The search is underway for the 24th head coach in franchise history. Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Lurie addressed reporters for 41 minutes on Monday afternoon, shortly after he released a statement that Doug Pederson would not return for the 2021 season. Who will replace Pederson? Lurie offered some insight.
First, Lurie will lead the search process along with President Don Smolenski, Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman, as well as other key personnel people from the organization. "It's a multiple, multipronged process," Lurie said.
What's a key characteristic that Lurie is looking for in the new head coach? Leadership.
"It needs to be a leader of coaches, a leader of players, and someone who represents the organization in a great leadership way," he said.
Lurie craves an elite offense and sees that as the most probable path for success in today's NFL. According to Football Outsiders' advanced metrics, the top seven offenses and 11 of the top 12 all made the playoffs. The Eagles finished 28th in offensive DVOA (better than Washington, as the division champs had the league's worst offensive DVOA). Nonetheless, Lurie said that it "doesn't matter" which side of the football is the head coach's specialty.
"You can hire somebody really steeped in offense, or you've seen great offenses coached by head coaches that are coming from the defensive side," Lurie said. "I don't think there's any predilection for one over the other, but I do think somebody that is constantly curious of where the league is headed and what you need to do to have really good units."
This will be Lurie's fifth head coaching hire since purchasing the team in 1994. In 1995, Lurie brought on Ray Rhodes, the first Black head coach in Eagles history. Lurie will have minority candidates in mind this time as well, including Assistant Head Coach Duce Staley.
"I think that we are very open and it's top of mind to make sure we have some of the best minority candidates in on the search," Lurie said. "It's very important I think for us, for the league. It's top of mind. I would expect Duce Staley to be a candidate. He's a great representative of the Eagles and knows our values and I would expect him to be part of the search as well."
The Eagles' head coaching vacancy is one of seven in the NFL right now along with: Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, and the New York Jets. Why is the Eagles' opening an attractive one? Lurie listed several reasons why, among them:
• Facilities – The Eagles have two state-of-the-art facilities in the NovaCare Complex, the team's training center, and Lincoln Financial Field, annually recognized as one of the premier stadiums in the sport.
• Track Record – Since 2001, the Eagles rank first in both NFC Championship Game appearances (6) and NFC East titles (9). Since 2000, only four teams have made the playoffs more than the Eagles.
• Quarterback – The cupboard is not bare with Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts on the depth chart.
"Coach is going to have options. Coach is going to have an ability to fix what he feels is necessary in our offense and have a potential star in Carson and a potential star in Jalen, and that gives us an asset also if we end up deciding on one someday. The other is a really good asset," Lurie said.
• Fan base – If you're going to win, there's no better place than the City of Philadelphia.
"The best fan base in America," Lurie said. "There's other great fan bases, but this community really, really cares about their team, the culture of the team, and how competitive they are, and they want to win divisions, they want to win and get to championship games, and further."
Lurie is confident that the Eagles will have no problems attracting the best candidates because when you line up all of the advantages that the team offers, it's essentially, in Lurie's words, "a win-win-win-win."