Welcome to the start of the offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles which also turns into BS season. The rumors and reports flying around from now through the NFL Draft is enough to drive you crazy. I mean Philly.com actually reported that the Eagles were interested in Jon Gruden for their head coach opening.
At this point I would believe absolutely nothing until the team confirms it. Agents, media outlets and NFL teams have ulterior motives at this stage. Agents are trying to help their clients get more interest and possibly get signed quicker while many major sites are just trying to drum up more clicks.
Adam Gase appeared to be the leading candidate, but he choose Miami on Saturday over a quarterbackless Philadephia franchise. The Eagles probably have the better overall roster and a much better cap situation, but it was hard for Gase to pass up the team with a franchise quarterback who is already signed to a long-term deal.
Since losing out on Gase, the Eagles have been busy. They have interviewed former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and current offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and also Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. They have also been linked to Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. They have not been linked to fan favorites Sean McDermott or Hue Jackson yet.
McDermott is actually a name to keep an eye on. He could score an interview if the Panthers lose this weekend to the red hot Seattle Seahawks. He was interviewed on 97.5 The Fantatic a week ago and voiced his interest in coming back to Philadelphia. The Eagles would be fools if they didn’t at least bring him in for an interview.
Tom Coughlin is being reported by several outlets to be interviewing with the 49ers this week. That makes me believe that he wasn’t a serious candidate for the Eagles. Hue Jackson is getting offers from the 49ers and Browns right now. Don’t expect him to receive any interest from the Eagles.
Doug Pederson appears to be the favorite for the Eagles right now. He interviewed last Sunday and represents Lurie and company trying to recreate the 2000s era of Philadelphia football. He can’t be officially named the head coach until after the Chiefs playoff run concludes.
I believe one of two things are true. One, Pederson has already been promised the job and it will become official as soon as the Chiefs lose their next game or after they win the Super Bowl. Two, the Eagles really like Pederson, but they want to keep bringing in candidates before making a final decision.
I really hope number two is true. I’m not anti-Pederson by any means, but he hasn’t proven enough to get the job without more serious candidates being brought in. There are also quality assistants in Denver, New England and Pittsburgh that should be brought in as well.
The biggest knock on Pederson is that he doesn’t call the plays. This isn’t an issue for me. Play-calling shouldn’t earn a coordinator a head coaching gig. Being a head coach is more about composure, leadership, structure, hiring good people under you and gaining respect early and often. Who he hires will determine how much success he can have in year one, not play-calling experience.