I don’t know, frankly, if Doug Pederson will make a good head coach.
I recall Pederson from 1999 as the worst Eagles QB I’ve ever seen — well, maybe second worst to Mike McMahon. I remember him whining a bit when Andy Reid inevitably benched him for top pick Donovan McNabb.
Pederson returned as an assistant coach, from 2009-12, but had no real impact on Reid’s offense. He followed Big Red to Kansas City, rising to offensive coordinator. This season, with Pederson occasionally calling plays, the Chiefs ranked ninth in scoring among the 32 NFL teams, 25th in first downs, 27th in total yards.
On Sunday, a day after KC whipped Houston, 30-0, in the playoffs, Pederson interviewed to replace Chip Kelly. By some reports, he is now the favorite for the job.
As I said, I can’t judge whether Pederson will be the next Dick Vermeil or the next RichKotite. I don’t know enough about his temperament, foresight, organizational skills, toughness or other attributes you’d seek in an NFL coach.
What I fear, however, is that Eagles owner Jeff Lurie and right-hand man Howie Roseman see in Pederson an Andy Reid-light — a non-boat rocking, West Coast offense-oriented candidate who can restore things to what they were a decade ago. That’s not a bad thing per se, but just because Chip Kelly blew up the house, it doesn’t necessitate moving back to the old neighborhood.
RELATED LINK: Too much time off has been killer for Flyers this season
The top takeaway from the Eagles coaching hunt is that no candidates knock you over. There are no college hotshots ready to move up — although maybe that’s a good thing after Kelly. None of the coaches-cum-broadcasters (JonGruden, BillCowher, BrianBillick) are serious about getting back in. And so, as seven teams seek new direction, a previously anonymous coordinator named Adam Gase gets elevated to savior.
The Eagles liked Gase, but he chose Miami. Apparently working with QB Ryan Tannehill was more attractive than working with Sam Bradford.
On Monday, Lurie and Roseman were set to host Tom Coughlin, ousted after 12 seasons and two Super Bowls in New York. I’d be shocked if the 69-year-old Coughlin gets the job. For one, the Eagles are 13-4 vs. his Giants since 2008. Why hire a guy who you’ve always beaten so easily?
That leaves a B-list of hopefuls, including Ben McAdoo, Paul Guenther, Dirk Koetter and incumbent offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer, whose top attribute may be he provides a comfort level for ownership.
And that, I fear, is Pederson’s big plus as well — he’s a safe commodity. No drama, manageable ego. After Chip, they’re aiming for the Era of No Surprises.