The Philadelphia Eagles got the latest start of all the NFL teams in terms of beginning their head coaching search this offseason as Philadelphia fired Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson in a surprise Monday. Already, the team has reached out to Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley about taking over, but if the Eagles can't get him might stay in the Andy Reid coaching tree by looking at Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka or in-house assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley. SportsLine offers odds on the next Eagles coach.
Reports out of the City of Brotherly Love are that Riley has already been contacted and that he and general manager Howie Roseman have a good relationship. Riley reportedly helped sway the Eagles to draft quarterback Jalen Hurts last year, for example. Of course, Hurts starred for Riley in the 2019 season at Oklahoma and finished runner-up in the Heisman voting.
The 37-year-old Riley may not be ready to leave a good thing at Oklahoma as he has a national championship contender next season and the William Hill Sportsbook Heisman Trophy +400 favorite in quarterback Spencer Rattler.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie surely will have the final say on any hiring and has gone on the record saying that hiring a minority coach is "top of mind." Staley was a running back for the Eagles from 1997-2003 and eventually returned to the franchise in the 2011 season as a special teams quality control coach. He has been an assistant head coach and running backs coach since 2018. Staley was passed over twice for the offensive coordinator job by Pederson.
"I would expect Duce Staley to be a candidate," Lurie said. "He's a great representative of the Eagles. He knows our values, and I would expect him to be part of the search."
The Eagles seem to love plucking from the Reid tree – Reid was the most successful coach in franchise history despite not winning a Super Bowl -- and Staley would fit in that regard. So would Kafka, a former Eagles quarterback who has been the Chiefs' quarterbacks coach under Reid since 2018. He added the title of passing game coordinator this past season.
Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, a former Eagles running back (1999), figures to be a top candidate but already has interviewed for several other openings.
According to numerous reports, Philadelphia so far has requested to interview 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh (who might be close to getting the Jets job over Pederson), Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who played college football in Philadelphia at Temple.
Consider this, however: Ray Rhodes is the only defensive-focused head coach Lurie has hired in his 27 years owning the team. Rhodes is also the only Black head coach in franchise history.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Favorites to be the next Eagles head coach
- Eric Bieniemy +450
- Duce Staley +500
- Mike Kafka +600
- Lincoln Riley +700
- Arthur Smith +900
- Robert Saleh +1000
- Brian Daboll +1200
- Todd Bowles +1500
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