Three years after winning a Super Bowl, Pederson is out in Philadelphia
The City of Brotherly Love isn't so enamored with Doug Pederson anymore, with the Eagles ushering their head coach out the door on Monday following a disaster of a season in 2020 and a controversial final game in the national spotlight. Despite the thud of an ending to his tenure, he did win 42 games, captured two division titles, made three playoff appearances, and secured the franchise's Lombardi Trophy with a memorable win in Super Bowl LII.
Change is coming however and there are some big positives with the team and a handful of glaring issues for the new guy to solve (first among them that quarterback position). Who could replace Pederson in Philly? Here are 10 candidates to watch that could be the next Eagles head coach:
Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator
As has been mentioned a number of times, Bieniemy is largely viewed as the top candidate on the market for the work he's done in Kansas City but it will be interesting to see if the Eagles want to break from the Andy Reid coaching tree or keep some of the same systems that have allowed them to find success in place. Bieniemy's creativity would be well received and if anybody could maximize both Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts, it might be him.
Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator
Another hot name on the carousel, Daboll could be extra attractive to the Eagles as a result of how much he's elevated and highlighted the skills of Josh Allen lately. He's been interviewing with a number of teams so might have to be sold on the situation but would bring the ethos and blue-collar work ethic that would endear himself to the fan base.
Arthur Smith, Titans offensive coordinator
While the work Smith has done with Ryan Tannehill will be one of the first items on his resume, the ability to get the run game going and a wholistic approach to offense in today's NFL give the Tennessee OC a pretty well-rounded background for the gig. He's worked his way up from the bottom in the league and is ready to take the next step as a head coach.
Joe Brady, Panthers offensive coordinator
The Eagles haven't minded going with youth and relative inexperience before so Brady could fit the bill with a franchise in transition. His play-calling at LSU and this past year in Carolina has earned kudos and that system could line up really well with what Carson Wentz and/or Jalen Hurts do well moving forward. Brady figures to be a head coach sooner rather than later so this could be a case of Philly getting ahead of the curve.
Brandon Staley, Rams defensive coordinator
What Joe Brady did in the college game last year, Staley has been doing defensively in the NFL this year. Of course it helps to have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey but the way Staley has positioned even back-of-the-roster guys in his scheme has made him one of the defensive-minded candidates that everyone wants to speak with. We've seen connections to Sean McVay land head coaching positions on the other side of the ball and it might be time to filter over to defense after what Staley has done in 2020.
Wink Martindale, Ravens defensive coordinator
Martindale has helped turn the defense in Baltimore into an attacking unit and also seems primed for a move to the big chair at some point soon. He's super well-respected around the league and going with a defensive-mind after a run of guys with backgrounds on offense could be what's needed for the franchise.
Former Head Coaches
Bill O'Brien, former Texans head coach
O'Brien did quality work in another part of the state with the Nittany Lions and despite a tough ending in Houston, still managed to win 52 games, four division titles, and show a quality offensive acumen. He wouldn't have personnel control in Philly so that wouldn't be something to worry about but he could be just the kick in the pants the team could use right now.
Jim Caldwell, former Colts/Lions head coach
If ownership wants a steady hand who can get things back on track, they can look no further than Caldwell. He's got an offensive background, has been around the league for years, would be able to put together a great staff and has the benefit of winning in places that haven't seen much of it after he left (i.e. Detroit).
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame head coach
Prior to hiring Chip Kelly, Eagles ownership talked extensively with Kelly about the open role. Could some further discussions be warranted years later? Kelly obviously has a healthy offensive background, has won at every level in college and has done meaningful work re-tooling the Irish after a bad year to turn them into one of the elite teams in CFB. It may be now or never for Kelly if he ever entertains the idea of making the jump to the NFL.
Dan Mullen, Florida head coach
Mullen was born north of Philadelphia, played college ball at Ursinus College and has strong ties to the area. He's not been in the NFL previously as an assistant, but his ability to develop QBs like Alex Smith, Dak Prescott and Kyle Trask is getting him onto the radar at the pro level. His personality can be a bit much for some but might fit in just right with the Eagles crowd and may just make this the one opportunity he couldn't pass up.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.