Philadelphia Eagles: Is there an under the radar coaching candidate?

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Could the Philadelphia Eagles target an under the radar coach for next season?

The Philadelphia Eagles have questions throughout the entire organization heading into the 2021 offseason.

From the current 53 man roster all the way up to front office roles, it feels like no group is safe on the Eagles’ franchise.

One of the biggest names involved in this mess is head coach Doug Pederson and whether or not he will survive all of this. As crazy as it sounds, the Super Bowl-winning head coach could find himself elsewhere in 2021.

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So, what options are available for the Eagles? There’s the popular picks of bringing in an offensive mind like Eric Bieniemy, Joe Brady, or Brian Daboll. Getting someone that has helped offenses succeed and reach a new level of production.

Although this is the route most fans want the team to go in, is there another underrated candidate the Eagles could go after this offseason?

Instead of going for a head coach that is offensive-minded and can work with the quarterback, maybe the Eagles could look to add a defensive-minded coach to lead their team. And one of the top names should be none other than Robert Saleh.

The current defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers has seen his name get called louder for a head coaching job all season long. With the recent firing of Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions have been a team linked to Saleh. With other teams set to have a head coaching search this offseason, it shouldn’t be long before he finds a head coaching job.

The question is this: Should the Philadelphia Eagles pursue Robert Saleh as their next head coach?

Saleh’s defensive mind and tactics match a lot of what the Eagles currently possess.

In his four seasons with the 49ers, Saleh has run a 4-3 defense, with the emphasis on being dominant on the defensive line. The Eagles already have a ton of money invested in the defensive line, so this is already playing to Saleh’s strengths. His defenses have always been a scrappy, competitive group, which have only gotten better with talent added to it. This was on full display in 2019 when that dominant defense helped get the 49ers to the Super Bowl, and shut down Patrick Mahomes for three-quarters of that game.

Before his defensive coordinator job, Saleh was the linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2014-2016. During this time, he was able to work with and improve linebackers like Paul Posluszny and Myles Jack. From this experience here, he took it to San Francisco and turned Fred Warner into one of the best linebackers in the league. You have to think with his success of linebackers, Saleh can help improve the poor group of linebackers now suiting up for the Eagles.

If Saleh’s experience isn’t enough to convince you that he should be the next Philadelphia Eagles head coach, take a look around the rest of the league.

In 2019, the Miami Dolphins hired Brian Flores, former linebackers coach for the New England Patriots. They were competitive the first year, and are now putting everything together to be a playoff team in 2020. The New York Giants hired Joe Judge, a former special teams coordinator for the New England Patriots. He has the team in first place in the NFC East and already the most wins in a season since 2016. The Washington Football Team hired Ron Rivera, an Andy Reid disciple, former Eagles linebacker coach, and head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He has them tied for first in the NFC East. In 2018, the Tennessee Titans hired Mike Vrabel, former defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans. He has them tied in first for the AFC South and was just in the AFC Championship a year ago.

Is this enough to convince you yet?

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The offensive-minded coaches are always the sexy pick for teams looking for a new head coach. Offense is fun and fans want to see points on the scoreboard. However, defensive-minded coaches are having a ton of success right now in the NFL and get the best out of their players. As much as we want an offensive-minded coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, bringing in someone like Robert Saleh should be at the top of the list in the possible head coaching search if the job becomes available.