Chip Kelly’s successor in Philadelphia is out of time.
On Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles have officially fired the team’s five-year head coach Doug Pederson. His tenure in Philly resulted in three over .500 win seasons and a Super Bowl victory in 2018).
Yes, Pederson’s final season in Philly that resulted in a 4-11-1 record was definitely memorable and not in a good way. The Eagles benched quarterback Carson Wentz and found a bright spot in backup Jalen Hurts (who the Eagles drafted with the No. 53 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft).
Then, of course, there was the blunder in the final game of the regular season when Pederson benched Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the second half vs. the Washington Football Team…
Besides the questionable coaching calls and the less-than-ideal 2020-2021 Eagles season, let’s talk about why the Los Angeles Chargers should consider Pederson to fill their head coach vacancy, at least for Justin Herbert’s sake.
Four-year Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was officially fired on January 4. After posting a 7-9 regular-season record, winning the last four, and being eliminated from playoff contention, the season was deemed a success because of one reason: Justin Herbert.
The Chargers got their quarterback of the future after selecting the former Oregon Duck No. 6 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The former four-year starting quarterback at Oregon shattered almost every rookie quarterback record there is in his first year in the NFL. The leading candidate for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award finished the season passing for 4,336 yards (sixth in regular-season play), 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
He became the first rookie quarterback to throw at least two touchdowns in seven consecutive games.
But despite the bright spot in L.A. that was Herbert, the Chargers were unable to finish games and that’s on the coaches. Lynn’s ground-and-pound run-first philosophy worked extremely well when he was with the Buffalo Bills (led the NFL in yards per carrying and total yards (2015, 2016).
When you a quarterback with a cannon for an arm, like Herbert, time to unleash that, right?
This is where Pederson can be beneficial for Herbert.
Let’s flashback to the good times with Carson Wentz. In his second year under Pederson, Wentz was having an MVP-like season and completed 265-of-440 (60.2%) of his passes, threw for 3,296 total yards, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and the best QBR of his career (78.5). That season, the Eagles went 12-2 and claimed a Super Bowl victory. Yes, Wentz did tear his ACL late in the season and backup QB Nick Foles finished out the remaining three games, including the Super Bowl.
But Wentz, untimely, was the reason the Eagles got to that position in the first place.
During the 2017-2018 season, Philadelphia ranked No. 3 in the league in team offense with 38 passing touchdowns compared to just nine on the ground.
That was Wentz best season and one could argue his “only” good one so far. And then Jalen Hurts offered an out and hope for the future for disgruntled Philly fans.
Hurts took over for the benched Wentz in Green Bay week 13. He finished the remaining four games as Philadelphia’s starter and threw for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns, four interceptions, a rating fo 77.6 and a record of 1-3 (an impressive 24-21 win over the New Orleans Saints and likely could have won against WFT in week 17).
All this to say, is that Pederson could be a good option for the Chargers to consider. Whoever the Chargers decide on hiring should also take into consideration the impact it will have on their franchise quarterback.
Pederson is offensive-minded, good with quarterbacks and has experience both in coaching and winning a Super Bowl.