'Best Interests To Part Ways': Philadelphia Eagles Fire Head Coach Doug Pederson After 5 Seasons
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Doug Pederson, the only head coach to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl title, is looking for a new job. The Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson on Monday after five seasons.
Pederson's firing came after meeting owner Jeffrey Lurie Monday morning for a second time following a disappointing 4-11-1 season and finishing last in the NFC East.
Lurie said it was "in both of our best interests to part ways."
"It's been a disappointing season, but going forward again, you have to make tough, tough decisions, and after talking to Doug again today, it just felt like the path forward was best for us to part ways," Lurie said during a Monday afternoon press conference, adding that Pederson did not deserve to be let go.
Even though Pederson was sacked, general manager Howie Roseman will remain, despite criticism levied at his recent drafts and with the Eagles in salary cap purgatory for the upcoming season.
"I have real confidence that our football operations, led by Howie, can not only repeat the performance of 2016 until now, and once again create a dominant football team that can maximize every aspect of its potential," Lurie said.
Pederson said he was at "peace" being let go by the Eagles.
"No worries," Pederson told Derrick Gunn, co-host of CBS3's "ODDS ON." "I'm at peace with it."
In a statement, Pederson called it an honor to coach the Eagles.
"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," Pederson said in a statement.
Moving forward, Lurie said the focus is on the intermediate and long-term future. He said they have to get younger and more talented, and Roseman will lead the charge.
Former Eagle Jon Ritchie believes that's a bad decision.
"I'm OK with firing Doug Pederson, I think it's what's best for the Eagles," Ritchie said. "But if firing Doug Pederson comes with Howie Roseman is now guaranteed a job for more than just this next season, then I've got a major problem with this."
Multiple reports indicated Pederson was just as ready to move on as maybe the Eagles were, too. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport reports Pederson was "sick of people telling him what to do."
According to CBS Sports' Amanda Guerra, Pederson felt he couldn't work with Roseman and saw it as "a bad situation."
Rapoport previously reported that Pederson was on the hot seat in early December.
Pederson was aware his performance would be evaluated but previously said he didn't want out of Philadelphia. Pederson had two years left on his contract and didn't want to give up on Philadelphia after one losing season.
"I don't want out of Philly," Pederson at the end of December. "It is a great place to work."
However, the backward slide was evident this season and not just on the field. The offense looked stale, finishing 26th in scoring and 28th in passing yards.
The trust between Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz reportedly was fractured and now reports say it's more likely they keep Wentz now that Pederson is gone.
"I feel for Doug. I really feel that he's done a good job," former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil said. "I felt all year long that the injuries were a major factor in the decline of the offense and Carson Wentz and that they would solve those problems with general manager Howie getting things squared away for next year and they'd be back and competitive."
The Eagles were 42-37-1 in the regular season under Pederson's reign and 4-2 in the playoffs. Pederson coached the 2017 Birds to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history in Super Bowl 52.
Defensive coordinator Jim Swartz announced he was stepping away from football and two offensive coaches, assistant Rich Scangarello and offensive consultant Marty Mornhinweg, will not have their contracts renewed.
CBS3's Don Bell and Dan Koob contributed to this report.
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