Doug Pederson could be a name heard to replace Eric Bieniemy—if he leaves the Chiefs.
The common assumption is to apply the “next man up” mantra even in the coaching ranks.
For the Kansas City Chiefs, a team so successful is bound to lose a coaching assistant in any given year to a new team searching for fresh leadership. In years past, the Chiefs have lost offensive coordinators Doug Pederson to the Philadelphia Eagles (2017) and Matt Nagy to the Chicago Bears (2018) as they were given promotions to be new head coaches. This season, Eric Bieniemy, who is also in the O.C. role, is expected to earn the same invitation from one of five teams who have already interviewed him.
This time, the next man up philosophy might not be the way forward.
It’s not that the Chiefs have a shortage of internal candidates who could step up and fill the vacancy if and when Eric Bieniemy leaves to take over a new team. Instead, it’s become clear that Pederson is on shaky footing in Philly, even after delivering a Super Bowl win in his first season with the team.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that Pederson is on the hot seat for the Eagles, and that team owner Jeffrey Lurie is not happy with the direction taken by Pederson and his staff.
The allusion to Wentz refers to the fact that the Eagles are now in a weird position with their former top draft pick. Wentz has been benched as the team’s starting quarterback and a reported rift between Wentz and Pederson might force the team to trade Wentz away this offseason and eat significant dead cap space in the process. Beyond that, any concerns are unknown. The Eagles did not have a good year, to be sure, but the short rope around Pederson feels a bit unfair from the outside looking in.
It could also be considered unfair for the Chiefs to bring him back. Current assistant coaches like quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, who is often mentioned as Bieniemy’s likely replacement, would likely not appreciate someone coming back to steal away a potential promotion with such a high-profile team.
Still, Andy Reid is going to do what’s needed to keep the Chiefs successful, and adding an offensive coordinator who has not only head coaching experience but a Super Bowl win on his own could be a serious addition to the staff. Reid could also get creative with his coaching staff to allow Kafka to have more sway/influence while still bringing Pederson aboard. Then again, it’s entirely possible that the next meeting between Pederson and Lurie will allow emotions to settle and the Eagles to enjoy continuity in leadership.