Philadelphia Eagles: The Pros and Cons of New Prospects

Laurie Merrill@@lauriemerriContributor INovember 14, 2012

Philadelphia Eagles: The Pros and Cons of New Prospects

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    For 14 seasons, Philadelphia fans have listened intently to the highs and the lows of postgame rehash and to the one man with the answers.

    Now, as Andy Reid’s time as head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles appears near the end, and the excuses for the losses are all but exhausted, Eagles Nation looks ahead to the future.

    Sports media speculation about who will replace Reid has ranged from active coaches to coaches-turned-commentators, from defensive to offensive experts, from the NFL-tested to the college-proven with NFL potential.

    As the fat lady warms her voice to sing, the Eagles march into Week 11 with just three wins, slim hope for a turnaround and visions of change dancing in their heads.

    Here are seven potential places the Eagles franchise could look to help them rebuild should that change become reality.

Jon Gruden

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    Win-Loss Percentage (via Pro Football Reference): .540


    The youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl has probably been mentioned on more sports talk news shows and in more online blogs than anyone else to replace Reid. Pundits agree that the personality of the one-time Eagles offensive coordinator fits the raucous Philly style.


    He has been a desk-bound ESPN analyst for five years. No one knows if Gruden can dial back in to a clipboard-carting coach with measurable success.

    While he led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl victory, his record when he left the NFL was less than glittering. 

Mike McCoy

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    Win-Loss Percentage (via Pro Football Reference): *Records at PFR only include those with 50 or more games.


    The 40-year-old Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, who brought on last year’s national Tebow Time craze, has this year groomed a team for Peyton Manning.

    McCoy enjoys the respect of the Denver media for his revitalization of the Broncos offense under the least likely scenarios, Tim Tebow, and his maximization of Manning.


    McCoy has been an NFL coach for 12 years, the first eight with the Carolina Panthers. Despite his growing reputation as an offensive strategist, McCoy has never carried an entire team as head coach, but signs say he is ready to make the jump.

Sean Payton

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    Win-Loss Percentage (via Pro Football Reference): .646.


    The suspended New Orleans Saints coach represents the total package to Philadelphia.

    Aside from his experience and track record as a head coach, including a Super Bowl championship, Payton was once an Eagles quarterback coach, proving some Eagles can be Saints as well. 


    Most anticipate Payton will return to his New Orleans team. 

Bill Cowher

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    Win-Loss Percentage (via Pro Football Reference): .623


    There’s no question the salty ex-Steeler coach has the experience and grit to handle Philadelphia fans and media. More importantly, he possesses the thing that eludes his former rival city—a winning record with the Lombardi Trophy atop it.


    Cowher left the game after the 2006 season and reportedly has no regrets.

    "I'm not coaching. I'm enjoying life more right now than I ever have," Cowher told Sports Illustrated last December.

Kyle Shanahan

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    Win-Loss Percentage (via Pro Football Reference): *Records at PFR only include those with 50 or more games.


    The young Washington Redskins offensive coach is credited with creating an “electric” offensive plan.


    Shanahan could use a few more years of experience and time to prove his worth before turning to a head position in a city as volatile as Philadelphia.

Chip Kelly

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    Win-Loss Percentage (via Pro Football Reference): N/A


    Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is credited with producing one of the most dynamic and innovative offensive schemes and conducting some of the most effective practice sessions in college football.


    Transitions can be a challenge. Moving from coast to coast could be irrelevant compared to the adjustment from college to the NFL. 

Brian Billick

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    Win-Loss Percentage (via Pro Football Reference): .556.


    Billick brings the big “S” to the coaching table—a Super Bowl win from a seasoned professional.


    At what age does age matter?

    At 58, Billick has been out of coaching for several years, providing on-air football commentary.

    When the changing of the guard in Philadelphia occurs, fans are unlikely to be tolerant of anything that echoes of Andy Reid.

    As a former BYU player, Billick may be too close to present conditions.

The End of the Era of Andy Reid

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    For perspective, the win-loss percentage for Andy Reid's career is .611 (via Pro Football Reference).

    This year, the win-loss percentage in Philadelphia is .333.