Doug Pederson on Friday morning confirmed a report that he has already begun to divvy up play calling duties to his assistant coaches but wanted to make one thing clear.
“I’m still the play-caller,” Pederson said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday evening reported that Pederson handed over play-calling in 2-minute situations to Rich Scangarello earlier this season and has handed over some other play-calling duties to Press Taylor in recent weeks.
On Friday morning, Pederson didn’t want to give away the reasons for those decisions, citing competitive balance, but he did say it “hasn’t been a lot.”
Still, the fact that Pederson has been willing to give up any play-calling is somewhat surprising given the pride he takes in that part of his job. Until earlier this week, when said everything is “on the table,” Pederson had been resistant to questions about giving up play-calling. In mid-November, Pederson even said he thought he was doing a good job in that respect.
“Listen, I’m still the play-caller,” Pederson said on Friday. “If I’m going to be part of the solution to our offensive woes, then I’m going to be a part of the solution, whatever that takes, whatever that looks like. Whether it be elements of the game plan, calling plays or whatever it might be in game.
“But ultimately these are my decisions as we move forward. It is something that I have to dig deep and kind of soul search a little bit because I love doing it. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a lot of fun. It gives you a lot of joy and excitement when you do it and you do it well. But again, I’m going to keep it internal and focus on the team.”
There are plenty of reasons why, but there’s no question the Eagles have struggled offensively this season. The Eagles are 25th in the NFL in points this season and 28th in offensive yards.
The league averages in 2020 are 24.8 points per game and 356.2 yards per game. The Eagles are averaging 21.5 and 322.6.
That’s not all play-calling. The Eagles have had injuries, bad quarterback play, stupid mistakes and might just have a lack of overall talent at some positions. But the play-calling hasn’t been consistently good either. At least Pederson has finally acknowledged that.
In his five years as the Eagles’ head coach, it’s clear that Pederson takes a great amount of pride in calling plays. It’s one of his favorite parts of the job. So his reluctance to give any of that up was understandable. The fact that he has — at least in small doses — shows he’s not oblivious to the Eagles’ offensive struggles.
“I’ve told you guys before that everything is on the table,” he said. “It’ll be my decision moving forward if we continue down this path, if I divvy it up. I’ve said this before, our process on offense is a very collaborative one as far as game-planning goes. All the position coaches have a lot of input into the scheme each week. And then it’s ultimately my decision as to calling the plays or if I give that up."
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