The Philadelphia Eagles hit the “reset” button on Monday and threw their helmets onto the field for a new head coach.
Joining six other teams, GM Howie Roseman and owner Jeff Lurie gave Doug Pederson his marching papers after five seasons.
The only coach to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl win in team history, Pederson quickly spiraled downward thereafter.
Since winning Super Bowl LII, Doug mustered an unimpressive 22-25-1 record and lost in the division playoff and wild-card game.
Philadelphia finished the 2020 season with a disappointing 4-11-1 record, worst since Andy Ried’s final season as coach in 2012.
In addition to the team struggling with Doug at the wheel, QB Carson Wentz‘s production progressively declined starting in 2017.
Across the board, Carson’s pass completion percentage, TD percentage, and QB rating all suffered, ending in career lows this season.
In week 14, Wentz sat on the bench and watched as Oklahoma alum Jalen Hurts started for the first time.
Although the shake-up gave them a win, it was short-lived as the Eagles dropped their final three games.
As such, the team’s choice for their next head coach will no doubt weigh heavily upon the two QBs’ future.
No Harsh Feelings from Lurie as Eagles Move Past Pederson
Eagles owner Jeff Jurie issued a few complimentary words for Doug Pederson prior to his release, stating:
“I have known Doug and his family for more than 20 years and they will always be family to me. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and everything we have accomplished together over the last five seasons. Everyone in the organization understands the type of man and coach that he is, and how much he means to all of us as well as the City of Philadelphia. We all look forward to the day he will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame as a Super Bowl-winning head coach.”
Frustrated with the outcome of this season, Lurie is looking ahead to a new direction, adding:
“I have spent the last few weeks evaluating everything from this past year and looking ahead. We are all very disappointed with the way our season went and eager to turn things around, not just for next season but also for the future of the franchise. Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what that collective vision would look like moving forward. After taking some time to reflect on these conversations, I believe it is in both of our best interests to part ways.”
Ultimately, Jeff stressed it is his responsibility to get the team back on track by changing the head coach.
“It is imperative for me to do what I believe is best for everyone,” Lurie related. “I know that we have work to do to get back to where we want to be…we have an exceptionally strong group of people in this organization who can help”
Therefore, the Eagles must consider the following are three candidates to replace Doug Pederson as head coach in 2021.
1. Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
Dipping into current Kansas City Chiefs Andy Reid‘s coaching understudies is not foreign to the Eagles.
While his success did not last long, let’s not forget Philadelphia’s only Super Bowl win was at the hands of a Ried protege; Doug Pederson.
As Philadelphia’s most successful head coach, Andy Reid has a career winning percentage of .583 and led the Eagles to five NFC Champion games.
Considering his whole body of work, many also consider Eric Bieniemy the best student Reid has ever produced.
Commanding one of the best offenses in the league, Bieniemy’s Chiefs averaged the most yards per game (415.8) and third-most TDs (40).
Eric helped Patrick Mahomes win the league MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and is capable of grooming either Wentz or Hurts.
Finally, Mahomes deeply respects Bieniemy and actively campaigned on behalf of Eric’s qualifications as a head coach.
“who coach Bieniemy is and what kind of coach he is, what kind of man he is and how I think he handles himself. His track record speaks for himself. The type of man he is, the way he can control and be a leader in the locker room and the way that he coaches and schemes he brings to us. If he doesn’t [get hired], people are crazy.”
If Jeffery Lurie does decide to move on from Doug Pederson, his best option would be to hire Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy. He would bring creativity to the offense that the #Eagles have been missing.
Jeffery Lurie needs to make his decision soon before it’s too late. pic.twitter.com/Po24dJVcJY
— Justin Bradley (@JustinJBradley) January 11, 2021
2. Kansas City Chiefs Passing Game Coordinator Mike Kafka
Another one of Reid’s students, Kansas City Chiefs Mike Kafka has a history with GM Howie Roseman and owner Jeff Lurie.
In 2019, Philadelphia courted Mike; however, the Chiefs put on the brakes by promoting Kafka to their passing game coordinator.
Kafka has a lot of tangibles that Roseman and Lurie find attractive.
Firstly, Mike brings a wealth of youth and vigor to the team at 33 years young.
Secondly, he coordinated the Chiefs high powered air attack and averaged the most passing yards (300.4) in the league last year.
Thirdly, a former Philadelphia draft pick, Kafka donned an Eagles jersey and played four games at quarterback in 2011.
All of these factors make Mike Kafka a strong consideration to fulfill the Eagles vacant head coaching position next season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2021
3. Oklahoma Sooners Head Coach Lincoln Riley
A favorite of Lurie, Lincoln Riley was the first candidate the Eagles reached out to after firing Doug Pederson.
A former collegiate QB sharing the same alma mater as Patrick Mahomes, Riley boasts an impressive 45-8 record with the Sooners.
Lincoln helped groom No. 1 overall draft picks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murry while at Oklahoma.
The thought of reuniting Jalen Hurts with his old college football coach is an opportunity too interesting to pass up.
Finally, if all else fails, Howie and Jeff can offer Lincoln the intrigue of coaching in a stadium that bears his name.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 11, 2021