Have the Eagles had success against their past coaches?

GREEN BAY, WI – DECEMBER 06: Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson looks for an explanation during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field on December 6, 2020 in Green Bay WI.(Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire)

This Sunday the Eagles will be on the opposite side of the sideline from Doug Pederson for the first time since he was an assistant coach in Kansas City. Pederson is the only head coach in Philadelphia history to lead the team to a Super Bowl and is still widely beloved in most sectors of the fanbase.

The visor-wearing, ice cream-loving coach took the year off in 2021 after a tumultuous 2020 season and took on a new challenge in Jacksonville. Pederson is the Jaguars 4 coach in the last 3 seasons but it looks like they finally got the right man for the job. Before Dougie P arrives at the Linc this weekend, let’s take a look at how other former head coaches have fared against the Eagles.

Burt Bell

In 1933, Burt Bell became the founder and owner of a new football team called the Philadelphia Eagles. In the history of the NFL, he is a rather important figure. Bell was the mastermind behind the first NFL draft in 1936, and was the commissioner of the NFL from 1946-1959.

During that time the NFL broke the color barrier, negotiated its first ever marketing and TV deals, recognized the NFL Player’s Union and developed the first pension plan for players. 

Despite all these achievements, he was not a very successful head coach. In addition to still being the owner of the team, Bell led the club on the sideline from 1936-140, finishing his tenure with a horrible 10-44-2 record. In 1941, he left the Eagles to become head coach and part owner of the cross-state rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

The two teams met in week 2 of that season, with the Eagles coming away victorious, 10-7. This ironically proved to be the last game Bell would ever coach, finally realizing he was better suited in the front office.

Buddy Ryan 

James “Buddy” Ryan is one of the most recognizable figures in football history and his time with the Eagles only helped to establish that. Ryan won a Super Bowl with the 1985 Chicago Bears, as the defensive coordinator for one of the best defenses in NFL history.

The following season he moved to Philly, where he would make the playoffs 3 times in 5 years, but never won a game. After the 1990 season, due to playoff underperformance and friction with team owner Norman Braman, Buddy Ryan was let go. 

After a brief retirement, he was hired by the Arizona Cardinals in 1994, who were a divisional rival of the Eagles at the time. Ryan was an opponent of the Eagles 4 times, twice in 1994 and 1995, playing them more than any other former Philadelphia head coach. The Cardinals would go 1-3 in the four contests, averaging just 14.5 points per game.

Randall Cunnningham and Rodney Peete combined for 6 touchdown passes in the 4 games and Fred Barnett caught 3 touchdowns in the same time. The Eagles went 7-9 and 10-6 in those 2 years and made the playoffs once, even winning a game in the Wild Card Round. Buddy Ryan would prove to not be as successful, going 8-8 and 4-12 before retiring from football for good.

Dick Vermeil

Dick Vermeil over time has grown to be one of the most iconic and recognizable figures in Eagles history. He took over as head coach in 1976 and turned a perennial loser into a playoff regular. The team made it to the playoffs 4 times in his 7 years and made the franchises first Super Bowl in 1980.

After a long 15 year retirement from coaching, Vermeil decided to give it another go in St. Louis in 1997. After a forgettable first year going 5-11, Vermeil’s 1998 Rams were just as bad.
In a Thursday night primetime game, both teams limped into the matchup with a 3-10 record, and it was the Eagles who won yet again, 17-14, thanks to two touchdown passes from Koy Detmer to Freddie Soloman and Irving Fryar.

Vermeil would only last one more season in St. Louis, but it ended up being the most successful of his career, leading the Greatest Show on Turf to a Super Bowl. The Eagles however continued to struggle, going 5-11 with rookie head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Andy Reid

Andy Reid and the Eagles may have parted ways over a decade ago, but Reid still holds a special place in Eagles history. The future Hall of Famer is 5th all time wins by an NFL coach and with essentially a lifetime deal in Kansas City, has a real shot at passing Don Shula for 1st place.

Reid is first all time in wins by an Eagles’ head coach by a longshot, going 130-93-1 over 14 seasons. Statistically, this is the most consistent and sustained period of success in Eagles history.
The team led by stalwarts Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Brian Dawkins and Brent Celek made the playoffs 9 times, the NFC Championship game 5 times and the Super Bowl once. He may have never won the big one, but overall his time in Philadelphia was a success.

After Reid was hired by Kansas City in 2013, he immediately made Eagles fans regret the decision. In a Thursday night game the Chiefs and Big Red traveled across the country for a matchup in the Linc.

Michael Vick had one of his worst games as an Eagles, going 13/30 with 201 yards and 2 picks, including a pick six to Eric Berry to put the team in a 10-0 hole they never recovered from. Lesean McCoy tried to carry the team back with 158 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough, as Chip Kelly fell to 1-2 as an NFL head coach.

The next matchup in 2017 was also a loss but was succeeded by one of the best win streaks in team history. Doug Pederson and breakout second year quarterback Carson Wentz traveled to Arrowhead and lost 20-27, but not without a good fight.

Carson Wentz threw for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns but Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill proved too much for the young Eagles. The team left with a 1-1 record but rang off a 9 game winning streak after that helped propel them to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title.

The final matchup happened last season, and both teams came in an underwhelming 1-2. The Chiefs controlled the game from the second quarter on and the Eagles lost to Andy Reid for the third time in a row by a final score of 30-42. Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts were very much doubted at the time when they fell to 1-3 but have seemingly quieted most of those concerns. 

After 3 games, it seems that Dougie P has already turned the Jaguars around. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks drastically improved from his lost rookie season and the defense has only allowed 10 points in the last 2 games. When the schedule came out, this game looked like an easy lay-up, but not so much now.

The Jags will come out strong and energized for their head coach but as long as the Eagles play to their standard, they have the clear talent advantage. Pederson should get a strong ovation but hopefully he leaves disappointed Sunday night.

Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire