Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson finally speaks about his sudden departure
Until Tuesday, Doug Pederson stayed silent on his firing as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
When he finally did comment on the record to NBC 10's John Clark, he said there were no hard feelings but did admit to a few regrets.
“It’s water under the bridge,” he said.
Still, he would have liked the opportunity to return in 2021 following a disastrous 4-11-1 record in 2020 to fix all that went wrong and then some. But he wasn’t willing to do it without having say on his assistant coaches, which owner Jeffrey Lurie was unwilling to provide.
“I’ve done that in my time there and obviously I’m going to always continue to stand up for the guys that I want to surround myself with and try to put my best foot forward,” he said. “I feel like as the head coach, you should have that opportunity to have the guys around you. Because then it’s on me, then it’s my decision. If it goes south at that point, then that’s something I have to live with.
“I’m always going to stand up for those guys, whether they’re coaches, whether they’re players, front-office people. Because you want to surround yourself with guys that are loyal, guys that are going to have your back and guys that are going to stand up for you because I’m going to stand up for every one of those players in that locker room, which I did for five years. And obviously my coaches are the same.”
Pederson reiterated that he understood where Lurie is coming from and looks back on his tenure as a huge success.
“I just continue to focus on those positives and think about my time there and think about if this were the time — and obviously this was the time — for me to leave, well guess what, I’m going out on a high note,” he said. “I’m going out on top. I’m going out as a Super Bowl-winning head coach in Philadelphia. Hopefully, I’ll be welcomed back in the city one day, whether I’m coaching on the other sideline or just coming back to visit. I look forward to those moments.”
Pederson also disputed the suggestion that his relationship with quarterback Carson Wentz deteriorated to the point where it couldn’t be salvaged.
Nevertheless, he has moved on and hopes to coach again.