One name football fans will be hearing a lot of in the coming weeks is Katie Sowers. She may be the only person who can save the Eagles.
As the team continues to slowly trudge through a lackluster coaching search, Sowers has been padding her impressive resume. The 33-year-old football coach will become the first female to coach in the Super Bowl. Sowers was already the first openly LGBTQA coach in the NFL when she came out in 2017.
Since then, she has been living her childhood dream as a full-time offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers. One of her primary responsibilities there is working with the wide receivers, a group that ranked 17th in the NFL in 2019 with 4,029 receiving yards.
Working alongside 49ers wide receivers coach Wes Welker, Sowers has helped oversee the growth and development of second-round pick Deebo Samuel. The rookie has flourished in San Francisco and seen his role increase down the stretch.
Samuel hauled in a back-breaking 32-yard grab late in the third quarter during Sunday’s 37-20 win for the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. He finished as the fourth-best rookie wideout after making 57 receptions for 807 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season.
Female Coach is Well-Respected Around the NFL
Passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur has been one of her most vocal supporters since she arrived in San Francisco as an intern in 2017. Prior to that, Sowers served as a training camp assistant under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta. LaFleur was her direct boss in 2018 when he was the team’s wide receivers coach.
“She just fits right in,” LaFleur told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2018. “She comes in very early, puts her head down and goes to work. All that players want from a coach is to know that your intentions are to help make them be the best they can. Our players have respected her from day one.”
Sowers, who was a world-champion soccer player, already has a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. She donated her coaching shirt and binder to the museum in 2017.
Eagles Should Look at Sowers for Coaching Vacancy
Some might see hiring Katie Sowers as a publicity stunt. That’s not what this would be or how this potential move should be viewed.
Sowers has been winning over her players, coaches, and peers in the NFL for four years now. She wowed Kyle Shanahan enough to have him bring her on staff for two different NFL franchises, including the current NFC champions.
Meanwhile, the Eagles need to make a splash and shake-up their stagnant coaching staff. The team has seen two highly-touted assistant coaches — the Ravens’ James Urban and USC’s Graham Harrell — turn down offers to be their next offensive coordinator.
While Sowers isn’t yet qualified to call the plays and run the Eagles’ offense, she could be the perfect choice for wide receivers coach. Philadelphia parted ways with Carson Walch on Jan. 9 and still haven’t filled the vacancy.
Ravens tight ends coach Bobby Engram reportedly took himself out of consideration, while Jets assistant coach Hines Ward remains a leading candidate for the job. But Sowers’ name should be on their radar as an outside-the-box hire, the kind of move that GM Howie Roseman hinted at during his end-of-year remarks.
Don’t think of it as a PR stunt. Gender aside, it would be an opportunity for a talented young coach.
“I don’t look at her as a female, I look at her as a coach,” former 49ers receiver Pierre Garcon told the San Francisco Chronicle. “She shows us clips. When I have a question, she answers it. We bounce back information off each other. It’s all business.”
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