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In an interview with Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Eagles Hall of Fame quarterback Ron Jaworski served as a "special adviser" to the search committee that landed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson as the man to become the next Eagles head coach.
Per Jaworski, Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian was also an adviser, but the Eagles' quarterback who guided the team to its first Super Bowl appearance in the 1980 season also sat in on the interviews for Adam Gase and Ben McAdoo.
Jaworski told Bowen some of the particulars of the Eagles' search process. There were initially 20-25 candidates for the job that the committee "spent a lot of time on" before the vetting process cut that list down to the six people who ultimately interviewed for the job - Pederson, Gase, McAdoo, Tom Coughlin, Pat Shurmur and Duce Staley.
Each of the six men who interviewed came from backgrounds that focused on the offensive side of the football, but Jaworski explained that the initial list had defensive coaches as well.
"That's just how it played out," Jaworski told Bowen of the fact that no defensive coaches interviewed for the position.
Why was Pederson the right guy?
"Doug has incredible character," Jaworski said. "I've known Doug back from his playing days. ... Certainly, he had a knowledge of Philadelphia."
That knowledge and an understanding of Philadelphia was important to Jaworski. Pederson was the starting quarterback for the Eagles in 1999 and returned to begin his NFL coaching career first as a quality control coach then as quarterbacks coach for the 2011 and ‘12 seasons. There was never a No. 1 candidate, per Jaws, as the Eagles were committed to a thorough search.
"The Eagles did a tremendous job - I can't say that any more emphatically - throughout this process, of putting together a quality list of candidates to be the head coach," Jaworski said.
UPDATED: January 16, 10:30 AM
Doug Pederson will be the #Eagles coach, league source confirms.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) January 14, 2016
Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reported on Thursday evening that the Eagles will name Doug Pederson, the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator, the 23rd head coach in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles. The announcement cannot be official until the Chiefs are eliminated from the playoffs. They face the New England Patriots on Saturday afternoon.
Pederson interviewed with the Eagles last Sunday, following the Chiefs' 30-0 win over the Houston Texans.
"It went great. It was a great opportunity to see Howie (Roseman) again and Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie and the chance to talk with them and sit down with them. I have a lot of respect for the organization and what they’re doing there. Now we’re focused on New England, that’s behind me and moving forward,” Pederson told reporters in Kansas City.
Pederson, 47, began his NFL coaching career with Philadelphia in 2009, serving as its offensive quality control coach for two seasons before being elevated to quarterbacks coach in 2011. After two years in that role, he was brought to Kansas City by former Eagles head coach Andy Reid to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator.
"He’s a great mentor of mine, obviously as you know. We worked together, I worked for him in Philadelphia, so I understand that market and that climate and that structure there," Pederson said of Reid. "The things I’ve learned from Coach Reid, wherever, if it’s in my future to become a head coach, then there’s a lot of great examples of him leading a team and an organization that I can use in my future as well.”
Reid told Kansas City reporters this week that Pederson is "ready" to be a head coach in the NFL.
"I think it's great. It's a compliment to the hard work that he's put in. He's done a nice job," Reid said.
Click here for more on Pederson after the Eagles announced his interview.
UPDATED: January 14, 5:50 PM
With Tom Coughlin out of the picture, the Eagles now are expected to pursue Chiefs OC Doug Pederson as their next head coach, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2016
According to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter, the Eagles are now targeting Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson as the team's next head coach.
UPDATED: January 14, 1:30 PM
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Eagles will interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson on Sunday. Kansas City plays at Houston on Saturday in the AFC Wild Card round, but La Canfora says that Pederson will be in Philadelphia to interview on Sunday no matter what the outcome of the game is.
UPDATED: January 7, 11:30 AM
Adam Caplan says Doug Pederson will interview with Eagles. https://t.co/PDwq5O6UdQ— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 6, 2016
ESPN's Adam Caplan said on Wednesday's episode of NFL Insiders that Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson will interview for the Eagles' head coaching position following Kansas City's playoff game this weekend.
"The Eagles know him. The thing about Doug is, talking to people who have coached with him and know him, he’s got the right temperament to be a head coach," Caplan said via Bleeding Green Nation.
More about Pederson’s close ties with the Eagles’ organization below.
UPDATED: January 6, 4:35 PM
ESPN's Adam Schefter appeared on the 97.5 The Fanatic morning show Wednesday and said that Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson remains high on the Eagles' wish list for the head coach position.
"When you look at Jeffrey Lurie and his character and his tendencies, he's going to want a dynamic offensive mind, that's just the way that I view this. So who fits into that category? And I think they are going to be drawn to Adam Gase's talents and his upside and his personality and his leadership abilities and all those things that these other teams also are. I think that they are going to be drawn to the comfort of knowing Doug Pederson. I don't know what wins out and prevails," Schefter said via Birds 24/7.
"In a perfect world I think they'd love to go to somebody that they know, that they feel comfortable with, that they're not going to be surprised by. That's reassuring; that's comfort food for the Eagles during this coaching process. But the question is: as tasty as this comfort meal might be, are we better off swinging for the fences and going for somebody that we don't know quite as much? To me, that's one of the biggest questions this organization is grappling with."
With the Chiefs playing in this week's Wild Card round, the Eagles have to wait until next week if they want to have an interview with Pederson.
UPDATED: January 6, 11:28 AM
Chiefs OC Doug Pederson expected to be a leading candidate for Philadelphia HC job, per sources. Pederson coached in Philly from 2009-12.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 3, 2016
On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson is “expected to be a leading candidate” for the Eagles’ head coaching vacancy. Pederson, 47, began his NFL coaching career with Philadelphia in 2009, serving as its offensive quality control coach for two seasons before being elevated to quarterbacks coach in 2011. After two years in that role, he was brought to Kansas City by former Eagles head coach Andy Reid, to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator.
In three seasons executing Reid’s West Coast Offense in Kansas City, he helped the Chiefs achieve a combined 31-17 record and a top-16 rank in points per game each year (sixth in 2013, 16th in 2014 and ninth in 2015) after the team finished 32nd and 31st, respectively, in the two years prior to his arrival. During that time, the Chiefs have thrown the fewest interceptions in the league in all three seasons, and the team has ranked top five in rushing touchdowns (fifth in 2013, third in 2014 and first in 2015) and yards per carry (fifth in 2013, fifth in 2014 and third in 2015) each year as well.
Despite Schefter’s report, Comcast SportsNet’s Derrick Gunn reported later on Sunday that Pederson is not a top candidate for the Eagles’ vacant head coaching position.
As a player, Pederson logged 12 seasons in the NFL, starting nine games at quarterback for the Eagles in 1999, Reid’s first year as head coach.
This article will be updated with all of the latest rumors involving Pederson.