10 head coaching candidates the Eagles could target if they part ways with Doug Pederson

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Glenn Erby
·7 min read
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All is not well in Philadelphia and one of the NFL’s gold standard organizations could hit the reset button on their head coach.

According to Tim McManus and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, head coach Doug Pederson’s future with the organization is “not firm” and both parties could part ways if owner Jeffrey Lurie isn’t “confident” in Pederson’s plans to improve the coaching staff and offense.

With Lurie and Pederson set to meet again this week, here are 10 candidates that could arise if the two parties split.

Eric Bieniemy

Nov 1, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy look on from the sideline during the first half against the New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

A legend because of his exploits at Colorado, Bieniemy is the architect of the NFL's most explosive offense. The Chiefs offensive coordinator's resume is extensive: Colorado RBs coach (2001–2002), UCLA RBs coach (2003-05), Minnesota Vikings running backs coach/assistant head coach (2006-2010), University of Colorado offensive coordinator, Chiefs RBs coach (2013-17), Chiefs offensive coordinator (2018-present). Like Doug Pederson, Bieniemy is a former player who seems to have the communication and innovation part of the game down to a tee. His success with Patrick Mahomes true transfer to Carson Wentz or Jalen Hurts.

Brian Daboll

Nov 29, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll walks on the field prior to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen is a star in the NFL now and that's really all Daboll has to say when interviewed by Howie Roseman. Allen had accuracy and ball placement issues prior to Daboll arriving and the results have been outstanding. Daboll's resume is impressive and he's worked with some of the top college and NFL quarterback's over the past 13-years and he's familiar with Jalen Hurts. resume: Jets QBs coach (2007–2008), Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator (2009–2010), Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator (2011), Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator (2012), New England Patriots (2013-16) offensive assistant/TEs coach, University of Alabama offensive coordinator/QBs coach (2017), Bills offensive coordinator (2018-present) Daboll's willingness to utilize the running game should be another plus.

Duce Staley

May 10, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles coach Duce Staley works with running back DJ Knox (38) during rookie minicamp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The former Eagles great has been mentioned as a possible candidate for years and with Doug Pederson wanting to keep things close to the vest. Staley is well respected in the running backs room, he played an integral role in the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run, when he did a phenomenal job of managing two difficult personalities, LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi, keeping them productive and happy.

Urban Meyer

Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer came out in support of proposed changes for college football made by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh
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Meyer is definitely a leader of men and would bring a different energy and dynamic to the Eagles offense. Meyer has been assembling a coaching staff, including some assistants from the college ranks, in case he decides to take a job and Philadelphia wouldn't overwhelm the famous head coach. Meyer won three national championships and compiled a 187-32 college coaching record during stints at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to the 2014 national title and compiled an 83-9 record in seven seasons in Columbus.

Marvin Lewis

A level headed coach who'll garner the respect of his team, Lewis is unlikely to make Eagles' fans believe he can fix Carson Wentz. Lewis was the Bengals’ head coach for 16 years and helped the struggling franchise attain some level of national respect. Lewis went 131-122-3 in Cincinnati, won four AFC North titles, and made the playoffs seven times. His playoff record is 0-7. The 62-year-old has spent the past two years at Arizona State, working under former Jets coach Herm Edwards. Lewis served as co-defensive coordinator this year.

Jim Caldwell

A longtime QB guru, Caldwell is best known for his time with the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. From 2002-2008, Caldwell was the Colts’ assistant head/QBs coach, before he succeeded Tony Dungy and led the Colts to Super Bowl XLIV. Caldwell won a Super Bowl as Joe Flacco’s QBs coach and offensive coordinator in Baltimore (2012-2013). Caldwell could be huge for Carson Wentz and his resume speaks for itself after his time with Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco during his career

Joe Brady

Nov 15, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) talks to head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Brady is only a few years older than Carson Wentz, but he knows the passing game and he asserted himself well in Carolina this season. Brady, 31, just finished his first season as the Panthers offensive coordinator under first-year NFL head coach Matt Rhule. Before making the transition to join Rhule with the Panthers, Brady served one season as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach with LSU. Led by Joe Burrow, the 2019 Tigers went undefeated and won the national championship. Brady previously spent time in the NFL experience came as an offensive assistant on Sean Payton’s Saints staff in 2017 and 2018.

Robert Saleh

Jan 3, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Lurie would likely shy away from hiring a defensive-minded head coach, but such a move could allow the Eagles to get a top offensive mind for the coordinator role on offense. Saleh has stops in Houston, Seattle, and Jacksonville before finally getting the chance to run the 49ers' offense.

Arthur Smith -- Tennessee Titans OC

Dec 20, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) talks with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Smith is an intriguing name and his work with Ryan Tannehill would be attractive for Jeffrey Lurie in regards to Carson Wentz. Resume: Titans (2011-present): Defensive quality control coach (2011), Offensive quality control coach (2012), OL & TEs assistant (2013), Assistant tight ends coach (2014-2015), TEs coach (2016-2018), Offensive coordinator (2019–present) Smith has experienced coaching all over the board, working on both sides of the football. Smith has revived Tannehill’s career and he's opposed to utilizing the running game.

James Urban -- Ravens QB Coach

Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson, right, talks with quarterback coach James Urban during a NFL football practice Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The Eagles tried to hire Urban last offseason as the team’s offensive coordinator. Urban has played an enormous part in the development of guys like Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, and the soon to be NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson. The Ravens quarterback coach has ties with Philadelphia. Urban has been credited with Michael Vick’s career season in 2010. Urban was hired during Jackson's rookie season with the Ravens and has been credited with his jump in development from last season. He was the Bengals wide receivers coach during AJ Green's most successful seasons and during his five seasons with then-Eagles head coach Andy Reid, he was responsible for improved play from both Vick and Donovan McNabb.