It’s fair for anyone to claim 2020 has been a bad year. A worldwide pandemic will do that. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has first-hand experience contracting the virus in August. His already bad year has gotten even worse as the Philadelphia Eagles started the season with a woeful 0-2 record. Just when Pederson didn’t think things could get any worse, they did, and it was from a very unlikely source and in full display for all to see.
Doug Pederson contracts COVID-19
In early August, the Philadelphia Eagles announced head coach Doug Pederson had tested positive for COVID-19. The coach, who was asymptomatic at the time of his test, experienced minimal symptoms and was able to work remotely.
In his absence, assistant head coach Duce Staley ran operations on site. After Pederson self-quarantined for 10 days, he returned to work ready to go.
“I was chomping,” Pederson told reporters, per FOX 29’s Kristen Rodgers. “I stayed engaged virtually with the team. I was able to watch the practices and stay up with everything the team did.”
Eagles struggle to an 0-2 start
Despite an almost non-existent offseason and no preseason games due to the pandemic, Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles expected to build off the team’s 2019 performance when they won the NFC East division before losing 17-0 to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round.
The beginning of the 2020 season, however, couldn’t have started off any more poorly for the Eagles. Philadelphia has opened the season with an 0-2 record and it hasn’t been pretty. The season-opening game set a bad precedent when the Eagles jumped out to a 17-0 lead, only to watch the Washington Football Team come back and score 27 unanswered points for the win.
Week 2 was just as painful as the visiting LA Rams came into Lincoln Financial Field, where they jumped out to an early advantage and led 14-3 after the first quarter. The Rams never relinquished the lead, eventually winning 37-19.
Doug Pederson expresses frustration in press conference
Understandably unhappy about his team’s lackluster start, Doug Pederson revealed his level of frustration in his Wednesday press conference. It all occurred when a reporter asked the Philadelphia Eagles coach about quarterback Carson Wentz and his early struggles. When questioned why Wentz is missing short passes that are “sort of like layups,” Pederson fired back.
“Have you played quarterback in the National Football League?” he condescendingly asked the reporter. When the reporter indicated he hadn’t, Pederson continued.
“Okay. They’re not layups. There isn’t a throw out here that’s a layup. Some of it is just timing with young guys. Some of it is just Carson just being not accurate at that particular time. Could be that there is a defensive guy that flashed a hand where he’s got to change his arm angle at the split second. There are all kinds of reasons for accuracy. These are things that we continue to work on and will continue to work on the entire season.”
Doug Pederson gets roasted by NFL Media Research team
On Wednesday night, someone who manages the NFL Media Research Department Twitter account felt compelled to correct Pederson on the topic of layups. The account posted a tweet, which has since been deleted, that included numerous data points suggesting that Wentz has indeed struggled on the layups and performed even worse on the tougher throws.
Then, randomly, the tweet took a strange and somewhat vindictive tone, pointing out Pederson’s lack of success as an NFL quarterback. And of course, it provided receipts.
“Pederson is a good advocate for the difficulty of completing passes in the NFL. During his career as a starter for the Eagles & Browns he completed 53.4 pct of his passes and had a 57.9 passer rating. Both were bottom-3 in the NFL among 39 QBs with 10+ starts in that span.”
It’s hard to believe Doug Pederson was the Super Bowl-winning coach just three short seasons ago. But it’s 2020. Strange things have become the norm. And that includes official NFL Twitter accounts randomly putting NFL head coaches on blast.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.