Eagles building strong staff around rookie coach Pederson

As the Eagles options dwindled and the team came closer to making the inevitable hiring of Doug Pederson official, it marked the end of a search that left Eagles fans scratching their heads. 

On paper, there was nothing overly attractive about Pederson's resume. He had a past with the Eagles. He had a long-running past with Andy Reid.

It was a move that screamed that Jeffrey Lurie and company were trying to dip back into the past and erase the last three years as best they could.

But the one common thread that Pederson shared with his mentor goes all the way back to 1999. When the Eagles hired Reid, he was a virtual unknown as well. He only became the Eagles franchise leader in coaching wins over the course of 14 seasons with the team.

Reid's success stemmed from an excellent coaching staff surrounding him — the legendary Jim Johnson on defense, Rod Dowhower and Brad Childress on offense, John Harbaugh on special teams. In the years that followed, several future head coaches and coordinators held positional coaching jobs under Reid — Steve Spagnuolo, Pat Shurmur, Ron Rivera, Leslie Frazier, Marty Mornhinweg, Sean McDermott.

So when it comes to a new head coach, building the rest of the staff is just as crucial. The Eagles have started that process off on the right foot.

They hired Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator.

Schwartz brought five years of head coaching experience and in a similar way to Johnson, the ability to take the focus of defense off of Pederson. Being an offensive-minded coach and calling the offensive plays, Pederson will be largely responsible for that. Schwartz is going to essentially be the assistant head coach, not only heading duties on defense, but also serving as a guide in coaching decisions.

On the offensive side of the ball, Pederson loaded up on talent directly below him as decision-maker there. Frank Reich comes on as offensive coordinator, highly regarded as a future NFL head coach in his own right. John DeFilippo goes from being Cleveland's offensive coordinator to the quarterback coach, and has been said to have a way with quarterbacks.

In addition, Pederson kept Dave Fipp around as special teams coordinator. The Eagles have been excellent on special teams in recent years and Fipp gets a lot of the credit for that.

If the Eagles were questioned for the Pederson hiring, they were praised everywhere else. 

The next few weeks for the Eagles are just as crucial. They have questions to answer about their player personnel department. They have a roster to construct that will help the franchise move on from the Chip Kelly era and define what Pederson brings. There is no question mark on the roster bigger than the quarterback position.

All that said, the Eagles went from being heavily criticized for a rather lightweight search that left them with a less-than-ideal candidate and filled out the coaching staff by shedding all the dead weight of the Chip Kelly era and building a rather formidable staff.

What the Eagles had to offer was a chance. For Schwartz, for Reich and for DeFilippo, the Eagles were a chance to bolster their own resumes while helping define a new era for the team. This was not Chip's show anymore. This is a coaching staff that just further echoes the Eagles need for collaborative voices to be calling the shots.

In the end, it gave the Eagles a few big coordinator names to surround their rookie head coach.

It's enough to make the Pederson hiring look pretty solid on paper and breathe a little energy back into the franchise.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

Go to top button