There have been a lot of discussions this offseason about the Eagles’ decision not to hire an offensive coordinator. Not all of it positive.
In fact, there has been a growing concern from both the media and fans that maybe Doug Pederson has too much control over the offense. The head coach has repeatedly admitted that he calls the plays on gameday, a duty he has refused to relinquish.
Pederson has preached a collaborative coaching room and does value the input of his assistants but he has final say. He is the de facto offensive coordinator.
“Bottom line, I’m the one calling plays on game day,” Pederson said. “So in some facets, you could consider me the offensive coordinator as well.”
Pederson even admitted that his unwillingness to budge from that stance may have limited the team’s options to improve their coaching staff. Ultimately, the Eagles decided not to hire an offensive coordinator. But the team did add Rich Scangarello as senior offensive assistant and Andrew Breiner as passing game analyst, then promoted Press Taylor to passing game coordinator.
“That’s difficult,” Pederson told reporters at the NFL Combine. “Some of the candidates I spoke with and even brought into the building, that was brought up. I told them upfront this is a position where I’m still going to call plays and they had to be comfortable with that.”
According to Pederson, the Eagles are structured in the best possible way to win now.
“I feel like this is the best structure for us, for me as the play-caller,” he said.
Texans Coach Gives Up Play-Calling Duties
The Eagles entered the week as one of four teams where the head coach doubles as lead play-caller and de facto offensive coordinator. Scratch one franchise off that list.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien had been calling the plays in Houston since 2016 but that duty has ended. O’Brien told reporters at the NFL Combine that he would be turning over play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. The two previously worked together at Penn State where Kelly was a graduate assistant.
O’Brien likely made the move so he can better balance his role as head coach with his new title of general manager. He needed to enlist someone he had the utmost trust and confidence in.
“[Kelly is] a really bright guy,” O’Brien said, via ESPN. “He’s a really good coach. Players really respect him. He just does a great job. Great knowledge of the whole offense from the passing game to the running game.”
With O’Brien handing over the keys of the offense to Kelly, that leaves the Eagles, 49ers and Rams as the only franchises lacking traditional offensive coordinators. Doug Pederson will continue to call the shots in Philadelphia, just like Kyle Shanahan does in San Francisco and Sean McVay does in Los Angeles.
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