Possible Head Coaching Spots for Eagles OC Shane Steichen

Shane Steichen

The Philadelphia Eagles’ 2022 season is off to a hot 4-0 start. With a few exceptions, the team is excelling at all levels of play on both sides of the field. Almost everyone in the organization deserves credit, from the players to the front office. General Manager Howie Roseman put together a talented team in the offseason, head coach Nick Sirianni brings passion and intensity to the locker room. Players want to win for Sirianni, not just for themselves. Quarterback Jalen Hurts is silencing critics with solid performances, thanks to the help of an extremely talented receiving corps. The defense is tied with Baltimore’s for most takeaways so far this year, with a turnover differential of +8. Fletcher Cox is returning to form, while cornerback Darius Slay continues to make plays every game.

But there’s one man in particular who will be interesting to watch next offseason, and that’s offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.

Also: check out the latest Coach of the Year award odds and best bets

Shane Steichen Shows He Deserves To Be a Head Coach

Steichen’s beginnings in Philly were a little rough. After a nice 32-6 win over the Falcons in the season opener of 2021, things went downhill for a bit. From Weeks 2 to 7, Philadelphia’s offense had been struggling. Jalen Hurts couldn’t throw a ball if his life depended on it, and the Eagles neglected the run game. They averaged 21 points a game during that span, with a record of 1-5.

Then, things improved. Steichen and Sirianni learned their lesson, and the offense started to rely more on its strengths. We know the rest. The Eagles finished 9-8, earning a spot in the wildcard. From Weeks 8-17, the offense now averaged about 29 points per game. They had some rough patches though, including an ugly 13-7 loss to the Giants. The offense also struggled to get the ball moving in the first half for their last four games, and played some of the worst teams in the league. That includes the COVID Commanders (Then Washington Football Team) twice, and a faltering Giants team.

But let it be known that all that improvement was not all just luck and favorable matchups, because the Eagles’ offense is an entirely different beast in 2022. It’s thanks to Howie Roseman’s master-level negotiation skills, but Shane Steichen has taken the pieces and done great things with them,

2022 Offensive Surge

The Eagles offense is already averaging around 29 points per game this season because of all the talent that surrounds it. A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith seemingly catch everything that comes their way. Dallas Goedert is emerging to be one of the best tight ends in the league, all while Miles Sanders is staying healthy and producing great numbers. Jalen Hurts has so far silenced doubters with back-to-back stellar performances.

The cream of the crop is the offensive line. It was their biggest strength in 2021, and continues to be the same in 2022. Jeff Stoutland’s line gives Steichen’s weapons the time they need to generate success. There are three potential Hall of Famers on the O-line (Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and possibly, Jordan Mailata), and the Eagles have been drafting players like Landon Dickerson and Cam Jurgens to ensure the line’s stability for years to come.

As of Week 4, the Eagles currently have the 2nd most total offensive yards with 1,742 yards (435 YPG). They currently rank within the top 10 for passing yards, rushing yards, and points per game. If Steichen’s successes continue, he could receive head coaching offers. But there are some things to consider before he can take charge of another team.

Starting and Closing

The Eagles have the best 2nd quarter offense in the NFL this year, averaging 21 points in just those 15-minute time spans. But in the first, third, and fourth quarters, they’re not as explosive. They average 1.8 points in the first quarter (ranked 28th), 3.5 points in the third quarter (ranked 20th), and 2.3 points in the 4th quarter (ranked 29th). Now against the Vikings and Commanders, the Eagles already dominated with big leads by halftime (24-7, and 24-0, respectively). It makes sense for the offense to just run the clock instead of trying to do anything flashy and risk a turnover. This is perfectly fine, but a couple extra field goals here and there would certainly help cement their victories. Against the Jaguars, the Eagles only had a six-point lead by halftime, but fortunately, the defense has pulled through time and time again.

It’s not completely Steichen’s fault. Jalen Hurts tends to get a little too relaxed in the 2nd half, under-throwing receivers here and there. Miles Sanders will sometimes dance too much in the backfield, yielding very little yardage. But the point is that the Eagles need to be prepared for when they face an opponent who can fight in all four quarters of the game. Would Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, or Aaron Rodgers allow the Eagles to maintain a small lead only halfway through the game?

Every team in the league is hoping to find the next great offensive mastermind, and Shane Steichen might be that guy. The only question is, which teams stand the best chance of getting him?

Indianapolis Colts

Frank Reich isn’t entirely to blame for the Colts’ shortcomings. Rolling with three separate veteran quarterbacks in consecutive seasons has affected this team greatly. Jim Irsay is also one of the least supportive owners out there. He didn’t like Carson Wentz because the quarterback didn’t fit the culture. Irsay was always a bit of a drama queen, which caused problems between him and Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning during the latter’s tenure in Indy.

On the upside, the Colts have a good offensive line and a great running back in Johnathan Taylor. On the downside, that’s about all they got going for them. The defense isn’t terrible, but they’re in desperate need for some more playmakers. Outside of Michael Pittman, the wide receiver corps is abysmal and has been for years. It wouldn’t be the worst team to take over, but Shane Steichen would have his work cut out for him.

Arizona Cardinals

This might be a stretch, but at the same time, the Kliff Kingsbury project in Arizona is trending toward a downward slope. In 2020 and 2021, the Cardinals started hot, only to regress late in the season. Now the Cardinals are 2-2 after an uninspiring win against Carolina, and a close comeback against the Raiders. But they’re still .500 without DeAndre Hopkins, and the team has pieces to build around Kyler Murray.

If Shane Steichen were to coach in Arizona, he’d have a quarterback with a play style close to Hurts, a veteran tight end in Zach Ertz, and the sixth-best run-defense in the league. The Cardinals are not far off from being a competitive team. Perhaps a change in leadership is what they need to push through.

Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll has been on the hot seat for some time, but I don’t believe he’ll be going anywhere soon unless disaster occurs in Seattle. Like Mike Tomlin, Pete Carrol is a player’s coach who always manages to win games despite adversity. He has only missed the playoffs three times during his 12-year career with the team. And with the Seahawks experiencing a rebuild, there’s going to be room for understanding if they don’t do it in 2022.

If, however, the Seahawks want to part ways, Steichen brings a youthful perspective that could breathe new life into this team. He would need to find a new signal caller for D.K. Metcalf and crew, unless Geno Smith maintains his hot start. The main concern though would be the defense, which currently has allowed the 2nd most yards in the NFL in 2022. The Seahawks may elect to go with a coach with more defensive experience if that’s where they’d like to concentrate their efforts.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are a mess, and Matt Rhule is a big part to blame. Dave Tepper can say Rhule is laying a foundation for years to come, but what he says and feels are two completely different things. Of course Tepper has to defend Rhule, or else he looks foolish for bringing him onboard. Many fans, experts, and media personnel have questioned whether Rhule is the right choice moving forward. At 11-26, it doesn’t seem so. Even in CFB, Rhule was given too much praise, only winning one bowl game and garnering a 47-43 record.

Should Shane Steichen go to Carolina, he would have to wipe the slate clean. Get an actual quarterback who can get the offense clicking, get the X receiver who can complement D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson, and add depth to the O-line. The Panthers currently have the third lowest cap space in 2023, a sign that these goals may not be possible. But something suggests fans would rather try a new coach than stick with what’s obviously broken.

Washington Commanders

I’ve written before that Ron Rivera is an overrated coach. 16-23 as the Commanders head coach, and 44-53 since losing Super Bowl 50, Rivera just hasn’t had success in years. He’s touted as a player’s coach, and the man braved through cancer. But when it comes to the actual game of Football, Rivera is losing touch. Of course, Owner Daniel Snyder doesn’t make things easy for anybody, including his own fans, so we have to take that into account. But since Snyder is the owner and Rivera just a coach, it’s obvious who will go when things go south.

Assuming Carson Wentz is somewhere else due to his lackluster play, Steichen would have to find a new signal caller while focusing heavily on the offensive line. Wentz has already been sacked 17 times this season, the most in the league. There’s also been no run-game without an effective O-line. But there is an upside if he were to join. He would remain in the NFC East and play the Eagles twice a year. He’d be going against teams he’s already used to facing (Giants and Cowboys), while having a fair bit of knowledge on how the Eagles operate.