Andy Reid Fired: Highlighting Best Candidates to Replace Eagles Head Coach

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field after the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 42-7.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

After 14 years of turning the Philadelphia Eagles into one of the most respectable franchises in the NFL, head coach Andy Reid was fired Monday morning, according

Reid and the Eagles missed the playoffs last season, and the team was given an ultimatum by ownership to make the postseason in 2012-13. However, Philadelphia went 4-12 this year and was a shell of the Super Bowl contender it was billed as coming into the year.

The organization had no choice but to fire the veteran coach.

Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie told the team’s official website about Reid's contributions to the team and why the organization decided to move on from the long-time head coach:

Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come, but, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction. Coach Reid leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon. And we are very excited about the future.

Now that the Reid era is finally over in Philadelphia, the next step in the process will be finding a new head coach that can take the current cast of players and turn them into a winning team.

There is bound to be turnover on the roster—huge contracts from players like Michael Vick and Nnamdi Asomugha may be moved—but there will be plenty of talent on the roster for whoever takes over the head coaching job.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Eagles may be interested in the services of Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly. With wild offensive schemes and a willingness to take on any challenge, the possibility of the Oregon coach jumping to the NFL is a real possibility.

While the organization could look within its own ranks to find the next coach—perhaps a young prospect like defensive coordinator Todd Bowles—this amount of talent should be led by a veteran coach that knows how to handle egos as well as he knows how to handle a playbook.

The correct answer would be current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden.

According to Mike Freeman of CBS Sports, Gruden is willing to return to the coaching ranks. With that in mind, what better place to go for a veteran coach than to a team full of talent, but with a lack of direction like the Eagles?

Add in the fact that Gruden and Reid are cut from the same cloth—both disciples of Mike Holmgren and the West Coast offense—and the transition to the new coach would be flawless.

The Eagles have plenty of options, but there is little doubt that the best chance at success immediately would be with Gruden as the head coach.


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