What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

The Eagles will introduce Doug Pederson as the team’s 23rd head coach at 2:00 this afternoon. Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl about Pederson’s potential head coaching staff. We’ve put together a collection of Birds-related reading material to tide you over until this afternoon.

Frank Reich and Doug Pederson should theoretically complement each other in forming the Eagles’ new offense, writes ESPN’s Phil Sheridan.

Pederson and Reich should complement each other. For the last two seasons, Reich was the San Diego Chargers’ offensive coordinator. While the Chargers were ranked fourth in the NFL in passing yards in 2015, they were next-to-last in rushing yards.

Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Pederson was offensive coordinator of the Chiefs. His offense ranked sixth in passing yards and 30th in rushing yardage.

None of this happens in a vacuum. The Chargers have Philip Rivers at quarterback. With free-agent Ryan Mathews decamping for Philadelphia, their leading rusher was rookie Melvin Gordon. In Kansas City, the quarterback was Alex Smith. The offense was built around running back Jamaal Charles, then turned to Charcandrick West when Charles was injured in Week 5.

Andy Reid, Pederson’s mentor and boss in Kansas City, has always favored the passing game over the running game. The Chiefs’ run-heavy offense marked a distinct departure for Reid. Whether that was Reid’s plan or Pederson’s influence will go a long way toward determining what kind of offense the Eagles run.

Get to know potential offensive coordinator Frank Reich with this piece on his background from the Chargers’ team website.

When you hear the name Frank Reich, one word comes to mind: comeback.

The orchestrator of the greatest comeback in NFL history, as well as one of the greatest in college football, has etched his place in the history books.

But as impressive as those moments were in marking major milestones in his career, they hardly define who Frank Reich is.

Reich grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania and got into football at an early age. In fact, his family is a family of football coaches. His father was a high school football coach while his younger brother is now the head football coach at Wingate University. As a youngster, Reich played a number of positions on the field but everyone quickly realized he had a bright future as a quarterback. Heavily recruited coming out of high school, he decided to attend the University of Maryland.

Andrew Brandt of MMQB offers up his take on the newest batch of NFL head coaches, including the Eagles’ hiring of Doug Pederson.

In negotiating player contracts, few were as enjoyable as the ones I did with Doug. For a few years there, at some point during the spring we would decide to bring back Doug as our backup, often because more established quarterbacks would not come to Green Bay (they knew Brett [Favre] never got hurt and they had no chance to play). I would then call up Doug, who acted as his own agent, and tell him we wanted another one-year deal. He would think about it for a minute, then say, “Cool, let’s go!” We would work out a contract within a few minutes and he’d head north from Louisiana.

I cannot imagine anyone not liking Doug Pederson, although he has never walked in the shoes of an NFL head coach. I fully expect [Howie] Roseman to step into the role of the “bad guy” with players on tough decisions, similar to the combination that served the Eagles well with former president Joe Banner and Reid.

Though it appears the Eagles hired Doug Pederson before the Chiefs were out of the playoffs, Mike Florio of PFT reports the league has no comment.

Philadelphia’s decision to admit publicly that the search was over last week and the emergence of multiple reports that Pederson would get the job created the impression that, whatever the terms used, Pederson knew the job was his at a time when the Eagles weren’t permitted to tell him that.

The NFL has declined comment on the situation, and it would be easy to call it a no-harm/no-foul situation, especially since the rule preventing a team from hiring an assistant coach whose current team is still playing seems unfair, outdated, and impractical. Still, the rule remains in place, and there’s enough evidence publicly available to suggest that the Eagles blatantly violated it.

Although the Chiefs aren’t complaining about it, other teams are grumbling because of the precedent it is setting. As one source with a team other than the Chiefs told PFT, Pederson’s awareness that he would be getting the job necessarily became a distraction as he prepared for a playoff game.

A recent change in tenor, writes the Inquirer’s Bob Ford, makes one wonder who exactly is accountable for the Eagles these days.

Saying there will be a collaborative process sounds fine, but someone still has to have final say. As it looks now, with a troika composed of the resurrected Roseman; Pederson, a freshman head coach; and [Tom] Donohoe, who will be 69 in March and lives in Pittsburgh; the final say logically belongs to Roseman. Lurie should just be clear about that and move on.

That probably won’t happen, however, and the introduction of Pederson, when all the focus will be on the new guy and his hopes and dreams, might not be the setting to pin down the owner on the true organizational structure.

We’ll see. If accountability is a big deal one year, it should be the next as well. You can’t have it both ways, demanding accountability only from the brash outsider but not from the insider who quietly took his lumps before reemerging without a mark.

The Daily News’ David Murphy writes the Eagles dropped the ball by making Ron Jaworski part of their head coach search committee.

You may be aware that the Eagles began their head-coaching search with a bit of a credibility problem. To call them rudderless would be to suggest that they set sail with some charted course. Their owner’s most recent news conference sounded like an unsuccessful audition for a TEDx talk. The qualifications he listed for his new head coach read like a Google translation of “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” As he outlined his vision for his NFL franchise, he seemed to be channeling some bizarre combination of Jane Seymour and Vanilla Ice. Collaborate, listen, and open your heart.

In hindsight, it should not have come as a surprise that the offensive minds Lurie has long craved were reluctant to open their hearts to him. Over the last five years, his franchise has quietly entered the ranks of the NFL’s most dysfunctional, encroaching on territory once firmly controlled by cities like Oakland and Detroit and Miami. Any candidate with other options surely entered his interview with serious questions about the overall direction of the organization. And there to address the questions that Lurie and Roseman could not answer was . . .