The Eagles are now in an offseason that will bring plenty of change to their coaching staff.
After Jim Schwartz stepped away, the Eagles will need to hire a new defensive coordinator. I looked at some options last week.
But there are even more changes coming to the offensive coaching staff. Rich Scangarello and Marty Mornhinweg are both gone as the Eagles will let their contracts run out. And, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Eagles are expected to hire a traditional offensive coordinator for 2021.
That hire will tell us a lot about Doug Pederson.
Here’s a list of options I put together:
Duce Staley: This probably won’t happen but I wanted to start this list with Duce, who has been with the Eagles for long time and is now the team’s assistant head coach in addition to his role as the running backs coach. This seems unlikely because the Eagles put more stock into the passing game and it looks like if Staley ever really wants to move up in the coaching world, he’ll have to do it elsewhere.
Press Taylor: This would be a very, very unpopular decision. Heck, Taylor’s future is very much up in the air and he might not be back. After all, he was the closest coach to Carson Wentz in 2020 as Wentz regressed unlike any QB we’ve ever seen. But if we’re listing internal candidates first, we have to include the QBs coach/passing game coordinator. I wouldn’t do it, but if Pederson thinks the problem last year was a cluttered staff with too many voices, maybe this would be an answer.
Jim Caldwell: Last season around this time, before the Eagles landed on their unusual structure, Caldwell was at the top of my list. That hasn’t changed. The 65-year-old has a strong history with quarterbacks in the league and whether the Eagles bring back Wentz or go forward with Jalen Hurts, Caldwell would be a valuable guy to have in the building. He was out of coaching in 2020.
Graham Harrell: The Eagles were interested in the USC offensive coordinator last year and weren’t able to pry him away. I can’t imagine watching the Eagles’ offense in 2020 will make him want to leave Southern California, but we need to still include him on the list because we know ownership seems to like him and his Air Raid offense.
Jay Gruden: The former Washington head coach spent the 2020 season as Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator but Doug Marrone’s staff is gone and Gruden will be looking for a new job.
Joe Bleymaier: The Chiefs aren’t going to let Mike Kafka leave this offseason because if (when) Eric Bieniemy takes a head coaching job, Kafka will slide into the OC role. So maybe the Eagles go a step below and try to snag Bleymaier, who is their assistant QBs coach/pass game analyst. While Bleymaier didn’t get to Kansas City until Doug Pederson was already gone, he was a coaching intern with the Eagles from 2007-09, so their paths crossed briefly.
Bill O’Brien: This probably wouldn’t be very popular but O’Brien is a much better coach than he is a GM. And the Eagles really liked O’Brien during the 2013 coaching search before they hired Chip Kelly. There’s still a relationship there between O’Brien and the Eagles and OB needs a job.
Mike LaFleur: We’ve reached the “Let’s try another Shanahan guy” portion of the list. This didn’t work with Rich Scangarello but it was a good idea. LaFleur is the 49ers’ passing game coordinator. Maybe the younger brother of Packers’ head coach Matt LaFleur is an option. Although if play-calling responsibilities don’t come with the job, it’s unlikely the 49ers will let LaFleur or McDaniel leave.
Mike McDaniel: The run game counterpart to LaFLeur, McDaniel is highly regarded throughout the NFL. The 37-year-old is expected to keep rising in coaching ranks.
Josh McCown: A little outside the box but McCown has a future career as a coach if he wants it. The Eagles liked him enough to pay him $16,000 per week this year to stay in Texas and be a virtual member of the practice squad. Eventually, McCown joined the Texans but there were no hard feelings. He was basically already a coach when he was here last. This would be a huge jump but McCown could probably handle it.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: