The Philadelphia Eagles fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh on Thursday. It was a move that was overdue.
Now the Eagles will be looking to hire a replacement. The job might not be as attractive as some other openings since Doug Pederson calls the plays in Philly. But the Eagles’ new offensive coordinator will get a chance to work with a great coach in Pederson and one of the NFL’s most talented quarterbacks in Carson Wentz. Frank Reich was able to parlay success as the Eagles’ OC into a head coaching gig with the Indianapolis Colts. That’s something for candidates to consider.
Let’s take a look at some candidates to replace Groh in 2020.
The Eagles reportedly chosen between Groh and Staley after Reich left in February 2018. Groh got the OC job while “assistant head coach” was added to Staley’s running backs coach title.
Choosing Groh clearly wasn’t the right choice. But that doesn’t mean Staley is necessarily the right answer now.
The Eagles just fired two automatic internal promotions in Groh and Carson Walch. And the answer to replace of them is really another in-house guy?
In a vacuum, I think Staley’s done a good job and deserves a bigger role. But in this specific context, I don’t love the idea of promoting him to OC. This team could stand to benefit from more outside perspective. And is Staley suddenly bringing a bunch of new ideas to the table that he previously wasn’t despite being the assistant head coach?
The Eagles need to be more creative than simply promoting Staley.
I’ve been interested in Gruden as the Eagles’ OC since November 2018.
Gruden didn’t get fired because he was a terrible schemer. There are much bigger reasons to blame for Washington’s failures than him.
I’d think Gruden might have some interest in potentially joining his older brother’s staff in Las Vegas. Or he might be looking for a job that’d allow him to call plays.
But Philly could be a nice opportunity for Gruden to rehab his image after getting scapegoated by Washington. He did some nice things with their offense despite often not working with a ton of talent.
It must be noted that Gruden is a Bob LaMonte client. That’s the same agent who represents Pederson and Howie Roseman.
Marty back in Philly?! Don’t rule it out.
I'm sure Mornhinweg has other options but consider a few things: He and Doug Pederson have a long history. There would be no feeling out period. Marty knows the West coast and its terminology as well as anyone. If you know him, you know he wouldn't be a yes man to Doug/Carson. https://t.co/o8Odh2ZUOo— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 9, 2020
Mornhinweg was Pederson’s quarterbacks coach in 1996 when Doug played for the Green Bay Packers. Mornhinweg and Pederson then overlapped on Andy Reid’s staff in Philly from 2009 through 2012. The two don’t lack familiarity.
But is Marty really the breath of fresh air that the Eagles could use? He was most recently the Baltimore’s offensive coordinator from 2016 through 2018 and the Ravens’ offense did better off without him in 2019.
The Eagles could probably do worse than Marty but they could also do better. Note: He’s another LaMonte guy.
Urban began his NFL coaching career with the Eagles and remained on Reid’s staff from 2004 through 2010. He was actually replaced by Pederson as the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach in 2011. Urban coached the Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receivers from 2011 through 2017 before then becoming the Ravens’ quarterbacks coach in 2018.
When you look at the success that Lamar Jackson has had, it seems like it’s at least worth interviewing Urban.
There’s already some buzz about this possibility:
Guess here is that Pat Shumur will be a consideration for new OC job given ties to the Doug/Andy tree.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) January 9, 2020
If I am the Eagles I am talking to Pat Shurmur ASAP— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 9, 2020
Yeah, I’d pass on this one. Shurmur as offensive coordinator is less worse than Shurmur as head coach but there have to be more inspiring options than bringing back this guy for a third stint in Philly.
Based on my time covering Shurmur when he was Eagles OC, I just don’t see the appeal for the Giants. Shurmur came off very bland and uninspiring. This is how he coached in Cleveland, too. Very conservative.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 15, 2018
There’s talk that the 30-year-old Brady is going to be retained by LSU despite buzz that he could join the NFL ranks. It’s easy to be intrigued by the Tigers’ passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach:
Consider this impact: The Tigers have thrown 49 touchdown passes in 2019, three more than during the previous three seasons combined. LSU’s offense ranks first nationally in yards per game and third in scoring and yards gained per play.
This would be an outside-the-box hire by the Eagles. Unfortunately, I’m not expecting them to go this route after watching them lean on familiarity so often in recent years.
This would sure be weird! I’m going to guess it doesn’t happen.
The Eagles interviewed McCoy for their head coaching vacancy back in 2013 but he reportedly didn’t interview well. He ended up becoming the head coach of the then-San Diego Chargers for four seasons before flaming out. McCoy then flamed out again in a return as the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator ... and then once more with the Arizona Cardinals.
So, not a real inspiring option. But I’m mentioning him here because 1) he’s a LaMonte client and 2) the Eagles hosted him for a 2019 training camp practice.
Monken’s an interesting name. He was credited with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ early season success in 2018. Monken is on the record for being an aggressive play-caller:
“I like having fun. I don’t know why it has to feel like such drudgery all the time. Who needs more 5-yard plays? How can we be explosive? That’s what the game is about, man. People like big plays. I like big plays.”
Monken’s mentality seems just what the Eagles need after watching Philly’s slow, plodding, nonexplosive offense for two straight years. Perhaps DeSean Jackson can vouch for him.
Kafka has served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons. I’m not sure how much credit he really deserves for Patrick Mahomes being awesome but probably at least a little?
Kafka was previously a fourth-round pick by the Eagles in the 2010 NFL Draft. Pederson was his quarterbacks coach in 2011.
Some say the greatest FanPost in BGN history was written about Mike Kafka.
Chilly is yet another LaMonte client who has coachd in Philly and has overlapped with Pederson. The two were most recently on Reid’s coaching staff in Kansas City from 2013 through 2015. Chilly then succeeded Pederson as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator when Pederson got the Eagles’ head coaching job in 2016.
Chilly is currently a senior offensive assistant with the Chicago Bears.
Laugh it up all you want but this is the guy the Eagles originally wanted to hire as their head coach in 2016. They had a gift basket waiting for him at the NovaCare Complex and everything. McAdoo turned the Eagles down and they settled on hiring Pederson instead. It worked out.
McAdoo has been out of coaching since the Giants fired him in December 2017. Philly would be a great spot for him to rehab his image. But is he really the best option for the Eagles?
I don’t think McCown is a real option for the OC job considering how inexperienced he is. But maybe he’s not far off? Kellen Moore went from playing for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017 to being the quarterbacks coach in 2018 to being a successful offensive coordinator in 2019. McCown could be worth adding to the Eagles’ coaching staff in a smaller role (offensive quality control coach?) before eventually working his way up to an offensive coordinator in Philly or elsewhere.
UPDATE: JIM CALDWELL AND KEVIN O’CONNELL
This report emerged as I was writing this article:
Two candidates I'm hearing for the Eagles offensive coordinator post are Jim Caldwell and former Washington OC Kevin O'Connell, per source.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) January 9, 2020
BONUS OPTION: THIS GUY
my choice for the Eagles’ new offensive coordinator https://t.co/oef5pJB6f8— shamus (@shamus_clancy) January 9, 2020
Realistically, I think the Eagles’ best bets are Monken, Gruden, Urban, or Kafka. What say you?
Who should the Eagles hire to replace Mike Groh?
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Other (explain in the comments)