INDIANAPOLIS -- For the first time since the 2016 season ended with a win over the Cowboys at the Linc on Jan. 1, Doug Pederson spoke to reporters at the combine on Wednesday afternoon.
There was a bit of unfinished business.
His coaching staff will have just one change going into next season. The team fired wide receivers coach Greg Lewis and hired former Rams and Bears receivers coach Mike Groh to take his place.
At the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, last month, vice president of football operations Howie Roseman passed on the question, saying that all coaching decisions were Pederson's.
So, Doug, why the switch?
"You make tough decisions with players, you make tough decisions with staff, and for me, it was a tough one to make," Pederson said at the podium inside the Indiana Convention Center at his combine media availability. "But at the same time, I want to do everything that's right for the organization and I'm looking forward to working with Mike this spring."
Pederson made sure to thank Lewis for his one season of work under him in Philly. Lewis bounced back quickly from getting fired, moving on to take the receivers coach job under Andy Reid in Kansas City.
While Lewis didn't have a ton of talent to work with in 2016, his young players didn't discernably improve at all during the season. Pederson didn't get into the specifics of why the decision to fire Lewis was made, but it seems very possible this was the reason why.
When Lewis was hired by the Eagles last offseason, he had never held a position coach job in the NFL. The Eagles went with more experience this offseason when they hired Groh, who has been a position coach for the Bears and Rams.
"I sat down and had a great conversation with him," Pederson said. "We really hit it off. Some of his expertise, some of the players he's coached, past experiences, and a lot of recommendations from around the league that made him a great candidate for us."
Groh, 45, has worked with two of the biggest free-agent receivers in this year's class: Alshon Jeffery and Kenny Britt. He spent just one season with the Rams, in 2016. The coaching staff underwent a big change after the season, when Jeff Fisher was fired. Before then, Rowe was with the Bears for three seasons.
The last of those years in Chicago came under head coach John Fox, who allowed Groh to leave after the 2015 season to take a promotion (the label "passing game coordinator" was added to his title) with the Rams.
"Typically, guys that are under contract, as an organization you can say no," Fox said on Wednesday. "Sometimes you do. I've always been under the belief that you have to let people professionally grow. I thought he did a good job. He had a great opportunity. It didn't work out. Sometimes it doesn't. He's definitely a good football coach, sharp mind, understands the game. He's a very good teacher."
The Bears allowed the Rams to interview and then hire Groh after the 2015 season. The Eagles weren't as giving when it came to quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo this offseason.
With a vacancy at offensive coordinator, the Jets wanted to interview DeFilippo, but the Eagles blocked that request. While a report surfaced that Jeffrey Lurie was behind the decision, Roseman last month said all coaching decisions were left up to Pederson.
There hadn't been an opportunity to ask Pederson about the decision until Wednesday.
"The biggest thing for me was, I took a lesson from a coach many years ago," he said. "It's hard to let good coaches go. DeFilippo has a great relationship with Carson, myself. He is a great coach in the National Football League. And I felt strongly about keeping him, especially in Carson's second year. The development, the growth process and keeping him intact. That was the decision with that."