The Eagles are expected to finalize their coaching staff by the end of this week, with reports of the new faces beginning to trickle in as that window approaches.
Former Broncos Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello, and Mississippi State Pass-game coordinator Andrew Breiner look to be two new names joining the offensive side of things in Philadelphia, while Press Taylor will become the team’s new passing-game coordinator alongside his current QB coaching role.
This caused some confusion and hesitance among fans. After a search that has lasted a little over a month, the Eagles have concluded it without actually hiring at the position they were interviewing for. But it’s not all bad and frankly, so long as the right individuals are in the building, it’s going to work out better than having the wrong one with the right title.
One of the big obstacles presumably facing the team was the fact that Pederson calls the plays offensively and there’s already a run-game coordinator in place in the way of Jeff Stoutland. From an accountability perspective, the role of offensive coordinator in Philadelphia doesn’t offer much visibly outside of scripting the opening fifteen plays of the game…and that can be a big deterrent for young coaches looking to climb the ladder.
Even Doug Pederson was allowed to call plays in the second half fo games under Andy Reid in Kansas City, but Pederson isn’t ready to relinquish that power just yet and he’s right to want to keep it all to himself. After all, are we really going to question a Super Bowl win and three consecutive playoff trips despite horrible injury situations and a slew of adversity?
Pederson’s play-calling has been criticized ever since the departure of Frank Reich, but only in its darker moments. Like a bitter ex-girlfriend, you never hear about the good bits. The creativity that still flows through its veins or the total overhaul midseason that helped scheme Carson Wentz into open space, becoming the focal point of the offense, and allowing Miles Sanders to develop into a three-down running back.
Admittedly, the offense did grow stale in places and while Mike Groh may not have been solely responsible, it was clear the Eagles needed outside influence.
Rich Scangarello may not be the coordinator…well, we don’t actually know what his role is yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him become the ‘Matt Burke’ of the offense. But a disciple of the Shanahan coaching tree and someone who upon even the quickest of scans through the All-22, showed great confidence in his QB’s and used a lot of pre-snap motion and play-action in order to scheme up deep-shots…which seems awfully familiar.
Let’s not forget that when the Eagles injury bug sank its teeth in one last time, the play-action looks implemented by Pederson and Groh were designed to take the weight off of depth receivers on long-developing routes, forcing defenses to account for a QB who performed better outside the pocket and was lethal on the run. It lets him dictate the play as opposed to simply facilitate it.
Then, there’s Breiner. In his first season at MSU, he helped Nick Fitzgerald lead the FBS in 100+ rushing yard games by QB’s. With teams like Baltimore and New Orleans getting evermore creative offensively, this kind of influence would hardly be surprising.
Regardless of how this trio are structured, what matters is that they’re the right individuals to elevate the Eagles offense and develop its players. And with no real OC, all accountability for the offense’s success and failure will fall on the shoulders of the Head Coach which will demand ownership from Pederson. Theoretically, it’s the setup that the team both wanted and needed. But if we’ve learned anything from Kyle Shanahan and his similar setup over the last seven days, it’s this:
‘With great power comes great responsibility.’
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports