse-repeat. Same old. Same old. Day after day. Year after year.
Which is why it has been hilarious to listen to people prattle on about “hmmm, lookie there, ol’ Andy seems to be having clock-management issues again” following this past Saturday’s playoff loss by his Chiefs to New England as if they’re sharing some dumbfounding news.
Umm, you expected something different, cuz?
People like Reid and Lurie do not change. They are hard-and-fast creatures of habit, born and bred to enjoy the same successes and to endure the same mistakes over and over.
Lurie may have tried something different with having Chip Kelly as coach, but the latter’s lack of “emotional intelligence,” meaning his inability or unwillingness to take the fall for everyone else and, gasp, demand real accountability, was too much for the former to take.
Enter Pederson, who harkens back to the days of Reid, having played under him, coached under him and learned all the meaningless non-accountable accountability drivel from him.
So, Lurie is back in his comfort zone now, where doublespeak and no-speak hold special places while dancing around topics of critical interest, if not need, takes center stage. You can see him sucking at the avoid-confrontation-at-all-costs teet right now.
Frankly, that is why Howie Roseman is back in a position of power, why Reid remains Lurie’s go-to guy on “influence,” why Kelly is gone, why Pederson is here and why the owner won’t shut the hell up about collaborative efforts.
It’s almost as annoying as media members calling him “Mr. Lurie,” as if they’re bestowing some distinguished honor on the guy.
Maybe if he had the stones to have a clear chain of command in place within the Eagles and actually let people do their jobs and stick to them, you know, instead of favoring this infantile “shared responsibilities” system promoted by a lack of authority from above, there would be reason for that.
Until then, no … and until then, no point in placing any blame on Pederson, either, if things go awry.
Because someone else must take full responsibility for that. Namely the owner.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org