With all the hype surrounding who is going to replace former head coach Andy Reid, I think it is fitting to take a look at the remaining coaches currently employed by the Philadelphia Eagles organization.
First thing to note, the Atlanta Falcons have extended the contract of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Koetter, who was reported to interview with the Eagles to fill the head coach vacancy will be off the market for another two years.
Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien stay at the fore-front of the rumor mill to be the next great thing in Philly, however, there are others out there reported to come in to interview for the top spot with the Eagles. Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman have interviews set up with Falcons DC Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will be in for an interview. And lastly Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone is reported to also be in the mix.
Lurie gave a list of qualities he is looking for in the next head coach during his meeting with the press. Of all the attributes mentioned, the two that stuck out the most in my mind are a guy who is an innovator and can rebuild the chemistry in the locker room.
Now, lets begin taking a look at t he remaining coaching staff. But let us all remember that the fate of each individual will depend on who Lurie and Roseman bring in as the next head coach. Sure they will have a say in who stays and who goes, but the majority of it all really depends on who is brought in.
Marty Mornhinweg — Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Marty Mornhinweg is in his ninth season with the Eagles and his eighth as the club’s assistant head coach/offensive coordinator. Per his profile on the Eagles official site, Mornhinweg is “known as one of the top offensive minds in the league, Mornhinweg has put together record-setting performances for two different franchises in the role of offensive coordinator”.
Mornhinweg is a pass-happy coordinator with one of the best running back one-two punch in the league with LeSean McCoy and a very promising backup in Bryce Brown.
Still, his approach the past few seasons hasn’t fared well and his offensive scheme rarely produced a win in. In 2011 the club went 8-8 following a late season four-game winning streak. That looked as though it would carry over to the 2012 season as the Eagles grinded out a 3-1 record to start the season off on the right foot. From there, however, the Eagles offense looked horrid. With QB Michael Vick at the helm the Eagles only managed to win three of the nine games he played in. And Nick Foles was only able to muster up one win in the games he played the role of starter.
Combine that with the fact that his contract is up at the end of February and things begin to look bleak for MM. There’s also the point made by Pro Football Focus’s Mike Clay that the next head coach might not want to have any part of him (Mornhinweg) within the staff.
Clay’s exact words per our Twitter conversation are as such; “What are odds the new HC wants Marty as OC? Highly unlikely.”
Howard Mudd — Offensive Line Coach
This is a cut-and-dry case. Howard Mudd has already informed the Eagles organization that he plans on retiring when the season was over. Well, the season is over and I assume it is only a matter of days before he and the Eagles make it official.
Just another shoe to fill during the offseason. But the offensive line’s ability to pass protect since Mudd took over was never a strong point as Michael Vick took beating after beating the past two seasons. So I wonder if Mudd’s decision to retire is partly due to him knowing that he would be fired.
Is it better to quit or be fired? You tell me.
Tommy Brasher — Defensive Line Coach
Brasher is an interesting story. This is the third stint with the Eagles organization and has 24-years of NFL experience. Brasher was signed by the Eagles on December 9, 2012 following the firing of former line coach Jim Washburn, whose wide-9 technique proved to be fatal just one year where it looked like a complete success. In the short time he spent with the Eagles during the 2012 season, Brasher quickly the fortunes around on the D-line.
Players started playing with that sense of urgency and were getting to the quarterback on a far more consistent basis.
Personally, I would like to see Brasher remain with the Eagles organization. He has a long history with them, has a wealth of NFL knowledge and has a strong cast of players, both veteran and young talent, that he should be able to get back to their dominating ways.
First, will the new head coach want to keep him? And if so, does the 71-year old Brasher want to return?
Todd Bowles — Defensive Coordinator
Bowles is another interesting piece to the coaching staff puzzle. There are actually a couple of scenarios that could play out with this individual.
When Bowles was hired last off-season many believed he would be the Eagles head coach if Reid was indeed fired. Now that the latter has happened, I don’t believe there is a soul in Philly that could say with a straight face that Bowles did enough to be considered for any head coaching vacancy in the NFL.
Still, Bowles has an opportunity to stay with the Eagles and keep a job.
Scenario No. 1
In my first scenario, the Eagles are unable to attract another individual to become the next DC of the Eagles organization. If that is the case Bowles would remain the Birds top defensive mind.
It’s not a scenario that many Eagles fans wish to play out, but it is a possible reality.
Scenario No. 2
Lets say the Eagles do lure in a new defensive coordinator. In this scenario Bowles could be demoted back to being the secondary coach. Per NFL.com the Eagles pass defense was ranked ninth in the league (yes, I had to do a double take on that myself). I was blown away by that stat for the simple reason that in every game it looked as though the secondary was giving up big play after big play.
But that was the only defensive statistic where the Eagles ranked within the top 10. This could be Bowles bargaining chip when discussing his fate with the Eagles organiation.
As for the rest of the Eagles defense, the numbers look like this;
So while the stats as a defensive coordinator, which should be split with former DC Juan Castillo, aren’t nearly as good as Eagles fans want them to be, truth is he could remain the DC if necessary.
Prediction: Stays, but as Secondary Coach
With all that said I see the Eagles ultimately having three coaching vacancies; Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator. Those are some big shoes to fill from an organization standpoint.
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