Troy Aikman thinks Doug Pederson was fired because he wanted Jalen Hurts over Carson Wentz

Dave Zangaro
·3 min read

Troy Aikman thinks Pederson was fired because he wanted Hurts over Wentz originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Troy Aikman said he reached out to Doug Pederson soon after he heard the news that Pederson had been fired on Monday.

While Aikman admitted he didn’t have any direct knowledge of what was said in the meeting between Pederson and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, he has a theory about why Pederson was shown the door.

Aikman, on the Michael Irvin Podcast on PodcastOne, said he thinks it was all about the quarterback position.

“What I gathered it came down to was a difference of opinion as to how they were going to move forward at the quarterback position,” Aikman said. “I sensed that, here Jeffrey Lurie, the owner, has paid a lot of money to Carson Wentz and they’re on the hook with him, they can’t get out of that contract right away. And yet, it’s my belief that Doug Pederson felt that Jalen Hurts was probably the quarterback going forward, and how does that mesh?

“Without having any understanding of what took place in that meeting, I think they said, well, there’s a difference of opinion as to how they’re going to go forward and correct this past season. I believe it all came down to how they’re going to handle Carson Wentz. And that’s why Doug Pederson is now looking for a job.”

Before Pederson was fired, we heard reports about a deteriorating relationship between head coach and quarterback. Pederson and Wentz had previously called their relationship a marriage and it seemed like they were heading toward a divorce.

An ESPN report said the relationship between Pederson and Wentz was irreparable, which made it look like it would either be Pederson or Wentz staying beyond 2020.

Of course, during his lengthy press conference on Monday, Lurie said the decision to fire Pederson was much more complex than that. He said it had “multiple, multiple variables” and “it’s not based on a quarterback or a particular position group.”

“I look more at the whole picture,” Lurie said. “It's not about a particular player or a particular group, and that's true for going forward.”

Ultimately, Lurie said the decision was made because of a difference of opinion as it related to the overall vision of the team and the offense moving forward. It seemed like Pederson wanted to maximize the short-term window and Lurie thinks the Eagles are facing a rebuilding or retooling phase, whatever you want to call it.

Pederson first decided to bench Wentz in the second half of the Green Bay game back on Dec. 6. Hurts played well enough to earn the next start and then played well enough to start the final four games of the 2020 season. Wentz in 12 games in 2020 was awful. Sure, the entire offense was out of whack, but he regressed to the point where he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.

Aikman made the point in the podcast that a franchise quarterback is supposed to help teams get past their inefficiencies and Wentz compounded their problems in 2020.

“It’s going to be a project for whoever becomes the head coach,” Aikman said. “They’re going to have to build him up to see if they can get him back to where he has the confidence again and he can go out and play at a high level.”

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