Jeff Lurie calls shots at Doug Pederson 'clickbait' and 'hot takes'

Jeff Lurie calls shots at Doug Pederson 'clickbait' and 'hot takes'

Doug Pederson might want to send Mike Lombardi a fruit basket. Because now everybody has come to Pederson's defense.

On Thursday, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie added himself to the growing list. 

So what exactly did Lurie think about Lombardi's saying Pederson might be the least qualified head coach he's seen in his 30 years in the NFL? 

"First of all, those comments, you guys call it clickbait or hot takes," Lurie said at an impromptu press conference on Thursday afternoon. "That's how I saw that."

Lurie said he has a "strong endorsement" of Pederson. 

"Think about this," Lurie continued, "Doug took over a team that had locker room issues with the previous coach, lost his starting quarterback 10 days before the start of the season and was asked to use our young third-string quarterback. Had to put together a coaching staff, and my personal evaluation of the coaching staff he put together — or inherited, but was open to inherit — was outstanding, really outstanding. 

"That's a huge credit because quarterback analysis, locker room chemistry and the ability to put together a top-notch coaching staff, those are three real key ingredients, and I think he aced them all."

Lombardi, a former NFL general manager with a less-than-stellar track record, came out this week unprompted and ripped Pederson on The Ringer. Those comments have become fodder for local radio shows and have done the unthinkable: They've made many defend Pederson. 

"Now, everybody knows Pederson isn't a head coach," Lombardi said. "He might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I've seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL. Pederson was barely a coordinator before he became a head coach!"

Lombardi might have had a point to some extent. Pederson didn't have as much experience as an NFL coach before getting a head coaching job as many others, but he did a pretty decent job in his first NFL season. The Eagles went 7-9 as Pederson navigated several tricky situations, including a few arrests, the quarterback shuffle and Lane Johnson's suspension. 

Earlier this week, Pederson defended himself (see story) and then one of the Eagles' most well-respected veteran leaders, Malcolm Jenkins, came to his defense, too (see story)

Lurie wouldn't say whether or not he expected the Eagles to make the playoffs in 2017. All he said was he expected the team to improve this season. 

"Yes, there's going to be growing pains with any first-year head coach," Lurie said. "We had that with Andy (Reid), we had it with Chip (Kelly), we've had it no matter who it is. I see [Pederson] as someone who can keep improving. He's a listener, he's a collaborator and I think he has terrific relationships with the players. The future is in front of him and it's there for the taking."

Did Baker Mayfield, Browns run the 'Philly Special?'

Did Baker Mayfield, Browns run the 'Philly Special?'

Hmmm. That looked familiar. 

Remember that play the Eagles ran in that little game in February that helped them eventually have a parade down Broad Street? I think it was called … the "Philly Special?" 

Well … this happened on Thursday Night Football. 

I guess we’ll have to call this the "Cleveland Special." It looked exactly like the Philly Special except Jarvis Landry is a lefty, so the play was just flipped and ran to the left side of the field. 

Direct snap to Duke Johnson, flip to Landry, throw to Baker Mayfield in the end zone to finish off the two-point conversion. The Browns’ first attempt on the two-point conversion didn’t count after offsetting penalties. They came back with this to tie the game, 14-14. 

You’re not the only person who thought it looked familiar.

The Eagles can’t get too mad about the Browns taking their play. It wasn’t their play anyway. They actually took it from the Bears, who took it from Clemson. Good plays don’t stay in house. Teams are always looking to find an advantage. 

No, the Cleveland Special doesn’t have the same ring as the Philly Special. And using it in Week 3 isn’t the same as using it in the Super Bowl. But the Browns haven’t won a game since 2016 … every chance to get a W is their Super Bowl. 

More on the Eagles

Roob (and Ray Didinger) Knows Podcast: Why Jordan Matthews over Josh Gordon

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Roob (and Ray Didinger) Knows Podcast: Why Jordan Matthews over Josh Gordon

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank discusses why bringing back Jordan Matthews was the right move over a player like Josh Gordon.

Fans need to take it easy on Jalen Mills. He's a good cornerback that had a bad game.

Roob gets into the unique, almost unprecedented, relationship between Nick Foles and Carson Wentz.

Also, Ray Didinger joins the podcast and Roob and Ray answer your questions about the Eagles.

1:00 -  Matthews was the correct signing.
6:30 - Take it easy on Mills.
9:00 - Unique relationship between Foles and Wentz.
12:00 - Didinger and Roob answer your questions.
25:00 - Roob Knows stats.
27:30 - Eagles' running back situation.
30:30 - Eagles-Colts prediction.

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