- Doug Pederson leaves behind a mess in Philadelphia after a 4-11-1 season in a dreadful NFC East Division
- If Patrick Mahomes had a choice, Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy would be Pederson’s successor
- Below, we examine the best candidates and their odds of rehabilitating the offense, and Carson Wentz
The Philadelphia Eagles are in need of an overhaul, and it starts at head coach with the firing of Doug Pederson, even though it’s been less than three years since he led the team to its first Super Bowl victory.
There are a lot of questions about who should succeed Pederson, although his firing should not be considered a total surprise. Legitimate questions were being raised about Pederson’s tenure back in December, when he was given -215 odds to be the first of the Eagles to be sent packing, before even GM Howie Roseman and QB Carson Wentz.
Next Eagles Head Coach Odds
Odds from Jan 12
A secondary concern is that this is not considered a very attractive job opening because there are many issues to resolve. For one thing, the new coaching staff will have to work to get Wentz back on track.
Wentz regressed in his fifth season and was replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts for the last quarter of the season. Some believe the firing of Pederson increases the chances of Wentz staying in Philadelphia.
Did you know? Doug Pederson is the 2nd head coach to be fired within 3 seasons of winning a Super Bowl. The Baltimore Colts fired Don McCafferty in 1972 after winning in 1970, when he refused to bench Johnny Unitas. pic.twitter.com/ltY5JY26rI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 12, 2021
Pederson’s fate was likely sealed when he pulled Hurts in the season’s final game in favor of Nate Sudfeld in a 20-14 loss to Washington. The move confused players, who thought Hurts offered a better chance of winning.
The issue of how to fill the hole left by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who plans to take the year off from football in 2021, also must be unresolved.
Oddsmakers have made Eric Bieniemy, the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, the favorite to take over this position, although there are other interesting names such as Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who is listed fourth on the list at +650 odds.
The firing of Pederson was bittersweet in some circles because the move ended a partnership that delivered the first and only Super Bowl title in the city’s history.
Despite a 4-11-1 finish to the season, there were many who believed his job would be spared, But ESPN reported that multiple meetings with team owner Jeffrey Lurie left his boss unconvinced that Pederson had a sound vision for how to address all the issues, including navigating the Wentz situation.
Whoever assumes the helm will have to address the Eagles offense, which finished 26th in scoring (20.9 points per game) and 28th in passing yards (207.9 yards per game) in 2020. Those struggles, it must be noted, came in a season when the NFL set a record for points scored.
Mahomes Endorses Bieniemy
Is Bieniemy worth betting at this price? It’s hard to suggest that Bieniemy would be a good bet, especially at that price. Bieniemy received a strong endorsement from Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who said that a team would be nuts not to hire him.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 12, 2021
But there are reports that he wants to remain with the Chiefs until he finds the perfect job. It seems taking over a train wreck in Philly would not be the perfect job. And Bieniemy will certainly have a lot of other offers to choose from.
Owner Likes Duce
Duce Staley must be considered a better bet at +1000 odds. Owner Jeffrey Lurie has already tabbed the Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach to be among the candidates to replace Pederson, calling him “a great representative of the Eagles” who “knows our values.”
Although Bieniemy (+425 odds) and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley (+475) are the leading candidates tabbed by oddsmakers, Bills’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll (+650) looks like a solid candidate for what he has done rebuilding Buffalo’s offense into a formidable air attack. His stock has never been higher.
Jeffrey Lurie: "I would expect Duce Staley to be a candidate" for head coach. #Eagles
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 11, 2021
Riley Looks Comfortable
Oklahoma Sooners’ coach Lincoln Riley has the second-shortest odds at +475 after it was learned that the Eagles reached out to him right after Pederson was fired. Since he became coach of the Sooners in 2017, his quarterback pupils have included the likes of Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts.
— Chris Infante (@Infante54) January 11, 2021
Add in the fact that Riley also apparently has a relationship with the Eagles front office, including providing draft advice over the years. Riley’s input reportedly led to the Eagles taking Jalen Hurts in the second round of last year’s draft.
But money may stand in the way. Riley’s current package reportedly averages more than $7.5 million a year, and it’s been suggested that it would take at least $9 million, or more, to lure him to Philadelphia and jump to the next level. And there’s also the comfort factor in Oklahoma. Why jump into a situation where the media and the fans will be considerably more hostile than what he’s currently experiencing in Oklahoma?