Doug Pederson to Eagles: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Alec NathanFeatured Columnist

Aug 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL football game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have tabbed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson as the franchise's next head coach.

The Eagles confirmed the hire. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Pederson signed a five-year deal.

Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News originally reported the plan to hire Pederson on Jan. 14 but had to wait for the Chiefs' season to end.

The Eagles announced more staff changes for the Eagles on Wednesday:

Joining head coach Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in Philadelphia will be offensive coordinator Frank Reich, assistant offensive line/tight ends/run game coach Eugene Chung, defensive quality control/assistant defensive line coach Phillip Daniels, linebackers coach Ken Flajole, defensive back/safeties coach Tim Hauck, wide receivers coach Greg Lewis and defensive quality control/assistant secondary coach Dino Vasso.

Pederson, who previously served as the Eagles offensive quality-control coach and quarterbacks coach under former head coach Andy Reid, also started nine games under center in Philadelphia during the 1999 season. 

NFL Network's Albert Breer noted Reid's influence may have played a part in Pederson's appointment: 

Reports of Pederson's arrival came on the same day the San Francisco 49ers announced they hired former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly to become their next head coach.

Although the Eagles finished Kelly's third season in Philadelphia ranked 12th in average passing yards and 14th in average rushing yards, owner Jeffrey Lurie opted for a change on the sidelines because of Kelly's inability to maximize the talent he brought in. 

Namely, running back DeMarco Murray sputtered to the tune of 702 yards and six touchdowns after signing a five-year, $40 million deal with $21 million guaranteed that made him the centerpiece of Kelly's offseason personnel overhaul.

Now Pederson is set to return to the City of Brotherly Love with a chance to try and reform an offense that failed to meet expectations. With that in mind, Pederson reportedly is planning to bring in former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich in to fill that role for the Eagles, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

"In terms of an offensive mind, I don't know how much better they get," Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said, per McLane. "He understands what defensive coaches want to present. He understands strategy."

During the 2015 campaign, Pederson helped the Chiefs excel in a number of areas. Kansas City finished the regular season with the second-fewest giveaways and fewest interceptions thrown. Chiefs running backs also led the league in rushing touchdowns and finished third in yards per attempt. 

For a team loaded with backfield talent in Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, the Eagles had to be encouraged by Kansas City's rushing attack—especially when the Chiefs' platoon continued producing after Jamaal Charles went down with a season-ending knee injury. 

ESPN Stats & Info broke down the difference in efficiency between Pederson's Chiefs and Kelly's Eagles: 

Pederson will also be tasked with refining the Eagles' passing game, which is in unknown hands at the moment. Kelly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford last spring, and the signal-caller's status as an impending free agent means the team may soon have a vacancy under center.

ESPN's Kevin Negandhi touched on the Eagles' need to add a stable presence at quarterback in order for the team to replicate the success it experienced under Reid: 

Jimmy Kempski of explained how Pederson's scheme in Kansas City could translate to Philadelphia: 

But regardless of who takes snaps for the Birds, the team is clearly replete with weapons that Pederson can work with. Aside from the stable of running backs, the Eagles have quality young receivers in Jordan Matthews, 2015 first-round pick Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz. 

Considering the fact Kelly's inability to maintain support in the locker room emerged as a component of his downfall, it's not surprising that Lurie opted to go for a more player-friendly presence like Pederson. 

"For the most part, he's a relatable guy," Kelce said. "Guys want to play for him. It's hard to describe that. His character kind of makes it easy to be yourself and go out there and do the things you need to do."

Eagles tight end Brent Celek was among those pleased with the move, per Fox 29's Howard Eskin: 

By snagging Pederson, Lurie appears to be pining for a return to the team's golden age—when Reid ruled on the sidelines as a player-friendly coach with an offensive pedigree. 

And while Pederson's lack of head coaching experience may make the Philadelphia faithful wary, it's important to remember Reid was in the same boat before the Eagles hired him and sustained the greatest run of success the franchise has seen to date.