With the final week of the NFL season approaching and therefore likely the end of Andy Reid's tenure in Philadelphia the coaching search for the Eagles and maybe 5-10 other teams will begin in earnest. If past seasons tell us anything, a new guy could very well be in place by the Super Bowl.
So before that guy gets hired, we should take a closer look at the possible candidates. We'll start with the current NFL guys.
First up is Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.
1985 San Francisco State (OC)
1986-1988 UTEP (OC)
1989-1993 Missouri (OC)
1994-1995 Boston College (OC)
1996-1997 Oregon (OC)
1998-2000 Boise State (HC)
2001-2006 Arizona State (HC)
2007-2011 Jacksonville Jaguars (OC)
2012-now Atlanta Falcons (OC)
Why he could work
A coach is more than just a guy to design a gameplan. He has to be a leader and his ability to handle the administrative side of the job is just as important as his ability to handle the football side of things. Look no further than the last 2 years of Reid's tenure as proof of why that's important. His handling of the administrative side of things has been a major part of why this team has been so bad.
So Koetter's previous head coaching experience is important. It may only be in the college ranks, but he's got 8 years of experience as the guy running a team and that's big. When you pair that with 5 years of coordinator experience at the NFL level, you've got a guy that certainly seems ready to take the next step.
While he may be ready, does he deserve it? The resume is decent. He did very good job at Boise State going 26-10 over 3 seasons, winning the Big West conference twice and going 2-0 in Bowl games. Things weren't as great when he made the step up to the Pac-10 with Arizona State as he went 40-34 over 6 seasons and 2-2 in bowl games. Still, Arizona State isn't exactly a power and his successor Dennis Erickson managed only a 31-31 record over 5 seasons.
His record as the OC of the Jaguars is mixed. Things started out well as they ranked 7th in league in total offense and 2nd in rushing. They took a big dip in 2008, but rebounded with a top 10 offense in 2009. Things dipped again to middle of the league in 2010, but they did finish 3rd in the NFL in rushing. In 2011, they were the worst offense in the NFL. Obviously, he never really had much to work with down there and most notably never had a particularly good QB to run his offense.
In his one year with the Falcons, the offense has been fantastic. They rank 7th in the league in yards per game and 4th in points per game. They do the majority of their damage through the air ranking 5th in the NFL in passing, but have one of the worst running games in the NFL. However, as we saw in Jacksonville, Koetter doesn't seem opposed to running the ball, he just didn't have the players to do it in Atlanta. That and he has arguably the best WR/TE combo in the NFL with Roddy White, Julio Jones & Tony Gonzalez.
Why he may not be the guy
His record is mixed. He was a decent coach in college, but not great. He did some good things in Jacksonville, but overall the record there is not terribly impressive. He has done really well in Atlanta, but they were already a top 10 offense when he took over and as I mentioned above, already had elite players at all skill positions aside from RB. Plus, it has been just one year.
Plus, the Falcons have a bye for the first round of the playoffs, so the Eagles can request permission to interview Koetter during that week. However, they may not be the only ones who want to talk with him and the Falcons aren't likely to let him travel all over for interviews. He may not even want to be that distracted preparing for the postseason. They'd also have to wait to hire him until Atlanta was out of the playoffs. If they like him, will they be willing to wait? What if they aren't the only team that wants to make him an offer? That's a dangerous game to play.
Koetter seems to have earned a shot at a head coaching job and his resume shows that he's qualified. I don't see him as the most exciting candidate, but it's a hire I would be satisfied with.