A day after the Eagles fired Mike Groh and Carson Walch, which came a day after Doug Pederson said both were safe, the Eagles’ head coach was on 94WIP Friday morning to clear some things up.
While it might appear it was not Pederson’s decision to fire them — he says it was.
“Ultimately,” Pederson said, “these are my decisions.”
Doug Pederson says Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie did not influence his decision to part ways with Mike Groh and Carson Walch: "I have a bunch of conversations, but ultimately it's my decision." #Eagles— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) January 10, 2020
That also includes the next decision, which will be hiring Groh’s replacement to fill the offensive coordinator position.
Sure, the owner and GM want to have input, but Pederson on Friday morning claimed he’ll be the guy to pick the Eagles’ next offensive coordinator.
“This is what I appreciate from Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie and Howie (Roseman) is that they’ve given me the opportunity to control my staff,” Pederson said. “Do they want to be a part of the process? They do. They want to meet these people, they want to have input and they want to have conversations.
“But ultimately, I have to feel comfortable with these gentlemen on my staff. Because we’re the ones that work together and we’re with each other the most. Ultimately it will be my decision.”
All this came into question over the last days for good reason. First, there was the bizarre timeline. Pederson on Wednesday made it seem like Jim Schwartz’s job was in jeopardy, while Groh and Walch were safe. It turned out to be the exact opposite. (In fact, Pederson on Friday said Schwartz will “definitely” return if he doesn’t get the Browns’ head coaching job.)
And then there was a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane that said Lurie had decided in December that he didn’t want Groh or Walch to return.
My colleague Reuben Frank wrote about Lurie’s possible role in all this (see story).
Pederson has said a couple times now that he simply flubbed the press conference on Wednesday. Had that not happened, the optics on all this would have been much better and there would have been less reason to question his power to hire and fire members of his coaching staff.
Back in 2016, ownership and the front office did play a big role in putting together Pederson’s first staff. But it was understandable back then. Pederson was a first-time NFL head coach and didn’t warrant all the power. But now he’s going into Year 5, he’s been to the playoffs in three of his four seasons and, oh yeah, he’s got a Super Bowl ring.
Pederson deserves the power to control his staff. According to him, he has it.
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