Just How Good Of A Gig Is It?

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidThere is a healthy debate going on right now about just how desirable of a gig the Eagles’ head coaching job is.

The answer is of great significance at the moment, given that the team will be in the market for a new head man very soon, and nearly a third of the league may have openings as well. There stands to be a good deal of competition for the top available talent (see: Chip Kelly).

“This is one of the great jobs in America, the head coach of the Eagles,” said Ron Jaworski on 97.5 The Fanatic. “It’s been a down year and last year an 8-8 season, but that doesn’t take any of the luster off being the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s one of the great cities in America. Everybody loves to be a coach in a large city — Philadelphia, New York, Chicago. I know for a fact that there are a lot of coaches that would like to coach the Eagles. There is a lot of glamour to that job.”

True, but there is also a lot of pressure. A league insider brought up in a conversation recently how difficult he believed it would be to follow Andy Reid, given the bar he set over 14 years of service. It made me think of Reid’s comments after firing Sean McDermott, when he talked about how difficult of a task it is to follow someone so successful like Jim Johnson in a city such as this.

There is also something to be said for the notion that the right candidate would shrug off such burdens and blaze a trail right out of Reid’s shadow. That he would love the way the city cares for its team and would want to ride the emotional roller coaster with them.

Surely such a coach exists, but it also shrinks the pool when you are talking about candidates that would be the right fit for this city, for this job.

Here are some other teams that could be in the market for a head coach this offseason:

San Diego
Kansas City
New York Jets

Maybe you throw in Dallas, but that seems unlikely right now.

If you are looking for the “bright lights” feel, then only the Jets top the Eagles on this list. Philly also stacks up with just about anybody when it comes to personnel. I went through the roster with a trusted, longtime member of the Eagles media recently and we came away with 33 players on this team that you can make a solid argument for keeping. The same exercise on some of these other rosters would likely not generate better results.

The most important part of the roster, of course, is quarterback, and therein lies the Eagles’ biggest vulnerability. Even if you like Nick Foles as a prospect, Cam Newton and Phillip Rivers are the bigger draw for a head coach.

Reid will likely be taking one of these jobs (San Diego?), which will eliminate one team from competition with the Eagles. Maybe Carolina or New York are more attractive, but do they have as big of an edge over the Eagles as some are leading you to believe?

“It’s a tough job, we all know that, but people love to be in Philly,” said Jaworski. “At the end of the day, when you look at Philadelphia, if you’re a coach it’s pretty hard not to jump at that opportunity.”

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  • Johngiam

    Young qb who could or could not be a franchise guy
    Top 5 draft pick
    What was a good line coming back
    2headed running attack to build around
    Some young pieces on defense
    A passionate fan base

    Any coach too chicken $hit to shy away from this challenge and not realize what an honor it is to coach in a place where football means so damn much, is a man I do not want coaching my team! if you don’t think this is an attractive job, then you aren’t the type Of Man I want leading us anyway. Football IMMORTALITY is there for he taking for he man with courage and brains to get us to the promise land. I want a man excited by that! If a guy isn’t that the of man, then hey here is always San Diego for you to go coach!

    This is FOOTBALLVILLE USA. Come correct or don’t come at all!

  • EaglefaninAZ

    I’ve been pondering this question for some time, and I’ve only come up with a couple of things.

    The bigger market is a plus. The historic loyalty of the ownership to the head coach is another. As far as the fan base is concerned, I think whoever gives the best press conferences will do well here. Lol…

    • Johngiam

      The only thing that should scare candidates away is howie roseman. We already know cowher, gruden, Peyton will never agree to work for howie…. I WOULD just cross my fingers and hope ken Wisenhunt gets fired, and brings his defensive coordinator to Philly with him, why stop there? Bring Larry Fitzgerald, Daryl Washington. Kerry rhodes, and cal cambell with you while you are at it. god Ai love their defenses can’t wait o see the day we finally have an elite defense again

      • laeagle

        I think that the whole head coach/czar thing is a mistake anyway. The guys that wouldn’t work with Howie wouldn’t really want to work with anyone. They’d want complete control. And I think that’s a bad thing. I can’t think of one team off the top of my head that it’s worked for. Even the Pats with Belichek had their best days when he was paired with Pioli.

        I think personally a good coach needs to be heavily involved in player personnel , even with final say, but I don’t think he should be the GM. That’s another job, and I think Howie has done fine at it. I think the idea of Howie having final say over personnel is ridiculous, but I also don’t think he wants it. Why would he handle personnel in a vacuum without coach input? Wouldn’t make any sense. His job is to find the best players that the coach wants, and he’s tried to do that. One would presume he would continue to do so in the future, with a new coach.

        Long story short, Cowher and Gruden might not want to work with Howie, but if the price is that they take over as GM, then I don’t want them. Cowher had a great Steelers organization in place, and worked well with Kevin Kolbert. Gruden got the control he wanted with the Bucs and ran them into the ground. Don’t know that Payton would be any better. But better men than him (Holmgren, for example) have tried and failed as well. Keep a coach a coach and a GM a GM, and make sure they work well together.

  • jabostick

    I’m not sure that the ‘pressure’ argument holds weight per se (I think if you’re a coach in the NFL you’re wired to accept that pressure), but that pressure has other implications. For example, I’m not sure the Kurt Colemans and Jake Scotts of Jacksonville or Arizona or Carolina have to deal with the same scrutiny as they do in Philly. And that scrutiny can lead to a lot of unnecessary distractions. Some coaches might not like that lack of control.

    The bigger issues, I’d guess, are organizational stability and the QB. The first is pretty top notch, the second may not be in place but Philly has the means (via a high draft or willingness to explore trades/FA’s, etc) to get it. I think it has to be considered very appealing based on that.

    • jabostick

      I should say the other big thing would likely be amount of available control. In that sense, I can’t imagine going the ‘big name with complete control’ route. Save for Sean Payton, I don’t think that’s a bad thing though.

  • fastnbulbous

    This is one of those “slow news day” posts designed to generate traffic. Well played!

    It should go without saying that the Philly job is MUCH more enticing than those other backwaters listed. Really, who wants to live in Buffalo, let alone coach there? KC is a cool town, but it’s a town, and it’s still a long way from a good organization. The rest of those backwater posts are nothing special. Jaws is right.

    • Beavis

      You’re a dope. The NFL is the NFL. And I recommend you go take a trip … Philly=Detroit=Cleveland=Buffalo. They are all the same give or a take a few people and a Liberty Bell.

  • morgan c

    The Philadelphia Eagles are a top NFL franchise. They just are. No matter how much you hate Reid, or hate this season, that doesn’t change the fact that over the past decade plus we have been a consistently good team on the field, and stable organization off it. There are five criteria you look to when assessing quality organizations in pro sports: market, ownership, stability, success, fan-base. Philadelphia is a large sports market, has a rich owner who (like him or not) clearly wants to win and is invested in his team, and importantly stays the hell out of the way, has been a model of stability, has the third highest winning percentage of all NFL teams over the past 15 years, and clearly has a rabid, passionate, and invested fan-base. Look, it may not be New England, or Pittsburgh, but when one sets out criteria and views this objectively, it becomes clear the Eagles aren’t too much further down from those organizations. And yes, I know, we haven’t won a SB (yet).

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      The Eagles have been a success despite not having won a Super Bowl chiefly because of Andy Reid. I will always appreciate what he brought to the Eagles and respect his standards by which we will judge others who find their way to the helm of the Eagles.

      I wish him well, so long as it’s not at the expense of the Eagles.

  • Elias Rappaport

    High Pick
    Young QB
    Great young talent
    Passionate fans
    A loyal owner that kept an average HC here for 14 years
    Lots of good RBs (Chip Kelly)
    Fairly big city

    Sounds good to me.