There’s one candidate that would work as a wide receiver coach for the Philadelphia Eagles that no one’s mentioning, and it’s a name Birds fans should know.
For all of the positives that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has, there’s one glaring negative that we’ve all been discussing for a while. He has a very spotty history with the coaching hires that he’s been directly responsible for.
Think about it. Doug inherited Duce Staley, a man that’s survived three coaching regimes. Jim Schwartz‘s approval rating runs both hot and cold, depending on who you’re polling. Many of the guys he’s responsible for were awful decisions, but one aspect of Pederson’s era in Philly has a huge asterisk beside it.
Why can’t this man find a wide receivers coach?
During Doug’s four-year run, he’s had four different coaches at the position: Greg Lewis in 2016, Mike Groh in 2017, Gunter Brewer in 2018, and Carson Walch in 2019. As you all know, Groh was promoted to the offensive coordinator position after Frank Reich was hired to lead the Indianapolis Colts. The other three were relieved of their duties after a single season.
Two of those decisions made sense. Carson Walch was awful and Gunter Brewer was really better suited to coach at the NCAA level. Lewis is the mystery. He may have actually needed time to grow. Since his dismissal, he’s been hired by the Kansas City Chiefs and has done a wonderful job there. He’ll compete for a Super Bowl on February 2nd.
The wide receiver coaches position as of January 25th remains vacant, but there’s been interest shown by a few guys around the league. Hines Ward and Bobby Engram come to mind, but there’s one name that isn’t being mentioned, and it should be.
What about Ike Hilliard? Right there, several of you probably asked yourselves ‘who is that?’. Here’s an answer to that question and why Hilliard would be an excellent candidate.
Hilliard was drafted seventh overall by the New York Giants in 1997. A twelve-year career with the Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers eventually led to an opportunity to coach, first as a volunteer with the UFL’s Florida Tuskers in 2009. He was promoted yo their wide receivers coaching position in 2010.
In 2011, Hilliard had the opportunity to become an assistant wide receivers coach for the Miami Dolphins. He took the same role with the Washington Redskins in 2012 and with the Buffalo Bills a year later in 2013. In 2014, the Redskins hired him for a second time. During his coaching tenure in the NFL, he’s mentored Brandon Marshall, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Chris Hogan, Marquise Goodwin, and a guy Eagles fans may have heard of, DeSean Jackson.
He played in 161 games during his NFL career, and his knowledge of the game, especially as it relates to being successful as a wide receiver, is extensive. He’s been out of coaching since the end of 2014, but trust and believe he knows how to do the job. He won’t be a name that’s mentioned often and in all honesty, he’s a guy people forget about but he’s forgotten more about the game than many of the more popular names being mentioned have learned at this point of their coaching careers.
Many fans will disagree with the Hilliard idea, but come on. Many of those same fans seriously thought that Jay Gruden and Josh McCown were slam dunks as offensive coordinators, and they also think Jim Caldwell is a bad idea for the same position. That alone should tell you all that you need to know about fans and their opinions on important matters such as this one.