Carson Wentz looms over the Eagles’ coaching search
The Eagles got a late start on looking for a new coach. It’s unclear when they’ll finish the process. What is clear is that the new coach will need to have a clear plan in place for handling the quarterback position.
Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics of the search, there’s no specific timetable for making a hire -- but it could end sooner than later, and quite possibly this week. Like every other team looking for a new coach, the Eagles want to get the right person for the job. Unlike every other team looking for a new coach (except for the Texans), the quarterback issue complicates things dramatically.
The Eagles started by interviewing coaches who were expected to receive offers with the teams who got their searches started a week, or more, before Philadelphia even had an opening. Then, the Eagles moved on to candidates not in line to be gobbled up elsewhere.
Common sense suggests that the job will go to a coach with an offensive background, given the importance of fixing fallen (for now) franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. But the Eagles haven’t ruled out a defensive specialist; indeed, maybe one fewer offensive cook will make it easier for Wentz to coexist in the kitchen.
The Wentz dynamic remains the most important aspect of the present and future of the team. From trading up to get him to choosing him over Nick Foles after the 2018 season to extending Wentz with a market-value (at the time) contract, the Eagles have made it clear that Wentz is their guy. The apparent fact that Doug Pederson disagrees could be the biggest reason he’s no longer there.
So the next coach likely will need to be someone who is fully on board with Wentz -- and who has the best plan for fixing him. And for reaching him. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently took a deep dive into the nooks and crannies of the dysfunctional relationship between front office, coaching staff, and quarterback who apparently has been hard to coach or control after he received the validation and security that comes from a major contract.
It won’t be an easy situation for the next coach. All parties need to be on the same page, or the situation quickly could go from awkward to awful. Throw in an aggressive media and a fan base that got a taste of confetti and now craves more of it, and it could take a six-year hazard-pay contract to close the deal.
Otherwise, the right person would have to be not in his right mind to take this job.