A report by The Athletic on the behind-the-scenes workings of the Philadelphia Eagles front office shows a toxic culture built on an uneven power structure.
Sheil Kapadia, Bo Wulf and Zach Berman cited sources close to the organization, who gave them information on the "downfall" of the Eagles in recent seasons. One of the main sticking points was the micromanagement of coach Doug Pederson, who was fired after the 2020 season.
"[Pederson] was ridiculed and criticized for every decision," one source told The Athletic. "If you won by three, it wasn't enough. If you lost on a last-second field goal, you're the worst coach in history."
Pederson was reportedly forced to sit down with owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman every Tuesday, meetings in which his decision-making was regularly questioned and criticized.
"They treated him like a baby," a source added.
Following the 2019 season, Eagles management reportedly threatened to fire Pederson if he did not let go of offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch. While sources close to Lurie said no "ultimatum" was given, Groh and Walch were fired. A similar situation reportedly played out in 2016 when management wanted then-offensive coordinator Frank Reich fired, but Pederson fought to keep Reich. The Eagles would win a Super Bowl with Reich as their offensive coordinator.
"The fact that Doug had the success he did with all the s--t going on in the building, sometimes I look at our Super Bowl rings, and I’m like, 'Holy cow, I don’t know how we did it,'" one source said.
Lurie has become an increasingly prominent voice in football operations. Roseman has become his right-hand man, maintaining a prominent role in decision-making despite criticism from fans.
The Eagles have seemingly been one of the worst-managed franchises in football in recent seasons. Their roster lacks both strong young talent and salary-cap room to replenish the locker room. They spent most of this offseason jettisoning veterans and taking large cap hits to move away from players management no longer considered part of the core, most notably quarterback Carson Wentz.
The Eagles will enter the 2021 season expected to be among the worst teams in football, with Pederson replaced by Nick Sirianni. Ironically, Sirianni spent the last three seasons as the Colts' offensive coordinator under Reich, the man Lurie and Roseman once wanted gone.