Eagles Head Coaching Candidates: The six names you need to know

NFL: OCT 27 Buccaneers at Titans
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 27: Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) looks on from the sideline as Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith calls plays during a game between the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, October 27, 2019, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles and Doug Pederson have parted ways after a very eventful season that completely dismantled this organization from top to bottom.

The Eagles are once again searching for a new head coach. They’re a little behind in the race to secure this year’s big names, but will that stop them from finding the perfect fit? Here are six candidates to keep in mind.

Duce Staley – Assistant HC – Eagles

The former Eagles running back has consistently been written off as “not ready” by fans and media members alike, although there has long been a fear that the Eagles would lose him to an offensive coordinator promotion elsewhere.

Staley has received constant praise from Eagles past and present when it comes to leadership. Even Malcolm Jenkins took to Twitter to voice his vote of confidence.

Not only has Staley has been around some great offensive minds throughout his coaching career, but he’s risen through the ranks from a special teams coach, to assistant Head Coach and running backs coach.

He has a Super Bowl win under his belt and witnessed what it took to make it to the big game. Staley may be unappreciated by many outside of the Novacare building, but he holds a significant value with the front office.

Lincoln Riley – HC – OSU

Why Lincoln Riley? Could the Eagles pry the Sooners head coach even after he turned down the Cowboys? Those were my first initial thoughts when I saw his name trending among Eagles fans. It seemed farfetched until Sports Illustrated writer & publisher, Ed Kracz broke this news:

“It isn’t the first time the Eagles have talked to Riley about his potential interest in the Eagles,” writes Kracz. “He and Roseman have a good relationship, and it was a consult with Riley that helped sway the Eagles to draft both Jalen Reagor and Jalen Hurts, per sources.”

No one understood why the Eagles chose Jalen Hurts in the second round. Riley having this kind of relationship with Howie Roseman is HUGE for the Eagles. To sway the Eagles GM to draft Jalen Hurts after signing Carson Wentz to a big contract extension is unbelievable. According to the source, Riley was the motivation behind the Reagor pick. Another pick that was heavily scrutinized by many, especially after the season Justin Jefferson had.

For Riley to have this much influence and not even be under contract is odd to me. It’s as if Roseman was building this offense for Riley’s arrival. Lincoln is best known for getting the most out of his players. He ran an offense predicated on option looks and on a base that ensured his QB gets the ball into the hands of his playmakers in open space, spreading it around and keeping defenses honest.

Lurie stressed on Monday that the Eagles wouldn’t rush into a decision and that goes against these reports.

If Riley comes on board then what does that mean for Carson Wentz? Lurie mentioned that this roster wouldn’t be a quick fix which could mean that they’re leaning towards Jalen Hurts. Riley makes a lot of sense if the front office is willing to be patient. If he already has Howie’s buy-in and can eradicate the disconnect that ruptured the offense last season, then the Eagles could be in good hands moving forward.

Eric Bieniemy – OC – Kansas City Chiefs

Another one of Andy’s disciples, Eric Bieniemy is probably the most talked-about head coach candidate. Although it’s rumored that he’s been doing poorly in his interviews, his resume shows what he’s able to do on the gridiron, and that’s all that matters.

Bieniemy could fit into a system that’s very much a branch of the Tree he’s currently in. The advantage of going with a mind like that of the former NFL running back is that he’s shown what he can do with the right QB by his side.

Patrick Mahomes has become the face of the NFL while under his supervision and has been nothing but complimentary of the offensive coordinator. Mahomes has won a league MVP award and racked up 13,868 passing yards for 114 touchdowns and 23 interceptions along the way. Bieniemy may prefer a QB like Wentz over Hurts due to what Carson has been able to do before 2020. Wentz is only a year removed from leading an injured Eagles team to the playoffs with nothing but practice squad receivers by his side and if he is afforded the opportunity to hit ‘reset’ under Bieniemy, then this could be a match made in heaven.

Besides, we all know what happened the last time the Eagles decided to hire a Chiefs offensive coordinator…

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Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire