Bleeding Green Nation is profiling all the candidates and potential candidates for the Eagles head coaching position in 2016.
Ben McAdoo has been the Giants offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, where he has overseen the best back to back seasons of Eli Manning's career, turning the once inconsistent turnover prone QB into an efficient one. Prior to joining the Giants he spent eight years as an assistant with the Packers, where he won a Super Bowl, the latter two as the quarterbacks coach. With Tom Coughlin stepping down he is a favorite to succeed him in New York, but as of now is a candidate for several teams. He's reportedly scheduled to interview with the Eagles.
1996-1997 Homer-Central HS (assistant)
1998-1999 Indiana Area (PA) HS* (assistant)
2001 Michigan State (graduate assistant)
2002 Fairfield University (offensive line/tight ends)
2003 University of Pittsburgh (graduate assistant)
2004 New Orleans Saints (quality control)
2005 San Francisco 49ers (assistant offensive line)
2006-2011 Green Bay Packers (tight ends)
2012-2013 Green Bay Packers (quarterbacks)
2014-present New York Giants (offensive coordinator)
Why he makes sense
After coaching Aaron Rodgers to one of his best seasons in 2012 and then helping to keep the Packers afloat in 2013 while Rodgers missed seven starts with Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn, McAdoo has done a very nice job getting consistently good play out of Eli Manning in 2014 and 2015. McAdoo drew interest from several teams after the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but the Packers blocked those moves because they did not want to lose him. With his contract up at the end of the 2013 season, he drew interest from the Dolphins for their offensive coordinator position and interviewed for Browns head coach. Upon arriving in New York, McAdoo and his staff wanted Manning, coming off his worst season since his rookie year, to complete an astounding 70% of his passes, and while Manning didn't reach that high mark, he did have his best season in terms of completion percentage with 63.1, and his second best season in interception percentage with 2.3%. This resulted in his fourth best season in passer rating with a mark of 92.1, and also had one of his best seasons in yards per attempt, yards per game and sack percentage. But getting a singular good season out of Manning isn't anything new, the challenge for McAdoo was to get Manning, in his 12th season in 2015, to finally play consistently good football. Which he did. Manning improved his touchdown percentage from 5.0% to 5.7% as he threw a career high 35 touchdowns, and more importantly his low interception percentage remained the same at 2.3%. Manning also slightly improved his yards per game, passer rating, and sack percentage, though is completion percentage and yards per attempt took a slight dip. It appears that McAdoo can in fact teach an old dog new tricks.
But McAdoo's improvements weren't just limited to Manning. Odell Beckham won Rookie of the Year in 2014 despite missing the first four games of the season. Prior to McAdoo joining New York, the Giants had one of the worst offenses in the league, finishing 28th in points scored, 28th in yards, and 31st in DVOA (29th in passing, 30th in rushing). In McAdoo's first season, which also saw the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants improved to 13th in points, 10th in yards and 15th in DVOA (12th passing, 23rd in rushing), and in 2015 improved to 6th in points, 8th in yards but fell to 19th in DVOA (18th in passing, 23rd in rushing). And McAdoo did this is with a revolving door of talent at RB, TE and OL.
Why he might not work
McAdoo's problem is similar to Adam Gase: he's short on experience relative to other candidates. And there's not a lot to separate the two. At 38, he's practically the same age as Gase, who is 37, and he has even less NFL experience than Gase, with just 12 years in the league. Like Gase, all of the work that has made him a head coaching candidate has been with a veteran QB, coincidentally both have two years coaching a Manning, and both were praised for cutting down the turnovers of their veteran QBs, in Gase's case Jay Cutler. For all of McAdoo's strengths, his inexperience could be a hindrance, with no real track record to fall back on compared to his peers his interviews will need to be weighed accordingly.
Like Gase, being a young coach is not necessarily a bad thing, but for a team searching for a leader, he hasn't had a lot of opportunity to demonstrate his leadership abilities. And lastly, he may not even be available anyway. The Giants are sure to have interest in retaining him, and McAdoo has plenty of reasons to stay in New York.
McAdoo's work with Eli Manning is impressive. Usually a turnover machine, he's cut down on them under McAdoo, and has done so with just about every starter and key contributor missing time in at least one season. In his two years in New York, he's gotten more out of his players than the sum of their parts. If the Eagles are looking for a young coach who's gotten the most out of his QBs, they could do worse than McAdoo.