I mean, he kind of has a point. Why not wear a raccoon skin hat when you've got a beard like that to go with it? He describes the two-tone nature of his mustache/beard as a "tiger-ish tint."
Head coach Doug Pederson, whose team has tumbled out of the NFC playoff race in recent weeks, said he’s been assured by the Eagles’ management team that he’ll be back for a second season in 2017.
Pederson said Monday he meets weekly with owner Jeff Lurie and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, who have told him his job is secure.
Asked if he believes his job is safe, Pederson answered, “For sure. Yeah.”
Asked if Lurie and Roseman — who, along with team president Don Smolenski, formed the search committee that hired Pederson — had emphasized that to him, Pederson responded, “Yes. Yes.”
The Eagles are 5-7 after a 3-0 start in Pederson’s first season as a head coach at any level above high scool.
And it’s not the 5-7 record that’s raised questions about Pederson, it’s the way the Eagles got there. They are 2-7 in their last nine games, and they’ve lost the last three by double digits. They’re 4-1 at home but 1-6 on the road with five straight losses.
Lurie has never fired a coach after his first season or even his second. He dismissed Chip Kelly with a week remaining on his deal, and hes fired Rich Kotite after his fourth year, Ray Rhodes after his third year and Andy Reid after his 14th season.
The last Eagles head coach who was one-and-done was Wayne Millner, who was fired and replaced by Bo McMillin 10 games into the 1951 season with the Eagles 2-8.
Sunday’s 32-14 loss to a 3-7-1 Bengals team was the Eagles’ worst this year. The Eagles trailed 19-0 at halftime and 29-0 in the third quarter.
Since their 3-0 start, the Eagles have the third-worst record in the NFL, ahead of only Kelly’s 49ers (0-9) and the Browns (0-9).
Pederson said all the feedback he’s gotten from Lurie and Roseman has been positive.
“From both of them, it's been 100-percent support on everything,” he said. “I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week, and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things, and every week it’s very positive.”
Unless the Eagles win out, this would become only the second season in franchise history they opened up 3-0 but didn’t finish with a winning record. The 1993 team was actually 4-0 before finishing 8-8.
The Eagles have never opened up 3-3 and finished with a losing record, but they’d have to go 3-1 the rest of the way to avoid that.
Meanwhile, Pederson, who has spoken lately about the Eagles’ being on a long-term building plan similar to the Raiders or Seahawks, said it’s not fair for any owner to make a coaching change after just one season.
“I just don't think, personally, you can base a guy's career on one season,” Pederson said. “I think you've got to give it time to develop. We have a rookie quarterback. We’ve got to have time to develop this quarterback. It just doesn't happen overnight.
“So by no means have they expressed anything to me, and it's been positive and very supportive.”
Neither Lurie nor Roseman regularly speaks with the media. An email for Roseman asking for a comment on Pederson's remarks was not immediately answered.
Andre Blake continues to rack up the accolades.
A couple of weeks after being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, the rising Philadelphia Union star was named to the MLS Best XI team as one of the league’s top players in 2016.
The rest of the team included:
• Forwards Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), David Villa (New York City FC) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
• Midfielders Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Sacha Kljestan (Red Bulls), Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas) and Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
• Defenders Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids) and Jelle Van Damme (Galaxy)
Blake’s inclusion on the Best XI is not a surprise considering he already took home top goalkeeper honors. Even though he didn’t have the best numbers in the league, he made the spectacular look ordinary in his first full season as an MLS starter.
But it is unique for the Union, who haven’t had a player make the Best XI since Sebastien Le Toux was included for his 14-goal, 11-assist effort in Philly's 2010 expansion season.
Union winger Chris Pontius, who recently won the 2016 MLS Breakout Player of the Year award, made Best XI while with D.C. United in 2012. Former Union players to be honored on the prestigious list were Bakary Soumare with Chicago in 2008 and Justin Mapp with Chicago in 2006.
Another big honor like this will likely only increase the chatter that Blake could be sold to a big team in Europe soon. But a couple of weeks ago, the Union goalkeeper insisted his only focus for 2017 is on Philadelphia.
“From a personal standpoint, I’m hoping to have an even better season than 2016,” he said at the time. “To be able to go in and be consistent and do everything I can for the Union — and maybe be the goalkeeper to get them their first [MLS] Cup.”