One Candidate Stands Above the Field Should Eagles Part with Doug Pederson

That favorite resides in Norman, Okla., but there are plenty of other candidates, including some extreme longshots, and here is a look at them
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Part of me still believes there is a good chance that Doug Pederson returns.

A larger part of me believes this team needs a new voice, and that voice keeps whispering: "The best coach for this current Eagles’ roster has pets named Boomer and Sooner and resides in tornado alley."

That, of course, would be Lincoln Riley, the head coach at the University of Oklahoma, where Riley has gone 44-8 with four Big 12 Championships since becoming the Sooners’ head coach in 2017 after two years as the school’s offensive coordinator/quarterback coach.

There will be roster churn with the Eagles this offseason, as there always is after a season ends. Perhaps that is the case even more so this year, with the Eagles eliminated from postseason contention a week before the regular season ends and with a salary cap that is stretched beyond belief.

Two that won’t get caught up in that churn are Jalen Reagor and Jalen Hurts, the Eagles’ top two draft picks last spring. These are building blocks, and nobody better to build them at this moment than Riley, who has a history with both players, especially Hurts, who he spent one season coaching at Oklahoma.

In that one season, Hurts threw for 3,851 yards, ran for 1,298, and totaled 52 touchdowns combined between both phases of the offense.

As for Reagor, GM Howie Roseman, who has a good relationship with Riley, spoke to Riley about Reagor prior to the draft, and the OU coach told him that Reagor would have been a 100-catch receiver in the Sooner offense.

Landing Riley would not be easy.

First, the Eagles would have to offer him at least what he is making at Oklahoma, which is $6.5 million annually, and most likely more than that.

Second, bringing Riley in would most likely trigger the end of Carson Wentz’s days in Philadelphia. It’s already questionable how well Wentz would handle a quarterback competition in the spring with Hurts, and then to bring in his college coach, well, that would be the end of any thoughts about letting Wentz and Hurts duke it out to be the starter next fall.

Third, who knows how well Riley would fare in the pressure-cooker that is Philadelphia. He is a lifelong resident of the southwest. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, played quarterback at Texas Tech, coached at Texas Tech, and, except for a five-year run at East Carolina, has never worked anywhere else other than Texas and Oklahoma.

Who knows if he’s ever even been to Philadelphia?

Fouth, when someone names their pets Boomer and Sooner that shows a level of commitment that won't be easy to sway.

OTHER POTENTIAL CANDIDATES:

Joe Brady, Panthers OC: Imagine hiring him then drafting receiver Ja’Marr Chase after Brady was Chase’s OC at LSU when they won a national championship last year.

Brian Daboll, Bills OC: What he has done with Josh Allen and Buffalo’s offense has been eye-opening, and he already has five Super Bowl rings from his days with the Patriots and a CFP title from his 2017 season with Alabama when he was co-OC and QB coach.

Greg Roman, Ravens OC: A native of South Jersey, Roman has helped develop Lamar Jackson, and Jackson and Hurts have some comparable traits, though Hurts may be the better passer at this stage of his young career.

Others: Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs OC; Pete Carmichael, Saints OC; Nathaniel Hackett, Packers OC.

Very long shots: Duce Staley, Eagles assistant head coach; David Shaw, Stanford head coach; Dave Toub, Chiefs special team coordinator; Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach; Todd Monken, Georgia OC.

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