Look Everywhere

Posted: January 17th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

Back in January of 1999, the Packers lost to the Niners in a playoff game on a crazy catch by Terrell Owens. That play changed Eagles history, maybe NFL history. Since Green Bay lost, an under the radar assistant named Andy Reid could be interviewed by other teams looking for a head coach. The Eagles brought him to Philly, saw the infamous blue binder and a lot of winning ensued.

On Saturday, the Packers won a playoff game over the Rams, meaning a young assistant named Brandon Staley could talk to teams looking for a head coach. He is scheduled to meet with the Eagles on Monday. Could history repeat itself?

Staley is an incredibly fascinating candidate. Like Reid, he spent much of his coaching career in college, especially at small schools. Reid learned at San Francisco State, Norther Arizona and UTEP. Staley was at Hutchinson Community College, John Carroll and James Madison. Both men go to the NFL and learned at the right hand of a master. Reid learned from Mike Holmgren. Staley from defensive guru Vic Fangio.

Staley was the outside linebackers coach for the number one scoring defense in the NFL in 2018 when he worked under Fangio in Chicago. This year Staley was the defensive coordinator for the Rams, who finished first in yards and points allowed. He doesn’t have a lot of NFL experience, but the results are impressive.

The Rams had arguably the most complex scheme in the NFL this year. They were very creative with fronts, coverages and techniques. Staley had two elite players in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. He also had plenty of no-names. Casual fans don’t know Sebastian Joseph-Day, Morgan Fox, Troy Reeder or Jordan Fuller. These guys all were critical to the Rams success this year.

Staley doesn’t make sense in that he’s a defensive coach and has a 3-4 background. He totally makes sense because he’s a coaching star on the rise, knows how to get the most of his personnel and is schematically creative.

Maybe the Eagles will see him as the defensive version of Andy Reid, a young coach with smart ideas and a vision for how to run a football program.

I thought Sean McVay was nuts when he fired Wade Phillips and turned his defense over to Brandon Staley last offseason. Who the heck is Brandon Staley? Now, I’d be fine if the Eagles made him their head coach. Funny how things change.


I can hear the collective groan from most of Eagles Nation. That guy?

I think this is a smart interview. McDaniels has had a ton of success. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were the keys to that, but McDaniels played his part as well. He did fall on his face in Denver. That’s fine. He backed out on the Colts and hurt his reputation. That’s fine as well.

If he can explain what happened in those situations.

You talk to McDaniels to see if he understands why he failed in his first stint as a head coach. You ask him about the Indy situation. Maybe something happened behind the scenes we don’t know about. If he gives you good answers, you consider him as a serious candidate. If it comes across as lip service, you say thanks for coming and scratch out his name from your list.

McDaniels has run different kinds of offenses. The Pats were an explosive offense in 2007. They have also been creative with 2-TE sets. They have been a power run offense. This year they did a lot with QB runs. You name it, they’ve done it. They weren’t changing the playbook. The coaches just focused on different ideas based on the personnel they had. That’s good coaching.

It would be interesting to see how McDaniels would deal with the Eagles QBs. He and Tom Brady worked closely for a long time and had their share of arguments and tough moments. McDaniels isn’t a shy boy. He’ll stand up to the star QB. Wentz might be okay with this, if McDaniels can convince him this worked for Brady and could work for him as well. Jalen Hurts played for Nick Saban so he’s likely fine with anything short of being coached by a grizzly bear.

Like most people, I have very mixed feelings on McDaniels. I respect his success with the Pats, but his issues certainly bug me. He would have to give some genuine answers when asked about his past. I do think he’s worth talking to.


The Chiefs won today so the Eagles can only do a zoom meeting with him until the team is eliminated.

Bieniemy has been part of some dynamic offenses in KC and is another guy worth talking to. One of my concerns is that he has been under Andy Reid in KC and the Eagles just fired a former Reid protege.

My thinking in this regard is that coaches do and say what they are exposed to. Would Bieniemy have the same message as Doug Pederson after a tough loss? Not the exact same words, but the same overall message? Would they be too similar?

After a 4-11-1 season I think you need someone to shake things up. Maybe Bieniemy can be that guy. I’d certainly ask questions that would give me a feel for how he would be different than Reid and Pederson.


Of course the Eagles are getting the message out there that Wentz is fixable. They either want to keep and fix him or to trade him. Either way, you want that message to get out.

Is this a deal breaker for candidates? I doubt it, as a general rule. If there is a compelling candidate that didn’t want Wentz, I think the Eagles would listen. The coach would have to offer a strong argument for why moving on from Wentz is the right decision. This couldn’t be a casual “I want my own guy” deal.


Still no word on Mike Kafka.


The Eagles have been linked to Todd Bowles and Kellen Moore, but they have not had an interview with either one so far as I can tell. We’ll see if that changes this week.


3 Comments on “Look Everywhere”

  1. 1 Look Everywhere | SportSpyder said at 7:27 PM on January 17th, 2021:

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  2. 2 Eagles Are Reportedly Interviewing A Notable Ca… said at 8:43 PM on January 17th, 2021:

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  3. 3 NFC Notes: Bears, Eagles, Rams said at 9:54 PM on January 17th, 2021:

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