Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is taking criticism from all angles for his decision to pull Jalen Hurts late in Sunday’s loss to the Washington Football Team, even from Dickie V
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson’s tanking against the Washington Football Team will definitely not get him on the list of any scintillating, sensational diaper dandies, baby!
ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale posted a video to Twitter trashing Pederson for his decision to go to third string quarterback Nate Sudfeld late in a close game with playoff implications.
The Eagles defeat blocked the Giants from the playoffs.
“Please don’t tell me you played to win,” Vitale said. “You bring in a kid that hadn’t taken a snap all year, put him in that position, when the game meant so much in the NFL. Playoffs at stake, millions of dollars at stake. No question. You can’t defend it!”
Vitale went on to call the decision a “disgrace” and “bush league all the way.” But I think the best moment of the video is at the end, when Dickie V calls out Pederson to admit it, then abruptly changes tone and says “Take care!”
This comes after pundits across the football world took issue with the decision, and reports today are that numerous Eagles are unhappy with Pederson and the organization.
It is worth noting that while Vitale points out that there were millions of dollars on the line around the NFL based on the outcome of the Eagles-Washington game, the same is true of the Eagles improved draft capital. That also has real world value. That’s why I think more attention should be paid to fixing the draft system to prevent situations in which teams are incentivized to tank.
As long as that much is on the line, there will be massive rewards for teams to intentionally lose to improve their draft status in meaningless games. Rather than expecting them to be concerned with the playoff implications for other teams, the league should remove the temptation all together.
Because at the end of the day, the Eagles could have thrown that game far more subtly and there would be no outrage.
In a way, people aren’t mad that the Eagles lost on purpose. They’re mad that Doug Pederson and the organization were so ham-fisted in their execution of the tanking. That’s what disrespected the game.