Andy Reid is on his way out. If you didn’t believe it before last Thursday nights’ debacle, you definitely do now. Reid has had his time in Philly, but now is the time to move on. The team lacks fundamentals and the players lack heart and focus at times. Sometimes a new voice is all a team with talent really needs.
There are going to be several coaches from various positions in the NFL, college and several TV booths who will be rumored to be the next Eagles head coach. There are a lot of candidates to like this offseason. This is a outstanding year to be in need of a head coach. It’s no wonder proven winners like Lovie Smith and Andy Reid could be looking for jobs in a couple weeks. There are a lot of great candidates out there, and some will get passed over completely.
Even in a deep coaching pool, there are a few over-hyped coaches to avoid. These are usually the coaches that work in a TV booth somewhere or have been out of the game long enough for people to forget their faults. There are five bad potentially bad hires that stick out in my mind. I am going to break down all five candidates and explain why hiring them could lead to a disaster in Philly.
Jon Gruden was once a very successful coach in Tampa Bay. By once, I mean he has only one season where he actually won at least one playoff game in Tampa Bay. That was his first season there and the year he won Super Bowl XXXVII. After that initial season in Tampa, Gruden went 45-51 and only had one season with double digit wins once during that span.
It worries me that things went downhill so fast in Tampa after winning the Super Bowl. He has also been out of football for 4 consecutive seasons. The game has changed a lot in that time. Bring a coach back after a long layoff is also a big concern of mine.
I believe Gruden is better suited for the college game. He loves working with the incoming quarterback class for ESPN and just has that rah rah personality as a coach that would work so much better at the college level. As for now, I don’t see him turning away a big contract to run the show on Monday Night Football. It is a no stress job. Being an NFL head coach is a high stress job that requires some very long hours. He has already won a Super Bowl. What does he have to gain? The motivation may not be there as a NFL head coach. What does he really have to prove?
Bill Cowher is another coach whose stock has risen by simply just working on TV. He has been out of coaching since the 2006 season and had a Andy Reid like resume prior to the 2005 season when he was 1-4 in Conference Championship games and 0-1 in the Super Bowl before winning Super Bowl XL.
Cowher has already won a Super Bowl and has amassed 149 regular season wins. He is a family man and a very successful sports personality for CBS Sports. He could come back to try and win another Super Bowl and maybe earn a spot in the Hall of Fame someday, but he doesn’t seem like the type of coach that would come back just for that.
Again, Cowher is another coach with a long layoff. A lot has changed in the NFL since 2006. He would have to adjust to some different offenses like the pistol and more teams utilizing more spread option runs. You also have to consider the reasons why he hasn’t been hired in the past 6 seasons. Does he have no desire to coach again? Why pursue a coach who isn’t motivated when there are so many quality candidates out there? Or are teams just not that interested in him as a head coach?
There have been a lot of rumors circulating around Nick Saban lately. He has won 3 national titles at the college level and will be in position to win a fourth in January. He is probably at the point where he can’t enjoy wins anymore. Anything below a championship is a disappointment and winning that title isn’t as gratifying as it once was.
Saban has been a liar in the past. He lied about leaving LSU for the NFL and he lied about leaving the Miami Dolphins for the Alabama job. You don’t want that type of behavior history in a head coach. They have to have the highest amount of integrity. If they don’t, then why should the players?
Saban is probably too much of a dictator to work in the NFL for more than more season. NFL players don’t like those type of coaches for very long. They are professional athletes who have already proven themselves. College prospects are trying to prove that they deserve an NFL paycheck down the road.
Saban wore out his welcome in Miami pretty quickly. That is a pretty tame fanbase. Philadelphia fans and players on a already talented roster may not be so receptive to a coach like Nick Saban.
Josh McDaniels is another name that is being brought out a lot of the Eagles soon to be coaching vacancy. McDaniels has been a great offensive coordinator in New England, a terrible head coach in Denver, a bad offensive coordinator in St. Louis and again a good offensive coordinator in New England.
See the pattern? McDaniels has been great in New England and bad everywhere else. He has had the privilege of working with Tom Brady when he has had Randy Moss and Wes Welker to throw to and again this year with Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. It doesn’t necessarily take a genius to make that work.
I believe that McDaniels could become a great coach down the road, but I don’t think he is ready at this point.
Six weeks ago, Kyle Shanahan’s name probably wouldn’t have been brought up in any coaching rumors. The Redskins were 3-6 and on the verge of a 5 or 6 win season. Now they are 8-6 and have an excellent shot at the NFC East title.
Kyle Shanahan has the privilege of working for his dad, a two-time Super Bowl winning head coach. He also has Robert Griffin III as his quarterback. He has done a terrific job with RG3, but at the same time he is the type of player that will improvise when the play is dead. You don’t have to be Bill Walsh to have success with RG3.
Shanahan is only 33 years old. Wherever he goes, he would be coaching a few players old than him and leading a coaching staff that would mostly be older than him. 33 is probably too young to be an NFL head coach. He will get his chance down the road, and probably sooner than later, but there are far too many more qualified coaches out there for a team to take a chance on a 33 year old.