The Philadelphia Eagles may already have a favorite target in their search for a new head coach. It just might be a name you would expect. According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson is a "leading candidate" to fill Philadelphia's head coaching vacancy.
Pederson is certainly a familiar face. The eight-year NFL veteran played quarterback for the Eagles in 1999. He joined Philadelphia's coaching staff as an offensive quality control coach under Andy Reid during the 2010 season. Pederson was later promoted to quarterbacks coach before leaving Philadelphia in 2013 to become Reid's offensive coordinator in Kansas City.
Here's how the Chiefs have ranked on offense during Pederson's tenure:
Pederson might not be a popular name like Adam Gase, but he obviously has an understanding of Philadelphia, which is something Jeffrey Lurie stressed will be important in the team's coaching search. Lurie also hinted at looking to recapture the spirit of the Reid era, so this fits that guideline too. For what it's worth, former Packers vice president Andrew Brandt is a fan of Pederson:
One of my favorite people from our time in Green Bay, real coach on the field. Andy Reid disciple. https://t.co/AUfYlg3Uhu— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) January 3, 2016
Before everyone starts to freak out, note that the search process could be far from over. There will likely be many more rumored candidates before an official hire is announced.
Pederson isn't the only former Eagles player whose name has come up in Philadelphia's search so far. The Eagles interviewed running back coach Duce Staley on Friday.
For more background on Pederson, check out this article.
UPDATE: Now we have a conflicting report. CSN Philly says that Pederson is not a serious candidate.