With Andy Reid out as Philadelphia Eagles head coach, the major question facing the franchise now is who will replace him.The speculation has swirled for months, as Reid’s fate was sealed further by each successive loss. Here’s a look at some of the possibilities.
The name that has been tossed around most in relation to the Eagles head coaching gig is University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. His innovation and reputation as an offensive mastermind certainly has to peak the interest of the Birds—and many other teams. However, he is untested in the NFL. Philadelphia has worked hard to establish itself as an elite franchise in the NFL and taking the plunge with someone with no league experience following Reid’s success is quite a gamble. Add to that a desire for control that team owner Jeffrey Lurie will likely not surrender. According to SI’s Don Banks,
“League sources say Kelly is looking for near complete control when it comes to personnel decision-making power, and that doesn’t appear to be available in the Eagles’ organization, where general manager Howie Roseman is expected to be in charge of the roster in the post-Reid era.”
The ESPN analyst has avoided questions about any interest to return to coaching. He spent a brief period as an Eagles assistant coach before head coaching stints with the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Bucs, where he led the team to a Super Bowl victory. Someone who has reached the promise land and gotten a ring previously has to intrigue the Birds, even though no head coach has been able to win a SB with two different teams.
Currently the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, McCoy will garner a lot of interest this offseason. He has shown great versatility as coordinator, adapting wildly different systems in successive seasons to accommodate Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and now Peyton Manning. Yes, having essentially another coach in Manning doesn’t hurt, but neither do Denver’s 11 straight wins. What’s one of the biggest complaints of Eagles fans about Andy Reid over the years? His stubbornness and a seeming inability—or unwillingness—to adapt to the realities of his players and what was happening on the field. With an uncertain quarterback situation facing Philadelphia and a coach who has proven an ability to adjust to multiple ability levels, McCoy has got to be of major interest to the Eagles.
Arians took over as Colts head coach while Chuck Pagano underwent treatment for leukemia and lead the team to a 10-2 record. He spent five years as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers and, bonus, Arians has roots in Philly—he was Temple’s head coach for five years in the 80s. Certainly an intriguing possibility.
Jon’s younger brother, this Gruden has served as OC for the Cincinnati Bengals for the past two years. What may work against him is the lack of notable credentials on his resume. Prior to Cinci, Gruden was head coach and GM for the UFL’s Florida Tuskers and prior to that served as HC of the Orlando Predators. Will he prove to be too much of an unproven commodity for the Eagles?
The current Penn State head football coach took on the position in the midst of a nightmare and came out as Big Ten Coach of the Year. His NFL chops include four seasons with Patriots, in roles ranging from wide receiver to quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator. Any team owner has to admire the Patriots organization and O’Brien’s experience and ability to successively lead PSU under the most difficult of circumstances has got to intrigue the Eagles. However, O’Brien reportedly has a hefty buyout that may limit his interest in leaving the tea after only one year.