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Report: Eagles interviewed quarterbacks coach Press Taylor for offensive coordinator job

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Are we really about to see another internal promotion?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Minicamp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been over three weeks since the Eagles fired Mike Groh. Philadelphia is the only team in the NFL with an offensive coordinator opening. So, what’s the deal? Why hasn’t a replacement been identified by now?

There’s been some thought that the delay is related to the Eagles waiting to hire an assistant coach from one of the two Super Bowl teams: the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers. Perhaps that’s truly the case.

But we know Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka isn’t going to be the hire. 49ers assistants Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur have been mentioned but San Fran can seemingly blocking them from leaving:

McDaniel and LaFleur could have kept their options open for next season by declining to sign contract extensions. But a year ago, they both signed deals through the 2020 season, and will likely sign new deals this offseason through 2021.

If not a Chiefs or 49ers assistant, then whom?

Enter: Eagles quarterback Press Taylor.

ESPN’s Tim McManus reports the Eagles have interviewed Taylor during their OC search.

According to a league source, Eagles quarterbacks coach Press Taylor has been interviewed during the team’s wide-ranging coaching search. The 32-year-old former Tulsa quarterback became a household name locally when he was given credit for digging up the “Philly Special” trick play in front of Super Bowl LII. He was elevated from quality control and assistant quarterbacks coach to QBs coach in 2018.

Taylor has an advocate in Carson Wentz, and that’s no small thing. The two have built up a strong relationship over the past few years. Trust and respect are key ingredients in the coach/quarterback dynamic, and the Eagles’ brass would have few concerns on that front if they tabbed Taylor.

It should be noted that NFL insider Jason La Canfora previously told SportsRadio 94WIP’s Marks & Reese Show that he could see Taylor getting promoted. This was from about two weeks ago:

”I think Press Taylor is somebody who is very highly thought of in that organization and could get a bump up. You guys know [John] DeFilippo has been there before. I mean look, it’s Doug Pederson’s show you know what I mean? And I think it’s more about having people in the building who can help create, come up with ideas, and come up with strategies, and come up with game plans.” [...] “If that’s how it played out, I wouldn’t be shocked. I think that’s one of the things under consideration.”

There are multiple reasons why the optics of a Taylor promotion wouldn’t look great.

1) It would be a clear sign the Eagles struck out on more preferable OC options and had to revert to their fallback plan. Sure, sometimes teams not getting their first choice works out. Just look at the Eagles ending up with Doug Pederson instead of Ben McAdoo. But sometimes a last resort is a last resort for a reason.

2) It would be a pretty big slap in the face to assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley for him to get internally leapfrogged by Taylor, who was merely an offensive quality control coach a few years ago. I haven’t even been in favor of promoting Staley to OC but a Taylor promotion seems like an especially tough sell. I suppose the Eagles could look to work around this issue by promoting Taylor to passing game coordinator and not using the OC title, as McManus suggested.

3) Another internal promotion? Really? This organization has been way too reliant on familiarity in recent years. Elevating Groh and Carson Walch clearly didn’t work out. Bringing Jordan Matthews and Jay Ajayi back last season was a waste of time. It’s been apparent that fresh perspective is needed and promoting Taylor doesn’t accomplish that. Unless we’re to believe Taylor previously had a bunch of good ideas that were ignored?

4) The OC hire should ideally help to maximize Carson Wentz. Has Taylor really done that as the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach over the past two years? I’d say no. At least one NFL executive believes that Taylor has been going too easy on Wentz. That sentiment lines up with things that I’ve heard about the Taylor-Wentz relationship being much more buddy-buddy than the typical coach and player dynamic. (And it’s not hard to believe given Taylor is only five years older than Wentz.) Perhaps getting Taylor out of the quarterbacks coach role would be good, then, but would the new hire really bring the tough love that John DeFilippo once gave to Wentz? McManus curiously mentioned Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter as a possible replacement if Taylor gets promoted. Trevor Lawrence has obviously thrived under his coaching but does Streeter have the proper cachet when it comes to coaching up Wentz? We already know Taylor doesn’t.

Needless to say, it doesn’t feel easy to get inspired about the Eagles’ offensive coordinator search ending with Taylor getting promoted. So, naturally, they’ll promote him and he’ll do better than everyone expected. Or it’ll be a predictably bad hire!

We’ll see.

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