Philadelphia Eagles: The pros and (many) cons to hiring Josh McDaniels

Nov 3, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels stands on the field during warms up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels stands on the field during warms up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

After a busy couple days of interviews around the NFL, there are just two open head coaching positions still available – the Philadelphia Eagles being one of them. While many have speculated that the team would target some sort of innovative offensive mind like Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy or Panthers OC Joe Brady, the Eagles appear to be considering a different option altogether.

Following an interview process that lasted somewhere in the range of nine hours, many are speculating that Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie are leaning towards naming longtime Patriots OC Josh McDaniels their new head coach. It’s a move that’s been met with a lot of pushback from the fanbase, and there are definitely plenty of pros and cons to consider when looking at the potential hire.

The pros and cons to Philadelphia Eagles HC candidate Josh McDaniels.

PRO: He’s a 6x Super Bowl Champion.

More from Section 215

Whether you give him credit for the rings or not, the simple truth is that McDaniels has in fact won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. He’s been Bill Belichick’s right hand man on the offensive side of the football during some of the team’s best years, and that should account for something.

Very rarely are 4-11-1 teams able to hire a new HC with such an impressive, championship stuffed resume.

CON: He sucked as a head coach in Denver.

McDaniels’ first head coaching gig came in 2009 with the Denver Broncos, and it didn’t particularly go all that well. He finished with a record of 11-17, was involved in multiple player controversies (Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall), was fired just two years into his four-year contract, and of course was also involved in a video recording scandal.

It was a really bad look for McDaniels as a first-time head coach, and one that set him back a few years in terms of landing a sustainable head coaching gig.

PRO: He coached Tom Brady really hard.

As an Eagles fan, this aspect of McDaniels should intrigue you. The oft-talked about “New England system” was one that predicated itself around coaching its payers extremely hard, including QB Tom Brady.

Philly has a QB problem on their hands with Carson Wentz, and many have speculated that he needs to be coached much harder moving forward, similar to how former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo handled him. If there’s one thing to get excited about when it comes to McDaniels, it’s the notion that he could be a good candidate to “fix” Wentz.

CON: The Patriots offense sucked without Brady in 2020.

After swearing to everyone that Tom Brady was the problem in 2019, the Patriots’ offense completely collapsed as they attempted to move forward with Cam Newton in 2020. The team ranked 27th in the NFL in terms of yards per game last season, which is actually even worse than the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brady went on to record 40+ touchdowns with Tampa Bay this season while the Patriots struggled to even convert first downs. I’d argue the Eagles have better QB options on their roster than a banged up Cam Newton, but it’s still super concerning to see how far the Patriots’ offense dropped off without Brady running the ship.

PRO: He’s from the Bill Belichick coaching tree.

Bill Belichick is arguably the greatest coach in sports history, and there’s something to be said about landing one of his most coveted assistants. The Patriots have a long history of instilling strong, winning cultures in their locker rooms, and that’s something the Eagles could really use in 2021.

Brian Flores in Miami is a great example of a Belichick assistant coming in and completely turning a franchise around in a good way.

CON: He’s from the Bill Belichick coaching tree…

On the flip side, the “Bill Belichick coaching tree” hasn’t always worked out for teams.

Matt Patricia is a really good example of this, as he attempted to bring the “New England way” with him to Detroit. It didn’t work at all, and players ultimately somewhat revolted against him. There’s definitely a scenario out there where some of the veterans on the Eagles roster simply don’t connect with McDaniels on a personal level, leading to further dysfunction.

CON: Little innovation and creativity.

After a year of watching Doug Pederson struggle to draw up unique play designs, a major point of emphasis of this offseason was hiring a head coach who brought a far better scheme to the mix. Josh McDaniels doesn’t really fit that description.

McDaniels’ New England scheme was based around short reads, a lot of check downs, and a whole lot of RB screens. Maybe that changes considering Wentz has a bigger arm than the likes of Brady and Newton, but who knows. It’s definitely a polar opposite to what Eric Bieniemy or Joe Brady would bring to the table.

Next. Philadelphia Eagles 7-round mock draft: New head coach…new QB?. dark

The Philadelphia Eagles coaching search is not complete yet – I want to make that very clear. While the signs are pointing towards McDaniels, the organization could totally end up pivoting in a completely different direction. After all, we all thought Lincoln Riley was a done deal just a few days ago. A whole lot can change in the coming days, or even weeks.