According to a report last night, the Eagles are no longer interviewing candidates for their Head Coach vacancy. With Adam Gase taking over the reigns in Miami, that leaves five candidates who have been interviewed in Philadelphia..we’re going to rank them from least suited to most in an attempt to find the best fit in Philly.
5) Duce Staley
Staley is loved by his running backs and he’s loved by the fans. A former Eagle himself, if anyone knows what it takes to restore this team to winning ways it’s someone who’s witnessed both the rise and fall of an Offense. However, you can’t help but feel that he was interviewed with the lone intention of passing the Rooney Rule.
Staley was one of two coaches to survive the house cleaning after Reid was fired and it’s clear he’s both liked and respected in the organization..but he isn’t a favourite by any means. Many Philly natives would love to see a person that truly bleeds green become the new Head Coach but Staley is yet to become an Offensive coordinator and has only coached running backs.
Perhaps if Shurmur were to get the job then he would be an adequate fit as an OC but in terms of becoming the Head Coach, I feel that the jump is too big which unfortunately puts Staley below every remaining candidate.
4) Ben McAdoo
The Eagles 4th candidate to be interviewed was in my opinion their weakest who wasn’t an internal coach. McAdoo has played an integral part in the consistency of the Offense in his two years with the G-Men but also played an integral part in the Giants many 4th Quarter chokes this season.
McAdoo is said to be a grinder and someone that’s built for preparation. But my main worry is if the Giants are letting him interview elsewhere after interviewing in New York whilst they interview others, then there may be a quality he is lacking or something that would stop them promoting him to Head Coach and if that’s the case then Philly shouldn’t take the risk.
The other thing is that McAdoo’s system favours those deep balls for receivers..a system that has raised tempo and highlights the skills of both the Quarterback (Manning threw a 35 TD passes this season, a career high and a 93.6 career high passer rating) and the likes of Odell. The problem here is not that Sam Bradford wouldn’t be able to succeed..because if anything he would fly. It’s that there’s so much instability in the Eagles receiving core and they can’t create separation in the same way that a Beckham or a Randle can and until that’s addressed it would be hard to get behind such an adaptation. His top 10 Giants Offense can’t be blamed for their teams failure..but his system relies heavily on a consistent pair of hands and the current situation would suggest the Eagles have receivers that are anything but consistent as a unit.
3) Doug Pederson
There is absolutely a strong case to be made for Doug Pederson and everyone in Philadelphia knows it.
Pederson has experience with such a diversity of both Offensive and Defensive schemes that he’s almost too hard to ignore. He has a detailed history with Pat Shurmur which would only benefit the Eagles and naming some of the coaches he’s worked with is like naming an NFL movie cast list. Todd Bowles, Joe Philbin, Darrell Bevell, Mike Holmgren, Mike Sherman..just to name a few.
There are those who are sceptical because of the strong recommendation received from Andy Reid and they would be right to be. Others are sceptical because of his lack of playcalling despite such an extensive career..and they’d be right to be. However, by working with such an extensive list of Coaches both Offensive and Defensive, most recently someone of course who did take the Eagles to the Super Bowl and five NFC Championship games. He’s seen successful units and knows what it takes to turn an unsuccessful one right around..but is he the guy for Philly?
You can certainly make a strong case for Pederson but I think after this season not only will the Chiefs be reluctant to let him go (regardless of their playoff future) but in the time that it takes for him to realistically become available, the Eagles could risk losing out on some other names that perhaps interest them more than Pederson who is yet to coach an NFL team. Pederson would be a great fit for the Eagles, but they would be putting all of their cards on the table in hiring him.
2) Tom Coughlin
The decision to rank Coughlin so highly is going to cause a lot of controversy but we posted an article earlier this week on why he could well be the best fit. (you can read it here)
At 69, there is the argument that he’s either too old or is simply declining..but the positives outweigh the negatives..for me at least. A two time Super Bowl winner who’s in for the long haul and has developed Eli Manning into one of the modern games most recognisable names…imagine what he could do with a Sam Bradford who has shown what kind of upside he has.
The Eagles want a coach who’s the direct opposite of Chip according to Jeffery Lurie. Someone who can build relationships with players, who instantly demands respect and someone who will get the best out of his players..unifying a locker room instead of dividing one…that man is Tom Coughlin. A gritty, old school guy who gets the instant respect of anyone he’s in the presence of.
Coughlin can’t take all responsibility for the Giant’s lack of success and severe amount of choking this season. We don’t need justify what makes Coughlin such an outstanding candidate, if you fail to see that then you really should not be reading this article. However the question for the Eagles is do they want to build a franchise over the next 7-10 years with a young and upcoming Head Coach…or do they believe they already have the right pieces..they just need the right mind. That’s what the decision to hire Coughlin or not comes down to.
1) Pat Shurmur
For me, this is easy. The Eagles should hire Pat Shurmur. I have said it since the start of the coaching search and I’ll say i at what could well be the end of it. Shurmur is the perfect fit for the current situation in Philadelphia.
With 26 years of coaching experience at the NFL level and even more impressively an extended period in Philadelphia. Having worked as a TE/OL coach with the Eagles as well as a Quarterback coach later on before most recently becoming Offensive Coordinator, Shurmur knows this team..he’s seen it through the best of times and he’s seen it through some of the worst. He has relationships with the players, he has respect from his Offense..that’s the kind of Coach the Eagles need.
Talking of relationships there is also the Sam Bradford situation. Bradford’s future in the city of Brotherly Love could well come down to if the Eagles decide to hire Pat Shurmur. Shurmur was working with Bradford during his rookie season and the pair have both touched many times on how that relationship has benefitted them this season. He moulded McNabb into the elite that he became, took the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in 25 years and discovered what it took to build a franchise Quarterback..the fundamentals of which can be found in Sam Bradford. Shurmur is the man who helped him win Offensive Rookie Of The Year…he may also be the man to help him win many more awards down the line.
In the lone game that Pat Shurmur coached as an interim, the Offense looked great..but it looked slower. This is hugely important. Why? Because he took the fundamentals of what worked and what the team were familiar with and slowed it down to make it more comfortable whilst making a few minor adjustments to catch teams out. Why would this benefit the Eagles? They wouldn’t have to learn a new Offense and can retain the structure that helped them to an NFC East crown in Chip’s first season…the Eagles may not need a new system, just a refreshment.
Players on both sides of the ball are rooting for Shurmur according to numerous reports and the love and respect he had from the players cannot be underestimated. Chemistry is the one thing that has kept most of this Eagles team together..sure Lurie might have killed the infection in firing Chip Kelly..but he doesn’t want to replace a perfectly good organ with one that has a worrying history or one that has no medical records…Shurmur is the safest option in Philadelphia.
He’s everything Lurie has described and more..he has the experience to make the jump up to Head Coach and he has the approval of his players before even making the step..that’s a very encouraging sign and if there’s one thing the Eagles need it’s stability.