What’s next for Doug Pederson after getting dumped from his team of five years, the Philadelphia Eagles? Perhaps nothing.
Despite vacancies in Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles and New York, Pederson could opt for a well-deserved breather coming off a stressful season in Philadelphia. Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, it wouldn’t be a “surprise” if Pederson took the year off in 2021, allowing him to recharge before pursuing his next opportunity, wherever that may be. You might remember Mike McCarthy took a similar approach after the Packers cut ties with him in 2018, essentially taking a gap year before resurfacing with Dallas.
Pederson has friends in high places with ties to Chiefs coach Andy Reid (who he served under in both Philadelphia and Kansas City), Chicago’s Matt Nagy (another Chiefs and Eagles alum) and Colts coach Frank Reich (Pederson’s former Eagles offensive coordinator), among others. If Eric Bieniemy takes a head-coaching job, the door would be open for Pederson to return to his former post as Chiefs offensive coordinator. Of course, it remains to be see whether Pederson would be interested in taking on a lesser role as an assistant coach after five years at the helm in Philadelphia.
Between the Nate Sudfeld debacle of Week 17 (a stunt that reportedly turned the locker room against him), his souring relationship with Carson Wentz and a GM that undermined him at every turn (he didn’t even have the freedom to choose his own coaching staff), Pederson probably felt a measure of relief when his Eagles tenure came to an end earlier this week. Though some would argue the 52-year-old has lost his fastball (in contrast to earlier years, Pederson’s play-calling was noticeably vanilla in 2020), let’s not forget what he accomplished in Philadelphia, delivering the Eagles’ first Lombardi Trophy with a coaching job for the ages in Super Bowl LII. Hell, they even built a statue of him outside the Link. Pederson’s reign in Philadelphia may have ended as unceremoniously as a fourth-quarter pick-six, but he still has a ring to show for it, which is more than most coaches can say.
As for the Eagles, their coaching search continues with Todd Bowles, Joe Brady, Ryan Day, Luke Fickell, Jerod Mayo, Lincoln Riley, Robert Saleh, Arthur Smith and Duce Staley all emerging as potential candidates to replace Pederson in Philly.