The Philadelphia Eagles are reinforcing a good rule of thumb: Don’t fire a championship-winning coach unless you have a successor lined up in secrecy. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was the team’s top choice to replace Doug Pederson, but he turned down an
Published: 2021-01-21 12:27 pm
Eagles’ coaching search takes hit with Lincoln Riley rejection
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The Philadelphia Eagles are reinforcing a good rule of thumb: Don’t fire a championship-winning coach unless you have a successor lined up in secrecy.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was the team’s top choice to replace Doug Pederson, but he turned down an offer, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. That’s no surprise because Riley’s name is floated as a top candidate every year but he remains in the college ranks after sending back-to-back No. 1 overall picks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, to the NFL.

It doesn’t appear there is a new favorite, but Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni had a “good interview,” according to NJ.com. And Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ interview lasted parts of two days.

Others available who have interviewed or are expected to interview include Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley, Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

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Lincoln Riley reportedly turned down the Eagles’ head-coaching job.
Getty Images

A common thread among Sirianni, McDaniels and fan favorite Staley is that none of the three interviewed for any of the other six head coaching vacancies this offseason.

Are the Eagles thinking outside the box? Or are they getting desperate?

Meanwhile, Pederson had been connected to the Seahawks as an offensive coordinator candidate. But he told the Inquirer that he is “leaning toward taking the next year off” and preparing to return in 2022. It seems that is becoming an increasingly popular option for fired head coaches who are wary of doing more harm than good to their reputations with a short backwards step as a play-caller.

Of course, Eagles fans are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle for a second time in five years.

After they fired Chip Kelly, the Eagles did not get their top choices because Adam Gase went to the Dolphins and Ben McAdoo went to the Giants. Both were fired within three seasons, while Pederson was at the helm for the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win.

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