The Philadelphia Eagles are viewed as quite the dumpster fire this past season. This is especially true after the “tanking” debacle has continued to develop over time. Doug Pederson’s decision to bench Jalen Hurts and insert Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a one-score game has been highly questioned. It appears that move may have been the final straw regarding Jeffrey Lurie’s plans for Pederson’s future with Philadelphia.
Now after letting go of the 2017 Super Bowl-winning head coach, the Philadelphia Eagles are looking into head coach options and the interviews and requests are in full swing. The executives likely understand that this hire will be a larger deal for the organization than before. Especially knowing that it will be the fourth head coach hiring in Howie Roseman’s tenure as the Eagles general manager. While there are plenty of choices out there, some names are more intriguing and likely than others, while some appear to be much more favored.
Duce Staley (Philadelphia Assistant Head Coach/RB’s coach)
The former Philadelphia running back has been with the organization as the team’s running backs coach for over seven years now. Staley has become a popular figure in Philadelphia among the fanbase and especially the players. As a result, not only has he become the clear-cut favorite for many Eagles fans, it has become very evident numerous players in the organization, as well as former Philadelphia players have similar feelings. Those who played and currently play for the Eagles know what Staley is like as a coach. Staley has earned plenty of respect from many individuals. Former Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins stated in a recent tweet, “Every time he stood in front of the team he had the attention and respect of everyone in the room”. The push for Staley to be the next Philadelphia head coach has continued whether it has been on social media, sports radio, or any other source.
Brandon Graham add to the support of Duce Staley. It's pretty clear he is a player-favorite.
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) January 16, 2021
Staley’s tenure with Philadelphia is impressive and bringing him in as the head coach could be very beneficial. This is true because he knows the organization and the people within it, inside and out. He could be seen as a questionable option because he is mainly the running backs coach. Yet, Staley is likely more than capable of handling the transition. Reports in the recent past have stated how he knows what to expect as an Eagles game planner. Staley has been around the Philadelphia coaching staff long enough to understand what it takes to win in Philadelphia. Once again his involvement with Philadelphia truly sets him apart from the other candidates.
Joe Brady (Carolina Offensive Coordinator)
Brady is a young and up-and-coming coach in the NFL with great potential to make a splash in the league. The former LSU assistant coach has only been in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers this past season, but his play-calling has impressed. While Carolina produced a rather underwhelming 5-11 record this past season, Brady’s play-calling provided the offense with opportunities for success. Brady being a young choice is an intriguing factor for Philadelphia as hiring younger head coaches has become prominent. The younger option can be attractive because he can give the team a new feel to the team environment. His connections with players would be vastly different than that of an older head coach. Hiring a new offensive-minded coach can help to address the Carson Wentz problem that has continued. Bringing in a new voice to help Wentz fix the struggles he has developed is definitely in the discussion. On the other hand, Brady’s lack of experience in the league could damage his consideration. Regardless, he isn’t the first person to be in a similar situation and still get hired.
Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Defensive Coordinator)
There is no question that Bowles is a very experienced coach in the NFL. He was the head coach for the New York Jets from 2015-2018, in addition to a variety of positions with teams that he’s had throughout his career. The Tampa Bay defensive coordinator would be a solid choice for Philadelphia because of the fresh outlook that he could bring. As more of a defensive-minded coach, Bowles would likely act like a typical head coach overseeing the whole team. Hiring Bowles would allow an offensive coordinator to come in and change this offense, which has become predictable and disappointing. A Philadelphia team with Bowles as head coach would present new gameplans for the offense and defense. In Tampa Bay, Bowles has shown that he can still perform at a high level as an NFL coach. If Philadelphia hopes for success going forward, a complete change to their style of head coach might have to take place.
Lincoln Riley (University of Oklahoma Head Coach)
Lincoln Riley is a very interesting candidate for the Philadelphia head coach job because of where he’s coming from. The current head coach for the Oklahoma Sooners has been sitting pretty with his team that has won the Big 12 championship every year since 2015. Why would Riley consider leaving such a successful team to move onto a struggling team in rebuild mode? The easy answer, it’s an NFL head coaching job and that’s a hard opportunity to ignore. Riley is young and he understands how to be a head coach, but the more interesting story is that he would work with Jalen Hurts again. If Hurts is the direction Philadelphia goes with for the future, Riley and Hurts already have a connection from Oklahoma. His connection with Hurts would help to recreate the offense and help Hurts thrive in his system. Yet, his extreme lack of experience with the NFL is hard to ignore. Having success at the college level is one thing, but doing it in the NFL is a different story. Lincoln Riley is a noteworthy name to keep in mind, but he may be too much of a risk to embrace in a city like Philadelphia.
Featured image courtesy of Fansided/Inside the Iggles
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