In 2016, Philadelphia Eagles hired Doug Pederson to replace a head coach they hired out of college.
In 2021, the Philadelphia Eagles may be able to hire a college coach to replace Doug Pederson.
There are already rumors that the Eagles will run at the University of Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley.
Ed Kracz reports that the Eagles reached out to Riley “not long after” the team parted ways with Pederson on Monday. He also notes that “this is not the first time the Eagles have spoken to Riley about his potential interest in the Eagles.”
We knew earlier that Riley had a relationship with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. The questioner Paul Domowitch wrote just as much in early August:
Roseman and the Eagles have cultivated a good relationship with Riley, who is one of the country̵7;s best college coaches. Two years ago, the Eagles considered drafting Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown in the second round, but saw him as more of a right tackle than a left tackle and they were not really interested in moving Lane Johnson back to the left side at. this phase of his career. Riley agreed with their assessment of Brown, and the Eagles ended up drafting the close end Dallas Goedert, who has quickly emerged as one of the league’s best all-around tight ends. […] Riley even had some influence on the Eagles’ decision to take TCU receiver Jalen Reagor in the first round. Riley had recruited Reagor when he was a high school star at Waxahachie (Texas) High School. His team also played against him for three years in the Big 12. He spoke passionately about him to the Eagles scouts when they talked to him about [Jalen] Hurts. He suggested Reagor would have been a 100-catch a year recipient in Oklahoma’s offense.
These are not the only signs that point to the Eagles’ interest in Riley.
Tim McManus wrote the following earlier Monday:
Some believe the Eagles will run on Oklahoma Sooners coach Lincoln Riley. He coached Hurts at the university level, has the lead role in the QB position and is said to have a strong relationship with the Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman. It would probably take a lot of money to lure Riley out of Norman, but they might see it as a wise investment.
Even more buzz arose:
I suppose you’ll hear a lot of buzz about #Eagles and Lincoln Riley in the days and weeks to come.
– Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) January 11, 2021
Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson, who played college football in Oklahoma before Riley’s arrival, potentially added more fuel to the fire:
Riley, who turns just 38 years old in September, is certainly an intriguing profile.
He is overall 45-8 as Sooners’ head coach since he was hired to replace Bob Stoops in 2017. Riley coached 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. Oh, and the second round picks Jalen Hurts in 2020, who was second in the Heisman.
Oklahoma has experienced offensive prominence ever since Riley was originally hired as their offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach six years ago. From his bio:
Since the start of the 2015 campaign, OU ranks first nationally in scoring (44.6 ppg; second highest is 41.6), total offense (554.9; second highest is 516.4), touchdowns from scrimmage (382), passed efficiency rating (189.0; second best is 168.1) and yards per. attempted pass (10.7), second in completion rate (69.1), third in passing (321.9) and ninth in urgent offense (233.0). With that kind of offensive production, it’s no surprise that the Sooners have posted a 58-10 (.853) record since his arrival (41-5 in Big 12 games). OU’s overall rating since 2015 is fourth best nationally, with only Clemson (69-5), Alabama (66-6) and Ohio State (61-7) having better records.
If you’re looking for a minor against Riley, he’s only 1-3 in bowling and 0-3 in the College Football Playoff. And there are clearly questions about whether his collegiate success will translate to the NFL, just as there was when the Eagles lured Chip Kelly away from Oregon in 2013.
It remains to be seen if the Eagles are capable of landing Riley. The Lubbock, Texas native signed a six-year, $ 45.2 million contract extension through 2025 with Oklahoma last year. Jeffrey Lurie will likely have to make a lucrative offer in front of Riley to pull him out of Norman.
One must also wonder what kind of responsibility he is looking for when it comes to route control. We all know that the last college coach the Eagles hired arranged a power play. Perhaps Roseman’s pre-existing relationship with Riley could enable the two to better be on the same page and avoid such a conflict.
There have been some thought the Eagles would not have fired Pederson a week after the end of the season if they did not already have a replacement in line. If so, Riley may just be that guy.