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Philadelphia Eagles coaching candidate profiles: Greg Roman, 49ers OC

This is the latest in our series of profiles on prospective Eagles coaching candidates. For others, click here.


We are profiling all the likely candidates for the Eagles head coaching position in 2013. For the rest of the series, check out this hub.

Next up is Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers.


1995 Carolina Panthers Defensive Quality Control/Strength & Conditioning Assistant
1996 Carolina Panthers Defensive Assistant
1997-98 Carolina Panthers Offensive Quality Control
1999-00 Carolina Panthers Offensive Assistant
2001 Carolina Panthers Assistant Offensive Line
2002-03 Houston Texans Tight Ends
2004-05 Houston Texans Quarterbacks
2006-07 Baltimore Ravens Assistant Offensive Line
2009 Stanford Tight Ends/Offensive Tackles/Running Game Coordinator
2010 Stanford Associate Head Coach/Assistant Head Coach Offense/Tight Ends/Offensive Tackles
2011-present San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator

Why he could work

While Roman was brought from Stanford with Jim Harbaugh, as you can see most of his experience is in the NFL. He's coached more or less every position on the offense, been in all types of systems in both conferences... He's really taken a very direct route up the NFL coaching tree. What he lacks is experience as a head guy, but his resume is not uncommon for a guy ready to get his first shot at a head coach job.

The 49ers offense hasn't been great under Roman, they finished 26th overall last season and sit at 11th this year. However, they have been efficient finishing near the top 10 in scoring each year. The efficiency doesn't stop there though, what the 49ers don't do will get Eagles fans more excited than anything.. turn the ball over. In 2012 they've thrown a league low 8 picks and lost just 3 fumbles. In 2011 they threw a league low 5 INTs and lost only 2 fumbles!

When you consider what a comical, mistake ridden mess the Eagles have been over the past 2 seasons that kind of efficiency is something we'd kill for.

Plus, the team has a run first attitude and the offense has shown adaptability as it transitioned QBs in midseason. It was tailored well to Alex Smith's strengths when he was at the helm and now it utilizes Colin Kaepernick's strengths well.

Finally, he's a local guy from Ventor, NJ.

Why he may not be the guy

All that stuff above about the 49ers offense looks great right? The problem is, there's a decent chance that Greg Roman doesn't have a whole lot to do with it. Head coach Jim Harbaugh is an offensive guy and the one who gets most of the credit for what has happened in San Francisco. And in fact, there's questions about how much of the gameplans or playcalls Roman even is responsible for.

From what Harbaugh says, Roman makes the playcalls, but it is Harbaugh who talks to the QB and relays those plays. Presumably he also retains the ability to veto plays or make the calls he wants. He will often say "this is Greg Roman's offense" but the mere fact he always makes it a point to say that is what seems to make people wonder. Plus, it's been documented that sometimes Roman calls plays, sometimes Harbaugh calls them and sometimes other guys on the offensive staff call them.

In fact, QB coach Geep Chryst will sometimes completely take over the playcalling in 2 minute situations. Players have said that the gameplanning duties get split up between the offensive assistants.

Third string quarterback Scott Tolzien said, "For the most part, Coach [Greg] Roman does the run game, [Wide receivers] Coach [Johnnie] Morton does the pass game and [quarterbacks] Coach [Geep] Chryst takes the red zone."

Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Being a part of a coaching team and working well with others is certainly something you want in a head coach. However, you do wonder in light of these kind of things whether Roman is ready to make the jump up to handle the responsibility of being head coach in the NFL.

Final thoughts

There's a lot to like about Roman. The way the 49ers offense operates isn't terribly exciting, but it's admirable. It's everything you want your offense to do. The team as a whole has good balance. If he's learned how that all works and can apply it here, we'll be very happy. If he can do with Nick Foles what he did with Alex Smith, we'll be very happy.

However there's doubt there about how much responsibility he has for the success in San Francisco and how prepared he is to take the next step. But that's what interviews are for and that's where Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman will come in. They need to find out how integral Roman was to the Niners success.

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