It has finally been announced. Per league sources, the Philadelphia Eagles plan to hire Doug Pederson to be the franchise’s 23rd head coach. While the Birds did not land the top prospecting coaches such as Adam Gase or Hue Jackson, they did sign someone who offers equal to, if not more, potential.
Pederson has served most recently as offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, following the trail of the man that gave him many opportunities in the NFL, Andy Reid. Pederson and Reid go all the way back to the days of the Mike Holmgren Green Bay Packers, and through the years spent as both a player – quarterback – and coach – offensive quality control, quarterbacks coach, and offense coordinator.
The question is really the quality of play that the Philadelphia fan base is expecting now given that the Reid-led Chiefs have been run by, well, Reid. The Philly faithful remember the offensive play that coach Reid brought to the city back in 1999, so how much different or better will the same Holmgren-based West Coast offense be?
Before both the fans and writers cast Pederson off as no good, here is some food for thought. Kansas City lost Jamaal Charles in their week five game against the Chicago Bears, but somehow, someway fought to become ranked first in rushing touchdowns, third in yards per attempt, and sixth in total yards. He also helped mold the post-prison and aging Michael Vick into a quality pocket passer as well as help Nick Foles throw for nearly 1,700 yards and six touchdowns during his seven games played in 2012.
It happens quiet often where a player who may not have ever come close to breaking any records becomes a stellar head coach, i.e. Bill Parcells, Marty Schottenheimer, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, etc. So there is great optimism, especially since coach Reid has given Pederson his own personal stamp of approval, that this will pan out to be a good coaching change.
It is likely that Pederson will choose to implement the well-known West Coast offense once he arrives in Philadelphia, but as far as offensive coordinators go, there is a decent possibility that due to the working relationship between Pederson and Pat Shurmur, Shurmur might just keep his job as OC heading into 2016.
The current rumor mill has produced the idea that the franchise may look to hire former-Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz as the team’s defensive coordinator. If so, the team would most surely switch back to a 4-3 based defense. And while Schwartz’s defense had been sporadic during his tenure in Tennessee, throughout the two seasons prior to his hire in Detroit, the Titans’ defense had ranked in the top ten for both consecutive years.