Eagles coach Doug Pederson confident he'll return in 2021

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ROB MAADDI (AP Pro Football Writer)
·3 min read
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles aren't going to the playoffs for the first time since Doug Pederson's first season as coach in 2016 and he's confident he'll stick around to get them back to the postseason.

The Eagles (4-10-1) were the first team eliminated in the woeful NFC East, which will send a team with a losing record to the playoffs.

Pederson led Philadelphia to the franchise's only Super Bowl title in his second season, a playoff win the following year and a division championship last season. The team is 23-26-1, including playoffs, since the Super Bowl victory but Pederson has two years remaining on his contract so it would be a surprise if owner Jeffrey Lurie fired him after one down season in which the team had a slew of injuries to key starters.

''In regard to my status, obviously Jeffrey and I have a lot of conversations throughout the season. Our main focus is on this season right now currently,'' Pederson said Monday. ''And really my confidence lies in myself, that I know exactly how to get things fixed. We've won a lot of games around here, been in the postseason 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. So these conversations that we're talking about will be at the appropriate time.''

Philadelphia's biggest issue is lack of talent on offense, defense and special teams. The team has drafted only one Pro Bowl player - benched quarterback Carson Wentz - since 2014.

However, Pederson doesn't plan to seek more power regarding personnel decisions. He prefers to have input and let general manager Howie Roseman and his staff handle acquiring players.

''You get into this business, especially as a head coach, and you do it because you love being around the players and you want to teach football,'' Pederson said. ''I want to be a part of the solution. I want to be a part of the evaluation process. I want to be a voice that's heard, and I want to have that collaborative communication with Howie and his staff and be a part of that process.

''I don't necessarily want to cross that line because it takes you away from doing your job as the head football coach. I like being on the football side of things as a former football player and obviously now a coach. That's where my passion lies. But yet, I want to be part of the solution. I want to help evaluate and help bring guys in here that can help us win.''

The toughest decision the Eagles face in the offseason involves the quarterback position. Wentz was pulled in Week 13. Jalen Hurts provided a spark but has produced mixed results.

Down 30-17 against the Cowboys on Sunday, Hurts had consecutive turnovers in the red zone in the fourth quarter.

WHAT'S WORKING

Hurts has 238 yards rushing in three starts. His running ability makes the read-option one of Philly's best offensive plays.

NEEDS HELP

The secondary, offensive line, receiving group and linebackers need significant improvement.

STOCK UP

The team's draft stock. The loss to Washington guaranteed the Eagles will pick no lower than 10th and they could get as high as No. 3. They'll enter Week 17 with the sixth pick.

STOCK DOWN

Cornerback Michael Jacquet, an undrafted rookie forced to play because of injuries, gave up seven catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

INJURED

Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox left the game with a stinger. The Eagles were outscored 34-3 after his departure.

KEY NUMBER

513 - The defense allowed more than 500 yards for the second straight game.

NEXT STEPS

The Eagles host Washington (6-9) on Sunday night. If Philly wins, the Cowboys-Giants winner clinches the NFC East.

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