- While the Dolphins publicly committed to QB Tua Tagovailoa as their starter in 2021, at least three players told Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald that they weren’t nearly as confident in the 2020 first-round pick.
- They said Tagovailoa didn’t look impressive in training camp and they doubted he’d be ready to play at all in 2020. The announcement he was starting after seven games caught many “totally off guard.”
- Salguero was told the players all like Tagovailoa, that he’s “humble” and “quiet” and “a competitor.” But aside from his accuracy, one defensive player said he didn’t see a standout trait and doubted Tagovailoa’s arm strength and playmaking ability on the move, especially compared to others like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen: “Those are the boys we got to beat, right? It looks right now like that’s going to be a big challenge.”
- One offensive player said the general consensus is that Ryan Fitzpatrick was the better option for the team at quarterback in 2020: “We always think next man up no matter what. But I saw Tua as the next man up because Fitz was better.”
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie held a press conference Monday to explain his decision to fire HC Doug Pederson just three seasons after he led the team to its first Super Bowl title in franchise history. The crux of Lurie’s rationale, at least how he explained it publicly, is that he and Pederson had different visions for what the Eagles would look like in 2021. With a number of aging veterans, holes on the roster and the second-biggest salary cap deficit of any team in the league, Lurie offered some rare honesty about the rebuilding year ahead in Philadelphia.
“I would say the difference in vision is much more about where we’re at as a franchise,” Lurie said via the Athletic’s Zach Berman. “It’s a transition point, and we’ve got to get younger, and we have to have a lot more volume of draft picks, and we have to accumulate as much talent as we possibly can that is going to work in the long run with a focus on the midterm and the long term and not on how to maximize 2021. And it’s almost not fair to Doug because his vision has to be: What can I do to fix this right away, and what coaches can I have that can help me get to a smoother 2021?
“My vision is much more: How can we get back to the success we’ve had and what we’re used to in the next two, three, four, five years? It’s not a difference of opinion. It’s a difference of where we’re both at, and I really feel it was in both of our interests to proceed on our own sort of paths that way.”
Lurie said he wasn’t thinking about whether Pederson deserve to keep his job after the team’s struggles the past three seasons after winning the title.
“It’s not based on: Does someone deserve to hold their job or deserve to get fired? That’s a different bar,” Lurie said. “Very few people probably after success deserve to lose their job. This is much more about the evaluation of whether the Eagles moving forward — our best option is to have a new coach, and that’s really, really what it’s about. It’s not about: Did Doug deserve to be let go? No, he did not deserve to be let go.”
- According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Pederson might take a full year off from coaching. Some of the current openings might intrigue Pederson, but Fowler’s source said it’s been a long year for Pederson.
- Adam Schefter reports that Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald has been contacted by multiple teams and has yet to agree to interview with any organization.