More On Doug Pederson’s Senior Night Act

Starring Nate Sud.

Jim Rome
January 05, 2021 - 10:24 am
Nate Sudfeld

USA Today

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If you were drawing up a list of people happy about Doug Pederson’s Senior Night act with Nate Sudfeld against Washington on Sunday, it’s a pretty short list. A very, very short list. You have to think Nate Sud himself was pleased to get some game action. And Doug was probably glad that he was able to get that guy who’d been there for four years some snaps. At least that was the crap he was shoveling after the game. 

And there are probably members of the Eagles front office who were also pleased with the move, because let’s be real, the sixth pick in the draft is definitely better than the ninth.

So as long as we’re being totally real, losing that game was the best outcome for future of the Eagles. This season was already a catastrophe for them… might as well start prepping for next year and making sure you get the best picks you can.

So in a strictly analytical sense, getting Nate Sud into the game and making sure that Nate Sud lost the game was a smart move.

But this isn’t just strictly about analytics. Because it’s also about people and more specifically, the 52 people in that locker room not named Nate Sud who didn’t want the final game of their season turned into Senior Night for the third stringer. You know, the guys who were still out there playing for more than a participation trophy….the dudes who are professionals and out there, not tanking for a better draft pick but playing because they’re professional, and wired to compete and win and do their jobs, regardless of the situation, every time they step on the field. That’s what pretty much every other guy in that locker room was doing: especially in the final game of the season; especially in prime time and especially against a rival, in a game that had playoff implications for others. 

But there was weird Dougie P selling after the game that he really was trying to win; and really was trying to get good Nate Sud some snaps, because ya know, he’d been there for four years. Never mind that it was both a lie and the lamest take ever, Pederson wasn’t done. In fact, yesterday, he had a new explanation for why Nate Sud got into the game.  And it only made a bad situation, even worse.  Much worse…quote:

“We were struggling just a little bit to move the ball. Defensively, they kept us in the game with a couple of takeaways late. And my plan was to get Nate in the game. Nate’s a guy that’s very capable of running our system and executing, and [had] an opportunity to pull that game out last night.”

I didn’t think there could be an explanation worse than wanting to get Nate a few snaps because he’d been there for four years, but this is. Because now he’s saying it wasn’t a charity case, it was actually that he thought the third stringer could help. That the third stringer gave them their best chance to win.

What?! This guy hasn’t played all year. He’d thrown two passes since the end of the 2017 season. The hell made you think that he’s the guy who can pull that game out?

If he’s “very capable of running our system and executing” why had he been averaging less than one pass attempt per season until Sunday night?

And by the way, it’s not like your guy came in and lit it up, either. The guy who is supposed to be so capable threw a pick on his second pass, fumbled a snap on the second possession, was sacked twice, and averaged less than 3 yards per pass attempt. In other words, he was who the rest of us and the rest of your team thought he was, Nate Sudfeld, third stringer. 

A little free advice for you dug: When you’re in a bleeping hole, stop digging. Because that explanation was more idiotic than the ones you tried to float right after the game.  The only thing worse than putting him out there as some sort of reward for being with the team for four years is putting him out there because you thought he could he win. When you knew he couldn’t. Do we really look that stupid to you? Maybe we do. Maybe you thought you Jedi mind trick us with that bullcrap. But we’re all one thing: and really what the hell do we matter. The guys who really matter are the guys in your own locker room; the guys on your coaching staff. I’m curious what they all think. 

And if you’re wondering how the Nate Sud Experience went down with them, we’re starting to get a bit of an idea. And according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the answer is: pretty horribly.

Jeff McLane reports that “many Eagles players and coaches were shocked and outraged.” Every coach and GM talks about the importance of culture, but I’m not sure you want “shocked and outraged” to be the words used to describe the vibe in your locker room. But that’s usually the reaction you get when you realize the head coach not only doesn’t care if he wins, but is actually trying to lose. 

And it gets worse. According to McLane, Jason Kelce and another offensive starter went to Pederson and asked why he pulled the starting quarterback in a one-score game.

And while I wasn’t there, I’m guessing they weren’t exactly fired up about the idea of “getting Nate Sud some snaps” as the response.

Oh, the third stringer who’s been here for four years, yeah, let’s definitely get him into the game, coach. Makes sense: my bad.  

And there’s more. “Two defensive players had to be held back from approaching Pederson.”

Now, I want to stress the word choice. There is a big difference between two defensive players had to be held back from Pederson and two defensive players had to be held back from APPROACHING Pederson.

One is two guys looking to fight the head coach, the other is two guys looking to talk to the head coach. But if someone is being held back from APPROACHING the head coach, that tells me that there was something about the way they were looking to “approach” him that made other people think, we should stop this.

If you’re approaching the head coach to thank him for getting the third stringer some reps, I don’t think anyone is looking to hold them back. If those were two guys looking to rush up and congratulate the head coach on securing the sixth pick in the draft, I’m guessing they wouldn’t have been held back. 

And of course, the other question is: how did all of this play with Jalen Hurts, the guy who might be, could be, maybe isn’t the quarterback of the future?

McLane reports that “Hurts was distraught as well. Hurts was distraught, as well. Even though he had been told Wednesday that there was a chance Sudfeld could play, he couldn’t understand why Pederson would make the switch, sources close to the situation said.

The NBC broadcast caught Hurts on the bench after he was replaced apparently saying, “That’s not right.”

Awesome. The potential quarterback of the future is “distraught.” And that’s in addition to the other quarterback, Carson Wentz, reportedly being so pissed with Doug Pederson that the relationship can’t be healed and he wants out. Freaking incredible. The only quarterback in Philly who’s happy with Pederson right now is Nate Sud and I’m guessing even he’s a little bent that the coach put him in that spot and he’s taking all this crap now.

Again, this is Doug Pederson we’re talking about. This is a guy who won a Super Bowl as one of the brassest head coaches of all time. He was an absolute legend after that, a guy would have never had to buy another beer in that town for the rest of his life: he could have rode that win for decades. And now he’s got players questioning him, others having to be held back, and his quarterback’s room raging.  Not to mention questions about his job security. 

How the hell is that even possible. 

Remember when he won the Super Bowl? Remember when Jason Kelce was screaming his lungs out about Pederson? Remember when Eagles were in the streets eating horse crap to celebrate this guy’s genius. How did that guy fall that far that fast? Because this all is some Adam Gase bleep right there. Hope that was all worth it to move up three spots in the draft. Obviously it is to Pederson and the organization or they wouldn’t have put Sudfeld in, in the first place. Given the damage you’ve done to your reputation, and the locker room and the sport overall, you better get that draft pick right, Dougie: because after that. That’s what this is all about. And nothing else. Don’t screw up that draft dougie…because. You lit that joint on fire to get it.