After missing out on a number of prime offensive coordinator candidates over the last month, the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive restructuring could define the 2020 season.
*Phew* another successful NBA trade deadline in the books. Now that I can comfortably take a shower without having to worry about Woj Bombs, let’s mosey on over to NFL Twitter and see if anything new happened in the world of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Checks app… what the??? The Eagles just aren’t going to hire an offensive coordinator, like, at all?
Like not even just going the safe route and elevating Duce Staley from assistant head coach/running backs coach to assistant head coach/offensive coordinator? Does the name Jim Caldwell mean nothing to you?
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While I understand that the team’s search for a replacement for Mike Groh hasn’t exactly gone as planned, with three separate offensive coordinator candidates either turning down an interview outright, or opting to stick with their current gig, but is that really enough to just, stop looking? Do we really trust Doug Pederson to run this offense without a true foil to check him when things get stagnant?
Not only will he not have that, but the rest of the Eagles’ offensive hires aren’t exactly a textbook example of how to build a diverse coalition of dynamic ideas.
Taking the place of Groh as the team’s top offensive assistant is Rich Scangarello, who has been given the beyond vague title of Senior Offensive Assistant. Scangarello may not be a household name, but the 47-year-old LA native has been coaching professionally for the better part of a two decades, spending time with the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers before serving as the Denver Broncos‘ offensive coordinator in 2019, his first coordinator job in the NFL.
Did you happen to catch a Broncos game in 2019? Yikes.
While it would be a bit inappropriate to write off 19 years of coaching experience based on one season running a team with Joe Flacco penciled in at quarterback, it’s still not ideal to add a top-level assistant who runs a less than innovative offensive that ranked 28th in points per game, 28th in yards per game, 28th in passing yards per game, and, wait for it….. 20th in rushing yards per game.
Okay, okay, not great, but not horrible. Who else did the team add?
… That’s it.
Fine, technically the team also added ex-Colts receiver Aaron Moorehead to coach his former position, and Andrew Breiner as a passing game analyst, but neither will be all that involved in the general goings-on of designing game plans, writing up new plays, or executing either in-game.
No, backing up Pederson will be an empowered Press Taylor, the team’s qb coach-turned-passing game coordinator, and Staley, who will now serve as running game coordinator in addition to his aforementioned duties. While clearly the team values their contributions enough to remain with the team in 2020, unlike Groh or Carson Welch, neither brings anything new to the table and continue to plot the Eagles’ offense along into the new decade, as opposed to adding some fresh perspective.
Will it work? Only time will tell, but going all-in on Doug Pederson’s offense sans a fresh offensive coordinator feels like a continued degradation of the experiences offensive brain trust that made the Philadelphia Eagles the NFL’s best team in 2017.