Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News first reported Pederson's hiring, and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Pederson will officially take over once the Kansas City Chiefs, for whom he's the offensive coordinator, are eliminated from the playoffs.
ESPN's Field Yates noticed a trend with whom teams have targeted this offseason to be their head coach:
6 of the 7 NFL head coaching vacancies have been filled. All 6 are offensive coaches.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 14, 2016
NFL Network's Albert Breer highlighted Pederson's previous connection with the Eagles; he played with the team for one season in 1999:
Incoming Eagles coach Doug Pederson was starting QB for Game 1 of the Andy Reid Era in Philly -- a 25-24 loss to AZ on 9/12/99 at the Vet.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 14, 2016
Pederson isn't alone in the distinction either, which Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network noted:
Doug Pederson, like Jason Garrett and Gary Kubiak, takes over a team for which he was once the starting QB. Pederson went 2-7 in 1999.— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) January 14, 2016
Sporting News' David Steele believes bringing in the 47-year-old is a return to what made the Eagles so great under head coach Andy Reid:
Doug Pederson, Andy Reid disciple, replacing Chip Kelly. Talk about hitting the re-set button in Philly.— David Steele (@David_C_Steele) January 14, 2016
NFL Network's Rich Eisen thought the hiring was a bit odd in one regard, though:
To a certain extent, hiring Pederson is an admission that firing Reid might not have been the best decision for the Eagles. While the two aren't the same coaches, Pederson will undoubtedly frame his game plan around what he learned from Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City.
ESPN's Kevin Negandhi drew attention to one key area that separates the two:
Trying to recapture glory and stability of Andy Reid, Eagles went w Doug Pederson. One thing is missing- franchise QB. McNabb changed it all— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) January 14, 2016
After the way Kelly's time with the team ended, some Eagles fans might have wanted to see a more established name come in. Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was mentioned as a possibility before he removed himself from consideration, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Andrew Porter of CBSPhilly.com isn't so sure firing Kelly was the right decision:
I don't hate Pederson and I wouldn't have hated Coughlin. I'm just upset my favorite franchise let a really smart football coach go.— Andrew Porter (@And_Porter) January 14, 2016
Having Kelly replace Reid was a major gamble, and it backfired in a big way. Now Philadelphia is taking a leap of faith with Pederson—albeit slightly less so than with Kelly. Unlike Kelly, Pederson brings some continuity from the Reid era after working with the Eagles from 2009 to 2012. At least one player is happy to have him back, per Howard Eskin of Fox 29 in Philadelphia:
Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe provided the parameters fans will likely judge Pederson by when his tenure in the City of Brotherly Love begins:
Let's be really honest, Philadelphia isn't going to be happy with the Eagles until the defense is dominant again. Deliver that, we're happy.— Adam Lefkoe (@AdamLefkoe) January 14, 2016
ESPN.com's Bill Barnwell is already making a case for Pederson's dismissal:
It’s about time for the Eagles to consider firing Doug Pederson. He hasn’t even won a playoff game since taking over.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) January 14, 2016
Not only will Pederson have to compete with the heightened expectations of the Eagles fanbase, but he'll also have to work with a team largely built by his predecessor. Kelly wasn't shy about crafting the team in his image, most notably letting receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson walk and signing cornerback Byron Maxwell and running back DeMarco Murray.
It's not as if the Eagles are a moribund franchise, though. They fired Kelly after going 26-21 in three years, a stretch that included a trip to the playoffs in 2013. And before that, Philadelphia was a fixture in the postseason, making it there in nine of Reid's 14 years.
Still, Pederson will have large shoes to fill as he hopes to match both the longevity and success his mentor had with the Eagles.