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Pederson reportedly expected to remain Eagles' head coach in 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Despite a three-year regression and despite a miserable season that had the Eagles losing a playoff race in one of the worst divisions in NFL history, there won’t be a head coaching change this offseason.
Doug Pederson, the only Super Bowl-winning head coach in franchise history, is expected to return for the 2021 season, according to a report by ESPN. Pederson will reportedly meet with Jeff Lurie on Tuesday to discuss his future staff.
That coaching staff will not include defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who will let his contract expire and take next season off.
Next year will be Pederson’s sixth at the helm after the Eagles hired him in 2016. In his five years as head coach, Pederson has a 42-36-1 record, but it was fair to worry about his job security after the Eagles bottomed out with a 4-10-1 campaign so far in 2020.
Just last week, the day after the Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention, Pederson seemed awfully confident about returning for next season.
“I’ll say they've usually been a day or two after our final game that he and I get together,” Pederson said on Friday. “Normally the day after, as you guys know, we're wrapping up the exit physicals, wrapping up things with the team. That takes pretty much the majority of the day. It's usually the next day or the day after that that he and I will get together.
“Look, as far as the reassurances go, listen, I expect to be here in 2021 until something else happens. But that's the confidence I have in my ability, and that's how I'm going to approach the next few days and really 2021.”
It turns out Pederson was right to be confident as he’ll be retained for at least one more season. Pederson’s current contract runs through the 2022 season. It’s rare for a head coach to head into a season with one year left on his contract, so the Eagles will have another decision to make after the 2021 season.
While the Eagles have been to the playoffs in three of Pederson’s five seasons as head coach and are still just a few years removed from the first Super Bowl in franchise history, they had one of their worst seasons ever in 2020. And that continued a troubling trend.
2016: 7-9; last in NFC East
2017: 13-3; won Super Bowl
2018: 9-7; lost in divisional round
2019: 9-7; lost in wild card round
2020: 4-10-1; last in NFC East with one game left
Pederson didn’t have his best season in 2020, but he was far from the only problem. Roster construction, poor drafting, poor quarterback play and injuries also helped the Eagles become a massive disappointment this season.
Now that Pederson is back, we’ll have to see what the staff and team look like around him. Last week, he seemed confident he knew how to get the Eagles back into form, but didn’t really get into specifics.
“I know exactly how to get things fixed,” Pederson said. “We've won a lot of games around here. Been in the post-season three out of the five years I've been here and a championship and all that. I've seen it, I've done it. That's where my confidence lies.”
The big question now is what happens at the quarterback position. Will the Eagles make a decision between Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts this offseason? Or will they elect to bring them both back in 2021 to compete for the starting quarterback job?
For a long time, it seemed like Pederson and Wentz were largely married but the two certainly didn’t produce together during the 2020 season and could be heading for a divorce.
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