Dan Orlovsky is a pretty smart guy. He’s typically reasonable and fair in how he’s viewed the Eagles and the Carson Wentz situation over the past two seasons.
Unfortunately he’s on the wrong side of the tanking “debate,” which should not be a debate. The Eagles took steps to lose to the Redskins on Sunday night because it helped them improve their draft position.
Thursday morning, on John Kincade’s 97.5 the Fanatic show, Orlovsky took the “don’t lie to us” angle, which is flimsy and overblown.
“To the handling of the game, I think one of the things people dislike the most, no matter who you are, is being lied to. And being made to feel like we’re stupid. We all have a relatively good idea of what happened. Just say that – ‘At the end of the day, the number one goal for us as a football team, was to not win that game.'”
They can’t say that. Doug can’t come out and say “we rested starters and pulled our quarterback in an effort to lose the game.” He’d get absolutely killed for that publicly and disciplined by the NFL. That’s why you just keep it quiet and bullshit the media and the fans, who, as Dan notes, already had a “relatively good idea of what happened.”
“Number two, (say that) ‘we were going to play Nate Sudfeld, indifferent to the situation (within) the football game. That was my decision as the General Manager, just so everyone knows.’ I think the clarity of the communication after the game should have been to the football team before, and then after, because people don’t like to be lied to.”
Now this is the correct take. Orlovsky is 100% right when he suggests that the communication surrounding this decision was poor and incomplete. It complicated a situation that didn’t need complicating. If Doug simply pulled Jalen Hurts at halftime, and had everybody on the same page, this wouldn’t be a thing at all.
But we also understand why coaches and executives lie. This happens with regularity in professional sports, because sometimes telling the truth comes with showing your hand and painting yourself into a corner, and pushing storylines and narratives into non-beneficial territory. For instance, there is literally zero benefit in Doug Pederson saying that Carson Wentz wants a trade, because all he would be doing is damaging team leverage in moving the quarterback. Goodwill among the fan base does not mean anything when it compromises tangible football items in the process.
One of the things you heard frequently this week from Eagles fans who hated the tank was “don’t insult our intelligence.” Really?
You know what’s insulting? That you guys don’t understand that the Birds were trying to lose the game to improve their long-term outlook. That’s the insult. It’s insulting that you would think the integrity of football and the New York Giants’ playoff chances are more important than having the Philadelphia Eagles do what’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles.
We are lied to constantly, by coaches, players, executives, and anybody who works in public relations. The onus is on us, the fan, to be smart enough to identify clear cut, incredibly obvious situations when they jump off the TV screen and smack us right in the face.