After reading multiple reports across the Internet this past week, the Eagles seemed to be very close to hiring Tom Coughlin. It was going to be the disciplinarian the team needed to adjust some team attitudes. Along the way however something happened where Coughlin withdrew his name from consideration. Ian Rappoport reported that Coughlin had said he wanted to go somewhere where it wouldn’t take very long to win. That, in and of itself, bodes ill for this team.
So when the Coughlin story died, the name that had immediately surfaced was Doug Pederson, the current offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. Per league rules, the Eagles cannot formally offer a contract, since the Chiefs are still in the playoffs. With the team saying that they will not conduct any more interviews, and all of the “hot” candidates off the board, it looks as if the job will be Pederson’s, by default.
The confusing part of all of this however has been how the front office of the organization has conduced the entire coach search. Why weren’t more people brought in to interview? Why weren’t they out front on some of the candidates that were being floated by all of the news outlets? And why, when Coughlin made his decision, did the organization come out, in a story by Adam Schefter, saying that “Pederson brings us a return to the years of Andy Reid”?
No question that Reid’s record in Philadelphia is solid. 130 wins, 93 losses, and a tie. That represents longevity. His teams were in the playoffs nine of his fourteen seasons here. In his final season though he saw his team finish with a record of 4-12. They lost eleven of their last twelve games that season. It was painful. The only win was a squeaker at Tampa Bay. At the end of it all, all of us were calling for Reid’s dismissal. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie acquiesced, and Reid was gone.
With the announcement, or the speculation of Pederson being hired, comes the quotes from the NovaCare Complex, saying hiring Pederson is “a return to Andy Reid’s style of coaching”. That’s where I am confused. If the team wants to return to Andy Reid’s style of coaching, then why did they dismiss Reid in the first place? Why did the team say a fresh approach was needed, only to reverse course three years later, and basically say, they want Reid back on the sidelines?
And, if the reports are true, and Pederson brings in Brad Childress as his offensive coordinator, then it truly is an attempt to return to the days of Big Red. Both Pederson and Childress all come from the Andy Reid coaching tree. Pat Shurmur is in that tree as well, and since he’s not been asked to leave the team facility, then that would make three coaches back in Philadelphia, all with some sort of tie to Reid.
The front office has stood by and let the coaching carousel spin, while seemingly not even purchasing a ticket for the ride. They’ve sat by, passively, while everyone else rode the carousel. It seems as if the team has taken a three year break to go on a vacation, and has just now decided to play it safe and come home. Watching NFL Total Access, all of the hosts on there are completely underwhelmed by the announcement of Pederson. It wasn’t the splash they all felt the team would make. Will it work? Will the decision to return to the days of old be beneficial for this club? That all remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: In trying to get past the smell of a 4-12 season, sometimes what you need is right in front of you all along. Reid lost his job because of the 2012 season. Now, it seems as if the team wants Reid back, or at least, a reasonable facsimile thereof.