On Thursday January, 14th things happened quickly after the New York Giants promoted offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to head coach. The Philadelphia Eagles, who had been rumored to desire his services missed out and were sent scrambling for former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
Tom Coughlin declined to take the Eagles job for a myriad of reasons. After losing their backup plan the Eagles settled on their last choice and they look like failures. Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson is the next Philadelphia Eagles head coach, and that is a mistake.
Pederson, a former journeyman backup quarterback and journeyman coach was pushed on the Eagles by former coach and current Chiefs coach Andy Reid as his protege. Pederson, a quiet and friendly yes man is basically the opposite of Chip Kelly.
When Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie failed going for the exciting young college coach who had many thought, many ideas and a big ego he went in the opposite direction. Lurie went for familiarity, through Reid, he went for a conservative and traditional style coach who will never get in a power struggle and has always been in the NFL. Congratulations Jeffrey Lurie, you have fallen prey to the classic over-correction.
By playing it as safe as there is and blindly following the lead of executive vice president Howie Roseman (who must have something on Lurie because their is no other explanation for such a strong devotion) Lurie fell into a trap.
While the top candidates may have slipped through Lurie and the Eagles’ grasp there were still quite a few candidates who were never looked at. College coaches like Stanford’s David Shaw were ready for the move up to the NFL and could have been huge successes had they gotten the call.
Coordinators like the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, and defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia were both ready to get a shot or second shot at being a head coach. All the Eagles had to do was wait and interview them or even request an interview before the end of the playoffs.
Finally there were coordinators available now like Teryl Austin the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions who had more than earned a shot. Austin was my first choice for the job and was rumored early to be a candidate but never got an interview.
It would be bad enough if the Eagles simply played it safe and went with a traditional guy, but did they even go with the right traditional guy? In recent history the best coaches (New England’s Bill Belichick, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera, etc.) are defensive guys.
On a team that could use a brilliant defensive mind to fix their defense and take advantage of their excellent personnel, not to mention hire offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur for the same role to accompany such a coach, it leaves me wondering what Jeffrey Lurie was thinking.
While there is always the chance that Doug Pederson is the next Dick Vermeil I simply can’t see it, I imagine we will be wondering who our coach will be again soon.
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