April 12, 2021
The Eagles have not been a consistent football team over the last few years. From winning Super Bowls to taking a $34 million cap hit to get rid of a franchise quarterback, not a lot has stayed the same in South Philly over the last five seasons or so.
Except for dysfunction.
Reports, including one from PhillyVoice documenting Carson Wentz' locker room issues, painting the decision-making tree as being immensely flawed and the leadership structure as fractured have been streaming out consistently for years now.
And one more has jumped to the top of the pile, a damning exposé of the inner workings in the NovaCare Complex from The Athletic's Zach Berman, Bo Wulf and Sheil Kapadia.
Here are a few of the cliff notes on what is a must read for any Eagles fan (and Eagles hater, for that matter):
According to the report, Doug Pederson was forced to have a meeting with owner Jeffrey Lurie every Tuesday — something Andy Reid never had to do — and the head coach was subject to interrogation from the owner at every turn.
Here are some quotes from sources in the story on how Pederson was treated:
“(Pederson) was ridiculed and criticized for every decision,” one source told The Athletic. “If you won by three, it wasn’t enough. If you lost on a last-second field goal, you’re the worst coach in history.”
“The fact that Doug had the success he did with all the shit going on in the building, sometimes I look at our Super Bowl rings, and I’m like, ‘Holy cow, I don’t know how we did it,'” one source said.
Sources say Pederson was beaten down by the constant second-guessing. “They treated him like a baby,” one said.
Oh man. The article also says that Pederson was hired because he was the "coach of least resistance" and that Nick Sirianni was also hired as a coach who would have less pushback against Lurie and GM Howie Roseman.
Does that, then, mean history is bound to repeat?
Roseman is great at salary cap stuff. He is also great at winning trades. But he has a ton of weaknesses that range from evaluating talent in the draft to working well with others inside the organization to micro-managing perhaps a bit too much.
We've already seen the report about some pretty damning comments Roseman made — in jest he would say — at the expense of star offensive lineman Lane Johnson. But it only gets worse for Roseman in The Athletic's latest story.
Here are a few of the quotes we were stuck by, from sources in the story speaking about Roseman:
“Building that coalition and leading that group to work together in a constructive way is not Howie’s strength,” one source said. “In fact, it’s one of his weaknesses.”
Those close to Roseman believe he was sincere in his effort to improve his interpersonal skills in the wake of his expulsion. He talks often about carrying with him the lessons from that time. But over the course of the past few years, as the team’s success waned, sources say some of Roseman’s worst instincts have returned.
“My best analogy of that would be when people lose weight and there’s the boomerang effect,” said one source. “They lose a lot of weight and then they gain it all back and then some. That’s how I would describe that.”
Roseman is described, in detail, as being extremely close to Lurie and as being absolutely enraged by leaks that did not come from him inside the organization. The reporting says that he even threatened to (and perhaps did) look at phone records to see if suspected leakers were in fact the ones who spoke to the media in recent seasons.
And finally, we'll touch on the most recent of the front office dramas to befall the Eagles organization — their decision to trade Carson Wentz to the Colts a year or so after signing him to a $128 million contract.
The Eagles had a mess on their hands even when the season started, and it must have been a nightmare to be on the coaching staff during the failed 4-11-1 2020 season.
One source described Wentz as smarter than most of the coaches on staff, but that meant he wanted to control the game at the line of scrimmage with checks and audibles. His pre-snap orchestrations led to confusion among the other players and resulted in guys not being on the same page. Pederson struggled to find a balance between empowering Wentz and reining him in.
The entire piece is filled with things that most of us already knew, or already suspected, but to see it all outlined in a fantastically well-written and organized way, like The Athletic boasts in their piece, is revelatory.
Take a look at the rest of the story here.
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