The exodus in South Philadelphia continues as another member of Doug Pederson’s coaching staff has reportedly turned in his pink slip. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is leaving the Philadelphia Eagles to accept a job at the University of Alabama, per The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman.
Stoutland, who also served as run game coordinator in Philly, will replace Ken Flood who has accepted a job to be the offensive coordinator at Texas. The 58-year-old coach first joined the Eagles in 2013 when Chip Kelly hired him and quickly earned Pederson’s trust after the regime change. The early front-runner to take Stoutland’s place on the Eagles is assistant offensive line coach Roy Istvan.
Stoutland oversaw 14 different offensive line combinations in 2020 while acclimating several inexperienced guys to the limelight. Left tackle Jordan Mailata and right guard Nate Herbig flourished under his stewardship. He is widely considered one of the best in the business.
“You have to be prepared. Here is the biggest thing,” Stoutland told reporters earlier this year, via Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro, “we make around here with the Philadelphia Eagles, and around here, in the offseason is the OTAs. And we make so much hay, this is where you build your foundation. And this is where the young players really develop and learn how to play offensive line for the Philadelphia Eagles. And so that kind of thing was, we missed all of that this year. And we really did. And it affected us, believe me.”
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 14, 2021
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Saban Tried to Steal Stoutland Away in 2019
The move to Alabama has been a long time coming for Stoutland after head coach Nick Saban reportedly tried to steal him away in 2019. Remember, Stoutland was Saban’s offensive line coach in 2011 and 2012 at Alabama where he was instrumental in building back-to-back national championship teams.
The Crimson Tide’s 2011 offensive line unit allowed the second-fewest sacks in the SEC, allowing only 17 quarterback takedowns in 13 contests. He was credited for developing two first-team All-Americans in center Barrett Jones and guard Chance Warmack in 2012, with Jones winning the Outland Trophy in 2011.
Jeff Stoutland is a great hire for the OL! In his 8 years on the Eagles, his players combined for 15 Pro Bowls and he won a Super Bowl just 3 years ago.
— Mason (@BamaBunker) January 14, 2021
“Coach Stoutland did an excellent job with our offensive line along with each and every responsibility he had while he was here at the University of Alabama,” Saban said when the coach first left Alabama in 2013, via Alabama.com. “We appreciate all that he did in terms of his time and his dedication in contributing to the success we’ve had over the last two years. He’s an outstanding coach and he will do a great job with the Eagles.”
Pederson: ‘Great Decision on My Part’
Pederson could have easily cut ties with Stoutland when he took the head-coaching reins in 2016. Instead, he evaluated all the good things the long-time assistant brought to the table and decided not to upset the apple cart.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) January 14, 2021
His reward? An offensive line that persevered over the years, surviving one major injury after another. He watched Stoutland’s guys combine for six All-Pro nods and 15 Pro Bowl appearances, including producing arguably the best center in football (Jason Kelce), best right tackle (Lane Johnson) and best right guard (Brandon Brooks). He also saw future Hall of Fame left tackle Jason Peters continue to thrive.
“He has a lot of energy, very, very excited,” Pederson told reporters earlier this year. “For him, I can understand it was a little bit of an unknown time, right? New head coach coming in, you don’t know if you’re going to be here or somewhere else, but I just assured him that quite frankly, he was going to be my offensive line coach. But it was a great meeting. A lot of energy, and looking back, a great decision on my part.”
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