Coughlin Will Not Go To Philly; Eagles Hire Pederson Instead

Doug Pederson

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia

Coughlin Will Not Go To Philly; Eagles Hire Pederson Instead

| published January 14, 2016 |

By Keith H. Roberts, Thursday Review contributor


Discussions between former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and the Philadelphia Eagles have apparently ended after Coughlin abruptly withdrew his name from contention.

Rumors had reached a crescendo a day earlier that the Eagles were strongly considering hiring Coughlin as their new coach. Instead, the Eagles are now looking at Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, though no decision could be official until after the current season ends and the Chiefs face off against their next playoff combatants, the New England Patriots, in a divisional contest this Saturday.

The Giants and Coughlin announced their divorce earlier in January, the result, sports analysts agree, of the Giants failing to make the playoffs for the last four years. In Philly, there was much discussion about bringing Coughlin on board to replace former Eagles coach Chip Kelly. But after Coughlin withdrew from the discussions and negotiations, the Eagles office looked instead at Pederson.

Coughlin’s age may have been one of several factors: at 70, Coughlin would be the oldest head coach in the NFL in the 2016 season. In fact, if Philadelphia were to have chosen Coughlin to helm the team, his next closest runners-up in terms of age would be five years younger. Coughlin has said he would like to continue coaching for another few years, though in the NFL younger coaches have become an increasingly dominant factor.

Meanwhile, Pederson’s hiring may be a done-deal. The Eagles have reportedly told reporters that they are conducting no further interviews for head coach. Also apparently decided: a decision to hire Ken Flajole as defensive coach. Until this week, Flajole was expected to become defensive coordinator at University of Texas, El Paso. Taken together, both coaching decisions make sense: Pederson and Flajole worked together as far back as the late 1990s in Green Bay, when Flajole was a defensive coach and Pederson was the backup quarterback for the Packers.

Former Eagles coach Chip Kelly—who was fired a week ago—has been hired by the San Francisco 49ers.

Coughlin resigned from the Giants last week. He took the Giants to two Super Bowl wins in 12 years in New York, but the last few seasons have seen the team in slight decline. Coughlin has taken the team to several six-win seasons in recent years. In the meantime, the Giants have hired Ben McAdoo as head coach.

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Buccaneers Fire Coach Lovie Smith; Keith H. Roberts; Thursday Review; January 7, 2016.

Panthers Fail to Topple Dolphins Landmark Record; Keith H. Roberts; Thursday Review; December 28, 2015.