Who should the Eagles hire as their next WR Coach?


On Tuesday, Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that there are two big time names in the running to be the next Eagles wide receivers coach:

Engram is currently the tight ends coach for the Baltimore Ravens but was their wide receivers coach from 2014-2018. Prior to that, he coached the wide receivers at Pitt from 2012-2013 and was an offensive assistant for the 49ers in 2011.

A 14 year player in the NFL as a wide receiver, Engram played eight years with the Seahawks, five with the Bears, and one with the Chiefs. He is currently fifth on the all time receiving yards list for the Seahawks, with Tyler Lockett 1,021 yards away from surpassing him.

Ward also player 14 years, all with the Steelers, but was markedly more accomplished than Engram. Ward had 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. His receptions rank him 14th all time in NFL history, his yards 26th, and his touchdowns 14th. He is currently an offensive assistant for the Jets. Ward was teammates with current Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley in Pittsburgh. Could a Ward hire entice a certain Jets wide receiver to sign with the Eagles in free agency?

Besides these two leading candidates, who else could the Eagles consider? Here are a few options:

Sanjay Lal

Lal is a popular name to watch as a replacement for the departed Carson Walch. Lal spent 2018 and 2019 as the wide receivers coach for the Cowboys. There he helped groom Michael Gallup and helped Amari Cooper have the best year of his career in 2019. He was the Colts receivers coach in 2017 with T.Y. Hilton. Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins benefited from Lal’s teachings in Buffalo in 2015 and 2016. From 2012-2014, he was with Jeremy Kerley, Santonio Holmes, and Eric Decker. He was with the Raiders from 2007-2011 as their offensive quality control coach and wide receivers coach.  Lal’s work with many quality receivers over his years could entice the Eagles as their receivers behind DeSean Jackson, a healthy Alshon Jeffery, and Greg Ward lacked significant development.

Ike Hilliard

The bane of the existence of Eagles corners this year when they faced the Redskins was rookie Terry McLaurin. In two games versus the Eagles, McLaurin caught ten passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Hilliard knows how to develop receivers and has been a member of the Redskins since 2014 as their WR coach. Names like Pierre Garcon and even DeSean Jackson spring to mind as players that have thrived under him. His presence on the Eagles staff would be a welcoming and respected one.

Josh McCown

Fans are screaming to the Eagles for them to hire McCown as the QB coach.  There’s just one problem, Press Taylor is still there. All signs point to Taylor returning in 2020, but McCown would do just fine as wide receivers coach.  McCown’s energy was contagious throughout the position groups during the season. His work with the practice squad receivers proved pivotal when the team needed depth. McCown was the first to great Robert Davis after his first catch against the Cowboys in week 16. He’s the type of leader the players respect and the wide receivers would love working with him.

Jerricho Cotchery

Cotchery was with the Panthers as their assistant wide receivers coach from 2017-2019.  With the Panthers under a new regime, it is unclear if Cotchery will be retained. If he isn’t, he’s an intriguing name to watch. With the Panthers, Cotchery helped develop D.J. Moore, Devin Funchess, and worked with Christian McCaffrey to make him one of the most prolific dual threat backs in the NFL. His experience with “CMC” could do wonders for Miles Sanders as he looks to continue to be the dynamic dual threat he was as a rookie.

Bobby Kennedy

The current wide receivers coach for Standford University is a long shot, but worth mentioning. Under Kennedy, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside put up stellar numbers and had the fifth most receiving yards in a single season in school history.  Hiring a coach to cater to one player isn’t ideal, but it might be necessary to get the most out of a high draft pick. “JJAW” was extremely underutilized in 2019 and Kennedy has the tools to unlock his potential. It wouldn’t be the first time an Eagles receiver and his old receivers coach were reunited. Mike Groh was hired as Eagles wide receiver coach in January 2017 and two months later Alshon Jeffery, who had his most productive years under Groh in Chicago, signed with the Eagles. Let’s not forget Gunter Brewer, who initially replaced Groh after his promotion, coached Mack Hollins at UNC. Again, a farfetched idea, but it’s something to think about.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Steven Ryan/Getty Images