Eagles options to replace Doug Pederson
Updated: Jan 21
Not even two weeks after the controversial loss to the Washington Football Team, Jeffrey Lurie and the Philadelphia Eagles have let go of Doug Pederson. The team is now on the hunt for a new head coach.
The news may have come to a shock to Eagles fans, as reports made it seem like Pederson’s job was safe for at least another year. However, Lurie also made it clear this week that a new chapter is being written in regards to this organization. Pederson didn’t agree with that direction.
At the same time, it could have been a more simple decision for Lurie. An ESPN report cited Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz’s relationship as “fractured.” Wentz’s trade request, also reported multiple times by ESPN, could have boiled down to a “him or me” situation from butting heads with Pederson.
Aside: The changes shouldn’t stop there. Lurie has made it clear that he’s not upheaving the front office, which doesn’t make sense given the coaching transition. If you’re starting a new chapter, why is Howie Roseman allowed to stick around?
Anyway, the Eagles need a new head coach. Several names have been mentioned around the football world, and many of them bring varying skill sets to the table. Defensive coordinators, OC’s, positional coaches and even college guys have all been churned through the rumor mill.
Duce Staley, the Eagles assistant head coach, has been mentioned a lot. In fact, Lurie explicitly talked about him in the presser on Monday. Though Staley is well respected by players past and present, an in-house hire may not be what the Eagles need, especially if the goal is to start a new chapter at the organization.
Two outside hires that come to mind are Mike Kafka and Eric Bieniemy, the Kansas City Chiefs’ QB coach and OC respectively. It is tough to hate these hires as they work for a team that has one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, as well as arguably the best quarterback.
The team has also looked at 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who as of Wednesday is set to meet with the Eagles, but a lot of signs point towards him going to New York to coach the Jets.
The next big name thrown out there was former Jets coach and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles. Bowles was previously the (interim) DC in Philly back in 2012, and knows the city well, so the transition could prove to come easily.
University of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has also been mentioned. I have reservations about hiring coaches from the college level though, especially after what the Eagles went through with Chip Kelly. Riley would have an immense amount of pressure to succeed, and Lurie would also have to pay a pretty penny to get him to leave the Sooner State.
But before the organization moves on for good, let's give Pederson his due. Even including the atrocity that was this past season, the team managed to have a winning record throughout his five years as head coach at 42-37-1. That is no small feat and should not be overlooked. He also got us to the playoffs three of the five years, finishing with a 4-2 record in those high-level bouts. And most importantly, he brought Philly its first ever Super Bowl. Not even the most cold-hearted fans can take that away.