Missanelli: Pederson Is the Fallback Choice of a Bungled Search
I didn’t get my wish from last week, when I suggested the Eagles should impart the “domino effect” in hiring their next football coach.
I had them hiring Carolina assistant Sean McDermott, who would retain Pat Shurmur as the offensive coordinator, who would convince Sam Bradford to stay on as Birds quarterback, and then the team could likely challenge for a division championship in the terrible NFC East division.
Instead, the Eagles chose Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, who was bled into the ears of Eagles team owner Jeffrey Lurie and personnel head Howie Roseman by one Andy Reid. Reid has had a weird affection for Pederson all these years. He brought him in many years ago as the sacrificial lamb on a bad football team to preserve the stature of Donovan McNabb, who would eventually pass over Pederson to become starting quarterback.
But the search to finally obtain Pederson, with Lurie and Roseman being rebuffed by many and refusing to interview other worthwhile candidates, resembled some kind of theatre of the absurd. It reminded me of a scene in the movie Midnight Run, where the prisoner, Jonathan Mardukis, screamed to Jack Walsh and Marvin Dorffller, “You two have to be the dumbest bounty hunters in the world!”
The Eagles were first prepared to hire the hottest name in the coaching search, Adam Gase, the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. They interviewed him, but didn’t offer him the job on the spot, as if they were holding some block of gold. Gase went to Miami, where he snapped up the Dolphins job.
After that, they gave a cursory interview to venerable Tom Coughlin, considered him for a while, and then shifted to Coughlin’s younger assistant coach, Ben McAdoo, the Giants offensive coordinator. They were prepared to offer McAdoo the job also. But that alerted the Giants, who didn’t want their protégé to come down the turnpike. So the Eagles lost McAdoo. So, who was left, Marion Campbell?
Doug Pederson is the fallback position of a bungled search. But what are we to expect with Lurie as the owner? He has gotten one thing right during his 20-plus year tenure — the hiring of Reid. And he stayed too long with that head coach. How Howie Roseman escapes accountability for the Eagles’ failings all these years is a bigger mystery than the Holy Trinity.
But who knows? Maybe Pederson will be a good head coach. It seems to me, though, that the Eagles are working very hard to go back into their past to discover their future. Does that work anymore?