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December 02, 2020

Eytan Shander: Is Eagles' Doug Pederson trying to go out in a 'blaze of glory?'

Opinion Eagles
051816DougPedersonJeffreyLurie Matt Rourke/AP

Jeffrey Lurie and Doug Pederson enjoy an open heart moment during Eagles OTAs.

Attention Lurie and you front office morons: Your triumphs mean nothing. You all stink. You can sit on it and rotate! This is Doug Pederson. I fear no reprisal. Extension 5-1-7-0!

He played Jalen Hurts two snaps. Two! This after a week’s worth of press conferences to local then national reports about Hurts taking an increased role. This after the MNF broadcast spent time before the game focusing on the very same issue. The entire world was ready to see the 2nd round draft pick take over a drive, or at the very least, play more than two snaps.

Doug Pederson sealed his fate Monday night in a total act of defiance, one that I absolutely love. Ride on, Doug. Their latest loss solidified how painfully obvious it’s become that Pederson is far less of an issue as offensive coordinator than Wentz appears to be at quarterback. Yet the latest buzz coming from the team is that the head coach is open to someone else calling plays.


What the hell is going on here? And when you’re done answering that, ask yourself if you can even begin to blame Pederson for wanting out of here. He wants a new job, most likely a head coaching job, so just walking away isn’t the answer. No, there has to be one way to send a message to the powers that be other than simply walking away – and risking future employment elsewhere.

In the past week we’ve had some weird but explainable statements coming from inside the Eagles surrounding Hurts. Sure, looking at it on the surface it’s easy to walk away with the opinion that it’s a circus over there. But that’s exactly why Doug P is trying to ripcord his behind out of the Novacare center.

Soft landing, folks. It’s always about the landing.

What if all of this back and forth surrounding an unprepared rookie QB – not his fault by any means – taking over if necessary was really a warped power struggle playing out in front of our eyes? The pawn in all of this is clearly Hurts, but Wentz has plenty of culpability in using his own influence.

While politics does make strange bedfellows, the coach and quarterback are at odds on a different front, the play calling. That’s exactly where Pederson chose to strike, sending a blowback to the man in the ivory tower, “This kid might be your draft pick, but it’s my call when he plays.”

The lack of snaps wasn’t anything to do with Pederson being some buffoon who can’t figure out how to use Hurts. It was a deliberate message sent to his superiors. If it’s Howie Roseman and Lurie, or Lurie through Roseman’s mouth, Pederson played what little hand he had left, and made an utter fool of the owner.

There is zero coincidence in the timing here as well as how things have played out since. After hearing all week about an increased role for Hurts, we get this crazy report about how Lurie is demanding they use more of Hurts, as it was the owner who demanded they draft the young man in the first place.

Monday night comes and goes, and we find ourselves debating why Hurts only played two snaps – especially in a game in which the starter once again missed easy throws. There were multiple scenarios where Pederson could have used Hurts to galvanize a near-dead offense but remained with Wentz.

Then we get two more realizations on Tuesday; the first being Doug hasn’t even been assured he will keep his job before the end of the season, and the second being how open he is to give up play calling. Madness all around here.

I can’t hate – nor even fault – Pederson for trying to abandon this poorly navigated ship, while maintaining any shred of dignity. That move of defiance we saw from the sidelines on Monday night was Pederson going out in a blaze of glory. Cue the damn Bon Jovi.

Eagles Bet of the Week

The line might move a little bit by the time you read this, so let’s look at an area that should remain consistent. One area of continued value in fading the Eagles lies in the first half – specifically in the first quarter. Find your best bet for the Packers winning the 1st quarter and half.

This doesn’t mean you should stay away from the game itself, but let it play out a little bit. You can pick up on some weighted line movement if the Packers struggle to score against the Eagles defense.

By the way, RIP to all of you under bettors jumping in live at the half. Watching that awful first half, I thought it was only right to take the live over at 39.5 at halftime. There’s always two sides to a beat… thankful to be on the right one for once.

The Middle w/ BROOKS, MAYES & EYTAN – Clip of the Week

This week we highlight – what else – our thoughts on the future of Doug Pederson:

We recommend you bookmark our new show right here and catch us every week day from 11-to-1 p.m.

You can also call us at 800-224-2004.

Props & Locks

Catch Props & Locks on Fox29 Thursdays at 7p with myself, Scott Grayson, and the always entertaining Sean Bell! We will be loaded with props for the Eagles game and break down other big value matchups.

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This content and the links provided are sponsored by and,’s Official 2020/2021 Betting Odds Partner, independently created by PhillyVoice.

Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

You can listen to Eytan on The Middle w/ Brooks, Mayes and Eytan right here on PhillyVoice (Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and on @foxphlgambler (Mon.-Weds., 6-8 p.m.). You can also catch him on FOX 29 Good Day and on his new show Props & Locks Friday nights on FOX 29.

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