The Eagles’ coaching search has hit a wall. Following Andy Reid’s decision to block Mike Kafka from interviewing, it’s been crickets.
So, what should Doug Pederson do? The simple answer — perhaps the only logical one — is to promote Duce Staley to offensive coordinator and hire Hines Ward as wide receivers coach.
Staley has been well-respected for years within the organization while leading the running backs while Ward has slowly earned a reputation for developing young guys like Robby Anderson in New York. These appear to be the front-runners but they lack any swagger or pizzazz.
This got us thinking about outside-the-box hires, completely crazy and off-the-radar types of moves. Remember, GM Howie Roseman did say nothing was off-limits during his end-of-year press conference.
“I think when you have a disappointing season it’s not just on the players and the coaches; it’s also on the front office,” Roseman told reporters. “That starts with me, and I’m sorry to our fans. They give us tremendous support.”
Terrell Owens, WR Coach
Imagine the drama and the intrigue. Owens just started his own YouTube channel and promised it would be the most entertaining subscription in sports: “Getcha popcorn ready!” While the former Eagles receiver might lack the mental bandwidth to deal with the many egos and structure needed to be a coach in the NFL, it sure would be fun.
There is no denying he has the credentials and knowledge to impart to young, impressionable pass-catchers. Guys revere Owens as one of the all-time greats, much in the same vein they do Jerry Rice and Randy Moss. He also has experience training Julio Jones and turning him into an elite receiver. It could be an interesting experiment.
Jeff Garcia, Offensive Coordinator
The former Eagles quarterback was lobbying to be head coach of the San Francisco 49ers back in 2017. Obviously, they went in a different direction — and advanced to a Super Bowl. Garcia was trying to make the jump and felt teams were passing on him due to his lack of experience as an assistant. He blamed the NFL’s old-school mentality and “process.”
But the 49-year-old has spent some time on the sideline, including a stint as an offensive assistant with the Rams in 2015 where he worked with Nick Foles. Garcia, who played professional football for 17 seasons, also served as an assistant for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. At one time, he was a trendy pick to land a job as quarterbacks coach in the NFL.
Harold Carmichael, WR Coach
Fresh off his Hall-of-Fame selection, Carmichael would provide veteran leadership and familiarity with the Eagles’ organization. He served as director of player and community relations for the franchise from 1998-2013 before Chip Kelly forced him out the door.
The Eagles’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards had been largely credited for developing young talent and providing a sounding board on how to adjust to life as an NFL player. At 6-foot-8, Carmichael could show players how to climb the ladder and secure the football. He has often been seen coaching players up during training camp practices so just make it official.
Clyde Simmons, Defensive Line Coach
It appears as if the Eagles are content to promote from within with Matt Burke. From all accounts, Burke would be a great hire and players would get juiced up going to war for him. However, it is a bit surprising the team has never looked at one of their all-time leading sack artists for any kind of defensive coaching job. Simmons ranks third all-time in franchise history with 75 total sacks.
Simmons has legitimate coaching chops, too, after unleashing Cleveland’s Myles Garrett on the NFL. He was in charge of the Browns’ defensive line for two seasons (2017, 2018) and watched Garrett record 13.5 sacks in 2018. Simmons learned the trade from Rex Ryan as an intern with the Jets. He is currently an assistant defensive-line coach for Michigan State.
Nick Foles, Offensive Coordinator
How about this for a storybook ending? All the talk has been about bringing Foles back to hold Carson Wentz’s clipboard. That would never work, too many ghosts to exorcise. But the Super Bowl MVP would be for an intriguing candidate as offensive coordinator. This is assuming that Josh McCown really doesn’t want the job, of course.
Foles was the undisputed leader in the locker room during the 2017 Super Bowl run, with multiple players applauding the way he ran the huddle. Heck, Foles even went off script in the biggest game of his life and called the famed “Philly Special” play. This would be the most unorthodox hire in NFL history — Foles has zero coaching experience — yet it somehow makes perfect sense.
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