clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Six candidates the Eagles should have included in their head coaching search

The Eagles coaching search has been limited. They should expand it with some of these names.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The search for the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles has been a number of adjectives: boring and uninspiring are but a few apt ones, but so is limited. The Eagles have interviewed just four external candidates, and one of them was a former player and coach they are already familiar with. In 2013 they interviewed at least 10 candidates, which was too many and included the uninspiring Lovie Smith, Brian Kelly and Brian Billick. But just four outside candidates in 2015 is too few, too narrow a search to be sure they have found the "strategic thinker" with the "emotional intelligence" that Jeffrey Lurie is supposedly looking for. It's never a good year to need a coach, but some are better than others. In this seemingly weak field of candidates, the Eagles haven't really done their due diligence. There are candidates out there who are, at least on paper just as, if not more, qualified to be a head coach than some of the candidates the Eagles have interviewed so far.

in alphabetical order

Darrell Bevell, Seahawks offensive coordinator

The Eagles have interviewed three coaches directly from the Andy Reid coaching tree. Darrell Bevell is a secondary member of it, having been Brad Childress' offensive coordinator in Minnesota. During this time with the Vikings he got arguably the best season of Brett Favre's career at the age of 40. The notoriously turnover prone Favre had the lowest interception percentage in the league, he set career highs in passer rating, yards per attempt and completion percentage, and the Vikings came an OT field goal away from reaching the Super Bowl. In Seattle he's developed Russell Wilson into one of the best quarterbacks in the league despite a weak group of wide receivers and shaky offensive line play. This season was perhaps his best, with Marshawn Lynch and Jimmy Graham missing time due to injury and bad offensive line play Wilson was the most efficient passer in the league, and finished the season with a torrid 25-2 TD-INT ratio in the second half of the season despite missing Lynch and Graham for nearly all of it. His resume stacks up as well as Adam Gase and Ben McAdoo's: outstanding years from great QBs, and he's done it at two stops and for longer than either of them.

Vic Fangio, Bears defensive coordinator

Fangio has a long and distinguished career as an assistant and defensive coordinator. He started his NFL coaching career as the linebackers coach for the Dome Patrol Saints, who in 1991 sent all four starting linebackers to the Pro Bowl, and each member would go there at least four times while playing for him (Sam Mills, Vaughan Johnson and Pat Swilling four times, HOFer Rickey Jackson six). He then was the defensive coordinator for the Panthers in 1996 when in their second year of existence they reached the NFC Championship Game on the strength of their defense. In 2010 he joined forces with Jim Harbaugh in Stanford and then went with him to San Francisco where the 49ers defense propelled them to three NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl appearance. At 57 he's essentially the same age as Dirk Koetter, who has gotten multiple interviews and is apparently of interested to the Eagles, but with a far less impressive resume.

Harold Goodwin, Cardinals Offensive Coordinator

Goodwin is a Bruce Arians protege, having been with him in Pittsburgh as an assistant and then in Indianapolis as his offensive line coach. Aside from this pre-season, when Arians had him call plays to give him some experience, he has never been a play caller. But that hasn't been a disqualifier for the Eagles, neither is Doug Pederson nor was Andy Reid. Under Arians and Goodwin, the Cardinals have built one of the best offenses in the league this season, which is more than candidates such as Ben McAdoo and Doug Pederson can lay claim to, and also has more experience than either of them.

Hue Jackson, Bengals Offensive Coordinator

A deeper profile can be found here, but Jackson's case is pretty straight forward: as offensive coordinator and then head coach for a year in Oakland, and then as offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, he has consistently gotten more than the sum of his parts, especially at quarterback. Concerns about his power grab are possibly overstated, the situation in Oakland was unique. He is one of the most qualified candidates that has gotten interviews, but the Eagles have not and are not going to interview him.

Mike Shula, Panthers Offensive Coordinator

Shula has gotten the best years out of QBs of varying talent levels at every one of his four stops in the NFL, including developing Cam Newton, and yet has garnered no interviews while Bob McAdoo is a top candidate and Adam Gase already hired because of their work with the Mannings, Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, all established starting QBs when they started coaching them. His tenure as a college head coach was unimpressive but it was also a decade ago. He isn't the "sexiest" candidate, but he's done more and for longer than others have. You can read a more detailed profile here.

Dave Toub, Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator

If Toub weren't a special teams coordinator he'd probably have a head coaching job by now, which is ridiculous and discriminating. John Harbaugh had to voluntarily take a demotion to a position coach job for just one year in order to become a more attractive head coaching candidate. In his 12 years as a special teams coordinator with the Bears and Chiefs, Toub's units have finished in the top 10 in DVOA 10 straight years, including the top 3 six times. He's the best special teams coordinator in the league, and he's deserving of interviews, but teams don't give real consideration to special teams coaches because they're not considered "real" coordinators.


It's impossible to tell who is and is not a good head coach until they are a head coach. Every year coaches are hired and praised, and then within three years nearly all of them are fired because they aren't good enough. It's quite possible that whoever the Eagles hire will turn out to be a great coach and none of the coaches mentioned above will be any good. It's more likely though that whoever they coach will not. The Eagles are doing themselves no favors by having such a limited coaching search, and they should expand it to interview some of these coaches. They've interviewed less experienced coaches, and they've interviewed coaches with less success. There's little reason to not consider more candidates.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bleeding Green Nation Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Philadelphia Eagles news from Bleeding Green Nation