The Philadelphia Eagles’ search for a new head coach features interview requests with three defensive-minded NFL assistants thus far. But what about a college coach with a background on defense?
First of all, let’s acknowledge that this report sounds like it’s coming from Fickell’s agent. It says nothing about the Eagles actually being interested in him as much as it’s a rumored possibility. And I’m not sure why rival executives are sharing what they think is genuinely best for the Eagles.
In the event that Fickell is a name the Eagles might be interested in, let’s take a closer look at the 47-year-old’s background.
Fickell was a good college football player at Ohio State before major injuries derailed his attempt at a professional playing career. Fickell pivoted to coaching and spent 15 years with the Buckeyes — mostly as a co-defensive coordinator and briefly as an interim head coach — before getting hired away by Cincy in 2017.
After going 4-8 in his first year as a head coach, Fickell immediately led the Bearcats to two of the only four 11-win seasons in the university’s history. Cincy went 9-1 in 2020 and finished as the 8th-ranked team in the nation. Pretty impressive stuff.
Fickell’s strong defense undoubtedly contributed to Cincy’s success. The Bearcats allowed the seventh fewest points per game in both 2018 and 2020.
It’s unclear if the Eagles would be able to lure Fickell away from the college ranks; he just signed a contract worth $3.4 million annually through 2026 last August. One thing to consider is that Fickell could potentially be losing both his offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator this offseason. Maybe he figures now is the time to make the jump if the opportunity is available to him.
To be determined if the Eagles actually have interest in Fickell. Seems like a worthwhile candidate to interview, at the very least.