Eagles would be taking a huge risk in hiring Josh McDaniels

After a week of rumors and whispers, the Eagles appear to have their sights set on one man in the search to replace Doug Pederson. That man is Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and on the surface, it may seem like a smart move…but there’s more to this than meets the eye.

McDaniels is one of Bill Belichick’s most-trusted disciples and that trust wasn’t built overnight. He’s been New England’s offensive coordinator for 13 years and as we all know, there has been a lot of success in that time. In fact, as Peter Kind alluded to, the Patriots had a top-10 offense in 12 of his 13 seasons as offensive coordinator. This isn’t even taking into account the Super Bowl rings, conference championships, and accolades earned by individuals along the way. On paper, this is the dream move for an Eagles team that clearly needs a cultural reset. In reality, it could only expedite the downfall from greatness.

Concern #1: Loyalty

Let’s not forget that Josh McDaniels left the Colts at the altar two years ago. Just days after Super Bowl LII, he was expected to be unveiled as their new Head Coach. In a bizarre twist of events, he pulled out of the move and opted to stay in his current role under Bill Belichick.

There were rumors that Robert Kraft wanted him to be the heir to Belichick’s throne one day, but even so, this kind of move would leave a horrible stain on what was previously a strong resume.

Just to add salt in the wound, this was also the move that prompted Indianapolis to hire Frank Reich…so there’s that.

The Eagles reportedly held a 7-hour interview with McDaniels, a similar length to that of two other coaching candidates. That shouldn’t be seen as some kind of extraordinary feat, but I’d like to think in that time, the front office can get a gauge on where McDaniels is at mentally.

Let’s be honest – the Patriots were a mess last year. In their first season without Tom Brady, the wheels well and truly fell off. If there was ever a time for McDaniels to feel confident in one day inheriting the Head Coaching role, this is probably going to be it.

If his heart isn’t in it for Philadelphia, they absolutely shouldn’t hire him. Unfortunately, making the correct read here is only half of the battle.

Concern #2: Carson Wentz

By firing Doug Pederson, many assumed that this was a ‘double-down’ on Carson Wentz. In a scenario where it seemed like one or the other had to go, the Eagles followed the money and would rather gamble on righting their franchise quarterback than allowing their Super Bowl-winning Head Coach to continue.

There’s nothing wrong with this, but we have to remember why we’re even here to begin with. For better or worse, Carson Wentz has come under intense scrutiny over the last few years with regards to his ‘coachability’. Jeff Mclane recently posted an article that told the story of a growing ‘pissing match’ between Wentz and Pederson, with the Eagles QB purposefully killing plays at the line of scrimmage that led to disaster.

We’ve heard plenty of stories around Press Taylor and his relationship with Wentz. Carson Wentz reportedly struggled to adapt to John DeFilippo’s tougher style of coaching, despite having his most success under him. Under Press Taylor, there has been a perceived lack of accountability, with Wentz able to not only ‘get away’ with more, but build a much friendlier relationship that led to softer coaching. This has been met with an overwhelming sense of negativity and rightly so. All of the mechanical flaws in Carson’s game are absolutely coachable and the fact that they’ve been allowed to get to this point is frankly laughable.

With that said, firing Doug Pederson and replacing him with a much tougher coach is a risk. McDaniels will bring a fiery coaching style that has been molded in the flames of New England under the tutelage of Bill Belichick, who notoriously has a ‘my way or the highway’ mentality. If Wentz struggled under DeFilippo and grew comfortable under complacency, then surely bringing on a coach who will push ways with a level of assertion previously unseen is going to do one of two things.

Wentz will either take to the new style of coaching knowing he simply has to after a dismal season led to this carnage, or he’ll buckle and try to force his way out. Something tells me that if you’re going all-in on a quarterback, bringing in a coach who many regard as Bill Belichick 2.0 could be a huge success or absolutely disastrous.

The Eagles are not in a position to make this kind of gamble and doing so could only set the franchise back further than it already has been.

Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

One thought on “Eagles would be taking a huge risk in hiring Josh McDaniels

  1. Maybe the reason they are bringing in McDaniels, is precisely for that reason. If Wentz is out of control and un-coachable, then hiring a guy from the my way or the highway Bellechik school, who will ride herd over him, may be just the ticket. I really don’t think it’s a huge surprise to Howie and Jeff that they may have created a monster in Wentz….a monster they don’t know how to stop. Hiring a guy who will confront him and force him to adapt to a tougher coaching style, will do one of two things….it will force Wentz to fix himself by actually listening to his QB coach and begin accepting accountability when it is his fault, or he won’t, in which case, Hurts will be given that coaching to become the next QB for this team. Think about it like this: you have a guy who was a gunslinger and scary good in 2017 and was on his way to being MVP; he got hurt and Nick finished up. The following year, he didn’t play as well, but was still good enough for the Eagles to think that he was still their guy. After OTA’s and mini-camp in 2019, the Birds figured we’d better lock this guy up before guys like Prescott set the market and it costs them more. Now they have a two headed monster who in many different articles has been deemed resistant to coaching, doesn’t take accountability, and this past season amassed the worst QB rating for a QB in years…by far. It also seems that his benching has had the exact opposite effect that it should have had. Again, according to reports, Wentz took the benching as a slight to him instead of causing him to re-evaluate why he was benched in the first place.

    Doug always protected Wentz and made excuses for him. In the end, Doug obviously wasn’t able to convince the Eagles that his way would work. I think the Birds truly understand that they have a $128m problem on their hands, and are looking for a guy with the right mentality to “fix” that problem, one way or the other. If Wentz does not respond to the coaching, and start playing like a true professional who not only excels, but also accepts responsibility, then they will turn all their attention to making Hurts the guy who can take this team into the future. The Eagles will then have to decide if they want to write off their investment by trading Wentz for whatever they can get, or keep him on the bench.

    If Wentz does start playing like the guy they thought he was when they signed him to that huge extension, then they have a guy who is only 28, has grown and matured into a QB who can really lead his team, as opposed to just being it’s QB. You then have a guy in Hurts who is always at the ready to do the exact same thing. I think hiring McDaniels is a win-win for the Eagles…as far as the QB situation is concerned. As for the rest of the team, that remains to be seen. This team is in need of a complete overhaul in philosophy, methods and personnel. If McDaniels is the guy who can do that, then he will be just what Philly needs.

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