Philadelphia Eagles fire head coach Doug Pederson

"I believe it is in both of our best interests to part ways," team owner Jeffrey Lurie said.

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Monday, January 11, 2021
Jaws reacts to firing of Eagles coach Doug Pederson
Ron Jaworski reacts to firing of Eagles coach Doug Pederson

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The tenure of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, the only head coach to lead the Birds to a Super Bowl victory, is over.

The team fired Pederson on Monday, less than three years after he led them to the franchise's only Super Bowl title.

Pederson was 42-37-1 in five seasons. He led the Eagles to two division titles and three playoff appearances before going 4-11-1 in 2020.

Pederson met with team owner Jeffrey Lurie last week and again Monday.

While many fans say they feel caught off guard, there's also mixed reactions toward the firing of head coach Doug Pederson, who brought the Eagles their biggest victory.

"I have spent the last few weeks evaluating everything from this past year and looking ahead. We are all very disappointed with the way our season went and eager to turn things around, not just for next season but also for the future of the franchise," Lurie said.

"Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what that collective vision would look like moving forward. After taking some time to reflect on these conversations, I believe it is in both of our best interests to part ways," Lurie continued.

"We all look forward to the day he will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame as a Super Bowl-winning head coach, and we are confident he will have success with his next team," Lurie said.

In a statement released through the Eagles, Pederson said it was "an absolute honor serving" as the Eagles' head coach.

"As difficult as it is to say goodbye, I will always look back on my time here with appreciation and respect," he said. "The memories we made here, together, will always have a special place in my heart."

"To the City of Philadelphia, thank you for embracing me and this team. I truly appreciate that passion you bring every single day -- at home, on the road, and in the community. No matter what, you were always right there with us," Pederson continued.

"Although I am disappointed that this chapter of my career has come to an end, I am extremely proud of what we accomplished together. Through all the ups and downs, one thing remained constant about our team -- an unwavering commitment to battle through adversity and to achieve our goals not as individuals, but as a collective unit. There is no better example of that than when we celebrated the first Super Bowl Championship in Eagles history together with our city. That is a memory we will all cherish forever."

In the end, Lurie was not sold on Pederson's plans regarding his coaching staff, ESPN sources said.

Pederson pushed for passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to be elevated to offensive coordinator rather than bringing in a more established candidate, ESPN reported. The issue of how to fill the void left by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who plans to take the year off from football in 2021, was also unresolved.

Accoding to the Associated Press, Pederson's loyalty to his coaching staff and frustration with the front office's interference was a major issue, according to a person familiar with the decision. The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the conversations, said Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman weren't on the same page regarding many personnel moves.

Ultimately, Lurie chose Roseman over Pederson.

Pederson benched Carson Wentz for the final four games after the quarterback had the worst season of his career and started rookie Jalen Hurts. Pederson had said repeatedly he was confident he could fix Wentz and get him back on track. He won't get that chance now.

Pederson was a starting quarterback in Philadelphia in 1999 and later served as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles. The Eagles hired him in January 2016 after abruptly firing Chip Kelly a month earlier.

Pederson led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over New England in just his second season with backup quarterback Nick Foles filling in after Wentz was injured. Pederson and Foles again led the Eagles to a playoff win the following year after Wentz went down late in the season.

Confetti rained down and "We are the Champions" played as the Philadelphia Eagles were honored at the end of Thursday's Super Bowl parade and celebration.

Pederson was heavily criticized for his decision to replace Hurts with third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a 20-14 loss to Washington in Week 17. Washington's victory cost the New York Giants the NFC East title. The loss gave the Eagles the sixth overall pick in the draft instead of the ninth.

"I have known Doug and his family for more than 20 years and they will always be family to me," Lurie said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and everything we have accomplished together over the last five seasons."

The Associated Press and ESPN contributed to this report.