The Philadelphia Eagles surprised many on Jan. 11 by firing head coach Doug Pederson, just three seasons after he delivered the organization its first Super Bowl championship. While the organization started its coaching search much later than other NFL teams, it may not be long before a decision is made.
Philadelphia’s decision to ax Pederson came just weeks after the organization planned to retain him, with the coach himself even confident he would return for 2021. Instead, 11 days into the new year and after a meeting with owner Jeffrey Lurie went poorly, change was made.
With the team having already spoken with coaching candidates, here’s the latest on when the Eagles could hire their next head coach.
Philadelphia Eagles to hire head coach ‘sooner than later.’
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, a source with close knowledge of the team’s coaching search indicated a decision could come sooner than later. In fact, Lurie’s call on who will be Philadelphia’s head coach could come this week.
The Eagles have conducted interviews with many of the top coaching candidates available in 2021. One of their first requests was for Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who the Atlanta Falcons hired as their head coach. Philadelphia also expressed interest in Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, but he is emerging as the clear favorite for another head-coaching spot.
While a few prospective targets are coming off the board, Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman have met with others or are scheduled to interview them. The Eagles interviewed New England Patriots assistant and former NFL linebacker Jerod Mayo and are scheduled to interview Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
An interview request for Kansas City Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy was also submitted, but he can’t speak to NFL teams until the Chiefs are eliminated from the playoffs.
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Philadelphia has also expressed interest in some surprising candidates. Lurie has his eye on rival owner Jerry Jones’ favorite assistant coach. Additionally, the organization is considering one of its former quarterbacks as a candidate to become the head coach.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, coaching candidates are being told that the organization prefers to keep Carson Wentz and wants to build around him in 2021. While some may be open to that, others could be concerned by the troubling reports that emerged regarding Wentz’s issues with coaching this past season and some of the problems he caused.
With the Los Angeles Chargers and Detroit Lions each having their targeted hires lined up, only the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans remain with clear openings. It might be fitting, given the drama and turmoil surrounding both organizations.