JANUARY 19: Pederson, who was introduced to the media today, got a five-year contract from the Eagles, tweets Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
JANUARY 18: The Eagles have made it official, announcing the hiring of Pederson in a press release. He’ll be introduced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
JANUARY 14: The Eagles are set to hire Doug Pederson as their new head coach, a league source tells Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link). Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirms (via Twitter) that Pederson is the Eagles’ man. The Chiefs offensive coordinator remains alive in the postseason, so Philadelphia won’t be able to make the hiring official until after this weekend’s game, at the earliest.
A former Eagles quarterback, Pederson had only been connected to the Philadelphia job and none of the other NFL head coaching vacancies. In addition to having played for the Eagles, he also coached with the team during Andy Reid‘s tenure, serving as an offensive quality control coach in 2009 and 2010, then as the club’s quarterbacks coach in 2011 and 2012.
Pederson, who has been Kansas City’s offensive coordinator since the team hired Reid as its head coach in 2013, was one of six head coaching candidates to interview with the Eagles. Three coaches that were considered to be strong candidates for Philadelphia have since been hired elsewhere or withdrawn from the process — Adam Gase landed with the Dolphins, Ben McAdoo was promoted by the Giants, and Tom Coughlin removed himself from consideration.
In addition to those candidates, the Eagles also interviewed in-house assistants Pat Shurmur and Duce Staley. Shurmur, Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator, served as the interim head coach in Week 17 following Chip Kelly‘s firing, while Staley is the team’s running backs coach.
McAdoo and Coughlin received plenty of buzz this week for the Eagles’ job, with at least one report suggesting he would have been the choice if he hadn’t withdrawn. However, a weekend report indicated that Pederson initially entered the process as owner Jeffrey Lurie’s favorite among non-head coaches. After McAdoo and Coughlin became unavailable, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported that the Eagles had moved on to pursuing Pederson.
Despite losing Jamaal Charles this year and playing without a ton of wide receiving talent over the past two seasons, the Chiefs’ offense performed well on Pederson’s watch. Per Football Outsiders, Kansas City ranked sixth overall in offensive DVOA this season, just behind the Patriots, and ahead of teams like the Panthers and Packers. In 2014, the Chiefs placed 12th in offensive DVOA.
One of Peterson’s main challenges in Philadelphia will be coaxing production out of an offense whose quarterback situation is uncertain, with Sam Bradford facing free agency. The Eagles have also seen plenty of talented playmakers depart in recent years, with LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin all playing elsewhere now. Pricey free agent running back DeMarco Murray will look to have a bounce-back 2016 campaign under Pederson after a disappointing first year in Philadelphia.
As PFR’s head coaching tracker shows, five of the seven teams seeking new head coaches this month have now made their decisions, with only the Buccaneers and Titans still in the market for replacements. Those two jobs, which feature top young quarterbacks, will be interesting to watch, and it’s also worth keeping an eye on Detroit, where the Lions have yet to make a final decision on Jim Caldwell.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.