Philadelphia Eagles: How a New Coaching Staff Can Build a New Dream Team
The Andy Reid era had its moments, but has clearly overstayed its welcome. Reid has been a fine coach for most of his career, but even the best coaches can have expiration dates. Philadelphia is in desperate need of a change in leadership and it's sad to see the most successful era in Eagles history end like this.
However, with Reid and his coaching staff's firing seemingly inevitable at this point, the Eagles have a great deal of opportunity going forward. For 14 long years, Reid has established his culture and vision in Philly. But now that he is finally exiting, Jeffrey Lurie can install a new coach and build a new culture for his football team.
The Eagles roster, for all its disappointments, still has a great deal of talent—most importantly, young talent. Defensive players like Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry have bright futures, given the right coaching. And the offense still has explosive speed from top to bottom.
If the Eagles play their cards right and put together the right coaching staff, Philly can return to the playoffs within two seasons. These are the coaches they need to make that happen.
Head Coach: Bill Cowher
Bill Cowher would be a perfect fit for this Eagles team; they lack discipline, and that is what Cowher is all about. He is a veteran Super Bowl-winning coach who would instantly command a lot of respect in the locker room.
Cowher believes in building a strong defense and a strong running game. If anyone can get the defense turned around and make good use of LeSean McCoy, it's Cowher.
While many fear that Cowher would just be another version of Reid—a coach who racks up regular season wins but can't get it done in the postseason—that is not the case. Cowher had good teams, but never a real franchise quarterback. Roethlisberger was undeveloped during his coaching years.
Reid couldn't get it done with a future Hall of Fame quarterback; Cowher went to two Super Bowls and won one without a good signal-caller. If Nick Foles is the real deal, there is no limit to what he could accomplish.
Offensive Coordinator: Norv Turner
Norv Turner could never quite get it done as a head coach, but there is no disputing his knowledge of the offensive side of the game.
Turner is one of the brightest offensive minds out there. Marty Mornhinweg is certainly out the door if Reid goes; Turner would be an excellent choice to replace him.
Granted, the Eagles must bolster the offensive line in the coming offseason, but Turner could work wonders with DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and LeSean McCoy. He would also help tremendously in molding Foles into a franchise quarterback.
Defensive Coordinator: Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera's tenure in Carolina is likely ending in the near future. But he is an excellent defensive mind, a true pupil of the late Jim Johnson's aggressive philosophy. He will get an offer as a defensive coordinator quickly following this season.
Why not the Eagles? Rivera coached for them once as a linebackers coach, so he is familiar with the organization. They already reached out to him once before to take the defensive coordinator spot, which he turned down to serve as head coach of the Panthers.
A little bit of Jim Johnson is exactly what this Eagles defense needs. Instead of trying to rush the quarterback with only four men, send aggressive blitzes to catch them off guard. It's what Jim Johnson would have done, and it's what Rivera would do if he were brought back to Philly.