As the Eagles sit at 5-7, a popular discussion topic this week is about the future of their coaching staff. It’s a natural conversation to have.
While it seems unlikely Doug Pederson is going anywhere (Reuben Frank’s numbers back this up), it also seems very possible that there could be some major coaching staff changes coming this offseason. I even went through some of the names earlier this week.
And on Thursday, as Pederson was explaining his message to the team for this week, he brought up the performance of the coaching staff unprompted.
“It’s as much on us as coaches as it is on players,” Pederson said. “So I look to that as well. We’re responsible for how our players play and that starts with me. I hold my coaches accountable first and then obviously it goes down to the players.”
So how are assistant coaches held accountable?
“You hold them accountable by the way their position plays, No. 1,” Pederson said.
Pederson said that after the season, he’s evaluated by his bosses first. But then he evaluates every member of his own staff.
“It’s primarily myself,” Pederson said, when asked who evaluates his assistants. “Obviously, again, I’m going to be evaluated first. And then I can evaluate the staff from there.”
Obviously, there are some mitigating circumstances for these position coaches, like injury and expectations based on talent level. But the primary way to evaluate, for instance, a linebackers coach, is to evaluate how the linebackers have performed.
Pederson on Thursday said he’s very transparent about this process.
“I’m up front with the coaches from Day 1, from all the way back to OTAs, when we’re coming out of that offseason, before OTAs,” Pederson said. “I make a statement with the coaches and I’m probably giving you more information than you need, but I want to be up front with them as well. I say, ‘Listen, your performance is based on your players and how well they perform.’”
Last offseason, after a 9-7 record and a playoff win, the Eagles moved on from receivers coach Gunter Brewer and defensive line coach Chris Wilson. In both cases, the Eagles hired the assistant position coach already on staff to replace them.
That’s been a common theme during the Pederson Era, when coaches leave, their replacement has oftentimes come from within the building. That promotes morale, but maybe it limits the amount of fresh ideas coming to the team.
The Eagles are focused on the last four games of the 2019 season and they should be; the playoffs are still in play. But there will be — and should be — some tough decisions coming once the season ends.
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