The Philadelphia Eagles should be able to appeal to a lot of head coaching candidates. Given all that the Eagles did in 14 years with Andy Reid, and given all the stars they still have, the likes of Chip Kelly should flock to Philadelphia. However, as the Associated Press’s Rob Maaddi pointed out on Jan. 3, the Eagles aren’t as appealing as they used to be.
Maaddi wrote that playing for the Eagles “was more appealing in the last decade than coaching them might be now.” While Maaddi cited owner Jeffrey Lurie’s hands-off approach and proclamations of “a winning culture” as pluses, he also cites that the one area Philadelphia lacks in most is talent.
To woo the right new coach, the Eagles will have to lean on their past glory more than their most recent past. Then again, Philadelphia had even less to entice new coaches back in 1998, when it came off a 3-13 season and had only won two playoff games since reaching the 1981 Super Bowl.
The Eagles had no real “winning culture” until Reid came along, although it seemed to have run its course in 2011 and 2012. While they are back to the same dire straits as 1998, they are far more powerful than they were before Reid showed up. As such, they can make a case that they aren’t far away from a quick fix.
But back in 1998, the Eagles could be more patient with Reid because they weren’t used to being a real contender. It also helped that Reid turned things around so quickly, brought Donovan McNabb on board and got them to the playoffs in his second year. Yet Reid set the bar so high early on, he couldn’t surpass it in the end -- and it may be too high for his replacement as well.
Philadelphia may have to temper its expectations with a new coach, as he likely won’t get it to the NFC title game by his third season. Yet despite the lumps the Eagles have taken, they still expect great success before too long, because Reid showed them the way like never before.
As such, his replacement may not have as much to work with as Reid did in 1999, but much higher early expectations will be put on him. That above all might give candidates pause, if the Eagles’ 2012 season didn’t already.