Welcome to NFL Black Monday.
The Houston Texans have kicked off the NFL’s coaching carousel by firing head coach Lovie Smith after a lackluster 4-13 season in H-Town. Smith is the first NFL coach to get the ax, but he certainly won’t be the last. When all the moves have been made, the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff is likely to look drastically different than what it does today.
Let’s start in Houston.
Houston’s NBC KPRC 2 reporter Aaron Wilson mentioned the Texans and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon have “mutual interest” if the job were to become available. Well, the job is now available and the Texans have a history with the Birds’ DC.
Gannon interviewed with Houston twice in the 2022 hiring cycle and made a strong impression on Texans ownership. To Gannon’s benefit, the Texans threw the respected veteran Smith to the wolves. Smith was –not surprisingly– unable to navigate the gutted Texans roster situation after the whole DeShaun Watson debacle. Gannon would potentially inherit a team that is poised to have the second pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Gannon is not the only Eagles coordinator whose name keeps popping up in the coaching carousel.
Birds’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen is another hot name being bandied about. The 37-year old was reportedly rumored to be on UNLV’s shortlist before his alma mater hired former Missouri head coach Barry Odom. Steichen’s career trajectory seems destined for an NFL head coaching gig and not a Group of 5 doormat. The turnaround of Jalen Hurts and the efficiency of the Eagles offense have made Steichen a prime target for offense-first NFL teams.
The potential changes will also trickle down to lesser known position coaches who will look to spread their wings (sorry!) and ascend to coordinator positions.
Case in point, defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson. A 15-year NFL veteran coach, Wilson led the Eagles secondary to one of their best seasons on record. Wilson is reportedly one the coaches Cleveland is interested in talking to for their open defensive coordinator position.
Eagles passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo is another name worth watching.
The 41-year old has spent 14 of the past 15 years coaching in the NFL in various offensive roles. Patullo was considered a leading candidate for the Bears’ offensive coordinator job heading into this season before Chicago went with Luke Getsy. His reputation will make him another hot commodity during the 2023 coaching cycle.
The reshaping of the Birds’ coaching staff could begin as early as this week. NFL teams are allowed to interview playoff coaches during the bye week. Change may be coming to South Philadelphia sooner rather than later.