By now, I have let the realization sink in that the man I have championed as the best choice to continue to coach this team will no longer be patrolling the sidelines wearing Eagles green. OK, I get that. Change is inevitable, in almost everything. But, now that we, as Eagles fans, are getting the change that many (not me) have called for, who makes your list?
I am very happy that Chip Kelly decided to stay at Oregon. I don”t think his style of offense would have worked in the NFL. So, once he took his name out of the hat, now, different names started popping up.
Lovie Smith, former Bears coach, won 10 games this past season. He is a defensive minded coach. He has handled the “big chair” before. He can point to a conference championship on his resume. OK, sounds as if it would be somewhat of a lateral move, but I would understand the hiring.
Mike Nolan, Falcons defensive coordinator, has been a head coach before. He, too, is defensive minded, but his teams were not as successful as he would have liked them to be. Still, he seems like a solid choice.
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie could also go to Cincinnati, and get Mike Zimmer. His defense, through the last 12 games of the season, only gave up an average of 13 points per game. Impressive. Maybe nbso he could teach Nnamdi Asomghua how to cover, and the safeties where there are supposed to be on the deep ball (see: Santana Moss, 2012 Eagles at Redskins game).
While we are still on defense, did Jason Babin deserve to be the fall guy? I don”t really know. Everyone said a “change” had to be made, and I guess it was Babin”s unlucky day to walk through the door that morning.
Now, switch to the offensive side of the ball. No matter who the “next coach up” is, will someone use LeSeam McCoy more effectively? It was because of his solid runs that the team beat the Giants at home. Ask James Pierre-Paul how it felt to be chasing #25 all night that night.
So, who is the next target, as an offensive coach? Certainly not Norv Turner, though he could be brought in, strictly as an OC. I do not believe Turner has the onions to sit in the top chair. Jay Gruden, from Cincinnati? Maybe. His offenses have looked rather nice the past few seasons. Mike McCoy, Broncos offensive coordinator? Again, an intriguing choice. His offenses have also looked great, but, then again, he has someone named Manning as his trigger man as well. I sincerely hope I don”t see Lurie walk to a podium and say the following: “The next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Mr. Cam Cameron”. I will lose my ever-loving mind!
Or, how about this: go out, and convince Bill Cowher to leave the studio. Cowher has spent time in Pennsylvania. He knows what it takes to get things done, and he has a championship ring to prove it. Or, go to ESPN, and throw as much money as you can to convince Jon Gruden to leave the booth and come back to Philadelphia. Pretty much the same as Cowher: Gruden has spent time in Pennsylvania, heck, right in Philadelphia, for that matter, he knows what it takes to get the job done, and he has a championship ring to prove it.
One thing is for certain: the next few weeks are going to be filled with speculaion as to who the next coach will be, who the team will keep, who they will cut, and who they are targeting with the #4 pick.
Yes, the season was a disappointment. But, there”s a silver lining: in approximately 240 days, the season will be getting ready to start anew. And, on Opening Day, everyone is undefeated. Let”s hope that Lurie”s spin of the coaching wheel lands on “big prize” instead of “bankrupt”.