One day before the start of the season and we’ve got some weird drama.
Apparently Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wants Doug Pederson’s head coaching job, according to three anonymous players and an employee per a report by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
At the very least, the optics aren’t favorable. One Eagles staffer said the only coach who probably doesn’t think Schwartz is trying to undercut Pederson is Pederson. Three players, who requested anonymity, said that it has become well-known in the locker room that Schwartz is waiting to usurp power.
“He walks around the building like he thinks he’s the head coach,” one player said.
So this all circles back to Mike Lombardi again. Lombardi, the former general manager of the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders that drafted the biggest bust of all-time JaMarcus Russell and hired Rob Chudzinski, had the gall to proclaim that Pederson was the least qualified coach he’s seen in the 30-plus years he’s seen in the NFL. Schwartz and Lombardi are friends off the field and according to McLane, his comments may not have been a coincidence.
“Don’t link the two of us together in this because we’re friends because that’s not the case,” Lombardi said when asked Tuesday on Comcast’s Philly Sports Talk if the source of his blistering assessment was Schwartz. “One thing people know about me … I say what I think. I don’t have to wait for somebody else to tell me.”
And yet, Eagles coaches and players have made the link. Lombardi’s initial comments, which appeared on the web site The Ringer, have only fueled the belief from some in the NovaCare Complex that Schwartz has designs on Pederson’s job.
Below were Lombardi’s initial comments from The Ringer.
“Now, everybody knows Pederson isn’t a head coach. He might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL. Pederson was barely a coordinator before he became head coach. Can you imagined if we elected a United States president who didn’t have any real training? Sorry, don’t answer that.
“Look, the Eagles looked increasingly sloppy and unprepared as the 2016 season limped along. That ain’t changing in ’17. Only Carson Wentz can save Pederson’s job, and Wentz actually got worse during his rookie year, not better. When will the Eagles admit their mistake? Will they throw away 2017 by stubbornly sticking to the Pederson Principle?”
While Schwartz might “walk around” like he’s the head coach, that’s just the outspoken personality he is. This report feels way overblown, especially coming from a guy that was kicked out of the Eagles’ press box last year. When Schwartz was hired initially, he was essentially viewed as a “co-head coach” and the coach of the defense due to Pederson’s inexperience and never being a head coach, but I’m on Jimmy Kempski’s side on this one.
I don’t think Schwartz is trying to use Lombardi. I can think of a thousand other humans better served for that purpose.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) September 9, 2017
Head coaching jobs always open up at the end of the year, why would Schwartz want to wait for the Eagles’ one to open up? If Schwartz’s defense looks impressive and finishes in the top 10 of most defensive statistics and metrics, he’ll get head coaching interviews and potentially a gig next offseason. While I don’t think he’s settled for being a defensive coordinator for the rest of his NFL coaching career, he’s not gunning for Pederson’s job.
Like Jeffrey Lurie said in his impromptu press conference on Thursday.
Click bait and hot takes.