Lincoln Riley Tops Eagles Wish List to be Their Next Head Coach

There are many obstacles to overcome to make it happen, so here are the odds of some other candidates and what owner Jeffrey Lurie had to say about the search
Author:
Publish date:

A source close to the Eagles said general manager Howie Roseman reached out to Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley about being the team’s next head coach, a call made not long after the team parted ways with Doug Pederson on Monday.

It isn’t the first time the Eagles have talked to Riley about his potential interest in the Eagles. In fact, he and general manager Howie Roseman have a good relationship and it was a consult with Riley that helped sway the Eagles to draft both Jalen Reagor and Jalen Hurts, per sources.

So, put the 37-year-old Sooner at the top of any list to be the next head coach.

Of course, making it happen with Riley is another matter. He is making $6.5 million and has a record of 44-8 over four seasons in Norman.

And based on what happened with Pederson, getting fired just three years after winning a Super Bowl, a coach like Riley and any others may take that short leash into consideration. 

A future coach may also want to consider exactly how much or how little control he would have over not just personnel but his own coaching staff, which was one of the issues Pederson ultimately had in not being able to have much say as to who is on his staff.

Others on the coaching list are the obvious names of Mike Kafka and Eric Bieniemy, the Kansas City duo of quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, respectively.

Then there’s Brian Daboll, the OC in Buffalo, Arthur Long, the OC in Tennessee, as well as in-house candidate Duce Staley.

Some odds from BetOnline to be the next Eagles coach:

Bieniemy and Kafka 4/1

Daboll 9/2

Smith 5/1

Riley 11/2

Joe Brady 6/1

Brandon Staley and Duce Staley 15/2

Greg Roman 8/1

Nathaniel Hackett 9/1

Dave Toub 10/1

Josh McDaniels 12/1

Byron Leftwich 16/1

Matt Campbell 20/1

Ryan Day 20/1

Jim Caldwell and Robert Saleh 25/1

James Urban and Jason Garrett 28/1

Rex Ryan 33/1

So, there is no shortage of candidates.

“I would think it's a very, very attractive job because if I'm a coach, first thing you want to know is if you're going to have as much resources as possible to create a successful team; are the facilities good; what's the organization's track record over the last ten, 20 years, are they a team that rarely makes the playoffs, are they a team that's satisfied to occasionally make the playoffs, how many division titles do they have, do they ever get as far in the playoffs in the way they build their roster or is it just one-and-done or did they get to championship games and Super Bowls and things like that,” said Lurie. “That's what I'm looking for.”

Lurie added more attractive aspects of the job:

“On the quarterback situation, we've got two really interesting assets. They are both young. They are both hungry. They are terrific people, very different, and terrific people. A coach is going to have options. …

“The best fan base in America; there are other great fan bases, but this community really, really cares about their team; the culture of the team and how competitive they are and they want to win divisions. They want to win and get to championship games and further. So I just can't - is the owner committed, is the culture positive, are there good people all over the franchise in terms of operations, business-wise? It's all very, very, very positive.”

Whether or not Riley buys that sales pitch remains to be seen.

If he does, the Eagles could have their man rather quickly.

If not, Lurie said he is in no hurry.

“We’ll think both inside the box and outside the box,” the owner said. “I just want to say there will be no rush here. This notion of an NFL team making a very important decision for itself and its fan and rushing to a decision is unlike any business.

I just don’t think that’s warranted. If we find a head coach soon or it’s early February, it’s totally great. If we’re the last team picking a head coach that’s great, too, because then you have all the opportunity in the world. There's no rush. There's no pressure. There's nothing that should drive you from a decision based on just rational thought and careful analysis and getting to know the person as best you can.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out anything you may have missed pertaining to the Eagles by going to www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.