Eagles prefer coaching candidates who favor Carson Wentz over Jalen Hurts

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Eagles prefer coaching candidates who favor Wentz over Hurts originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Interesting nugget Saturday morning from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, who said sources familiar with the Eagles’ thinking told him the team still wants Carson Wentz to be its quarterback and that head coaching candidates who favor Jalen Hurts are at a disadvantage.

It’s somewhat surprising that the Eagles would be this loyal to Wentz considering a report Saturday morning by the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane that painted Wentz as even more uncoachable and unaccountable than previously believed.

Garafolo, speaking on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, said two things that may seem a little contradictory: That whoever the Eagles hire as Doug Pederson’s replacement will have a “big say” in what happens with Wentz and Hurts but also that candidates who believe the Eagles should move forward with Hurts might not align with what Eagles owner Jeff Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman believe:

“Sources have told me that what the team is telling head coach candidates in interviews is 1) The coach will obviously have a big say in how they handle the quarterback situation but 2) They do believe in this guy, they want him back, so if you’re a head coach going into those meetings saying. ‘I want Wentz out and Hurts in,’ I think that’s probably going to hurt your standing in this interview process.”

 

The fact that believing Hurts is the answer to the Eagles' quarterback situation could hurt a potential candidate confirms what Troy Aikman said earlier this week about the Eagles getting rid of Pederson because he favored Hurts as the QB of the future. It also shows just how much Lurie and Roseman feel Pederson was at the root of Wentz's struggles, how deep the chasm between Pederson and Wentz had grown and how strongly they still believe in Wentz.

There are valid reasons for the Eagles to try to make things work with Wentz, namely the record amount of dead money they’d have to absorb under the 2021 salary cap if they trade him but also the prospect that with a new offensive coaching staff he would be able to recapture his form of 2017 through 2019, when he was the NFL’s 6th-ranked quarterback.

But if Wentz really this difficult to work with, you could certainly make a case that the organization might want to cut ties with him no matter who the head coach is.

Wentz was benched after a miserable 11 1/2 games and replaced by Hurts, who started the last four games of the season.

The Eagles have interviewed 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley and Patriots inside linebacker coach Jerod Mayo. The Jets hired Saleh and the Falcons hired Smith.

They Eagles plan to interview Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley when they’re able to, and they’ve also been linked to Lincoln Riley, Todd Bowles, Kellen Moore and Ryan Day.

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