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A Tree Grows on Broad Street
Posted By Christopher Rowe On Dec 29 2010 @ 4:56 pm In NFL,Philadelphia,Philadelphia Eagles | 10 Comments
Andy Reid is developing quite a coaching tree around the NFL. With openings looming for 2011 tempered with the collective bargaining agreement, teams may not want to go for the big fish like Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy or Jon Gruden. Perhaps they’ll want to pick from one of the less-publicized but more successful coaching trees over the past decade.
Brad Childress was the coach of the Minnesota Vikings until recently and had been Eagles offensive coordinator under Reid. Jon Harbaugh has turned the Baltimore Ravens into perennial contenders after years perfecting Eagles Special Teams. Steve Spagnuolo is finally starting to turn the St. Louis Rams around after a stint as NY Giants defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo would have been groomed to succeed venerable Jim Johnson rather than Sean McDermott. Leslie Frazier just recently took over as the Minnesota Vikings interim head coach having been brought in by Childress as defensive coordinator, and the list goes on.
Two names that could soon be added to the list are current Rams (Spagnuolo’s tree but Reid’s too) offensive coordinator and former Eagles quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur as well as Eagles current offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
Mornhinweg was actually a head coach before in Detroit with the Lions, but his five wins in two years was so bad most people figured he would never even be brought up again as a candidate.
Thanks to his time with Reid in Philadelphia, Mornhinweg is gaining some serious heat around the league with teams either currently without a coach or anticipating being without a coach in the offseason.
Mornhinweg, if offered a head coaching job, would most likely accept it. I don’t believe he came to Philly to remain an offensive coordinator for the rest of his career. He would like to be a head coach again and would probably take any offer presented to him.
If he were offered a job, it would likely be for a team like the Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, or any of the other teams looking for a fresh start. The common denominator with those teams is the lack of a quarterback – sans the Texans. Well… technically…the Bengals also have a quarterback, but they’re just not sure whether or not he’s Carson Palmer or an impersonator.
If Mornhinweg took over one of those teams, it’s likely he would immediately swing a deal to bring Kevin Kolb with him. The Eagles are most likely going to re-sign Michael Vick, so that leaves Kolb without a defined future on the team unless he’s going to be a backup. Mornhinweg has seen Kolb every day at practice and seems to love him as much as Reid does. Were he to get a head coaching job, it’s likely he would hitch his wagon to Kolb and hope for the best.
When Mornhinweg leaves, it’s likely Reid would go back to the future by pursuing Childress, Mornhinweg’s predecessor, as his successor. Then perhaps in two or three years we’ll be talking about Chilly successfully completing his redemption tour, as well. I’m not sold on the latter but thus far, the Reid coaching tree has experienced more fruit than famine. Perhaps Jon Gruden or Jeff Fisher will return to eventually succeed Reid when he fails to renew his contract after the 2012 season. Gruden was an offensive coordinator with the Eagles prior to the Andy Reid regime. Fisher was a defensive student under Buddy Ryan and has become the NFL’s most tenured coach with the Titans/Houston Oilers franchise.
Andy Reid has helmed the Eagles for 12 seasons. His most ardent critics question Reid’s game management skills while they praise his talent evaluation and coaching prowess. Perhap it is time for Reid to follow his mentor (Mike Holmgren) and head into the Eagles front office? Allow someone else to take over head coaching duties. Gruden? Fisher? Mornhinweg? Definitely NOT Brad Childress as he is a devisive and difficultly irrascible personality, but there are scads of coaching candidates out there. Assuming Mornhinweg and McDermott will remain as offensive and defensive coordinators respectively, I’ll further assume Tony Dungy and Herman Edwards will remain on TV rather than return to coaching. That being said, we know Bill Cowher is not considering Philadelphia. Many NFL teams fear the CBA and have chosen to retain the services of Marv Lewis, Tom Coughlin, Gary Kubiak, Tom Cable, Leslie Frazier and most likely Jason Garrett.
From the remaining candidates, my choices would include:
1. Jon Gruden 2. Jeff Fisher 3. Pat Shurmur 4. Jim Mora, Jr.
5. Chip Kelly or Jim Harbaugh
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