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The One Huge Reason Eagles’ Coaching Hires Make Sense

It has nothing to do with the past

When you look through new Eagles senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello's bio, as hard as you try, you literally can't find a single link to Doug Pederson, Andy Reid or anybody else from the Reid/Pederson coaching universe.

Same thing when you look through new passing game analyst Andrew Breiner's bio. There's nothing, no matter how hard you try to find something.

And the same with new receivers coach Aaron Moorehead. 

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It's not easy to find offensive coaches who have no connection whatsoever to the whole Doug/Andy/Marty/Brad coaching tree. The branches spread throughout the NFL and into college football, and that speaks volumes of Andy's ability to evaluate and develop coaches and also to the effectiveness of his offensive scheme over a long period of years.

But all three of this week's new offensive hires are outside voices.

And that's huge.

As a head coach, it's so imperative to hear new perspectives, fresh ideas. To not get stuck just relying on the same tired opinions. In the NFL, if you don't constantly grow and change and evolve, you're going to fall behind. And there were times this past year when the Eagles' offense looked stale, looked tired, looked desperate for a new vision.

Now, a lot goes into that. It's not easy to look like a cutting-edge offense when you're playing with five practice squad receivers.

But it's like anything else in sports or in life. If you surround yourself with people who think the same way as you do, you're never going to grow much.

Scangarello? He took a big pay cut to leave a comfortable coaching job at Northern Arizona to essentially be an intern with the Falcons because he was that desperate to work under Kyle Shanahan. When Shanahan got the 49ers' head coaching job, he brought Scangarello in as QBs coach, and Scangarello spent two seasons working with Jimmy Garappolo and studying every aspect of Shanahan's system, which is heavy in pre-snap motion and zone running. 

Breiner? You may not have heard of him, but you've probably heard of Joe Moorhead, who was Penn State's offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017 - a span when the Nittany Lions had the 6th-highest-scoring offense in college football. Breiner followed Moorhead from UConn to Fordham to Mississippi State, learning every aspect of his system, which has a big emphasis on versatility without substitution and lots of RPO action.

Moorehead? He's not really a disciple of any one coach like Scangarello with Shanahan and Breiner with Moorhead. But he's worked under some pretty highly regarded offensive minds - David Shaw at Stanford, Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M, Scot Loeffler at Virginia Tech.

Will these guys work out in their new roles in this reshaped Eagles offensive coaching room? Or will they wind up on the Doug Pederson assistant coach scrap heap with Groh, Greg Lewis, Carson Walch, Gunter Brewer and all the others?

Who knows? So much goes into the success of assistant coaches: communication with their players, chemistry with the head coach, work ethic, the ability to shine on when the pressure is at its highest on game day.

But what I like about each of these hires is that they all bring something new to the table. They're all outsiders, they're all new voices. They all come with solid credentials without being Doug Pederson clones. They speak the same language but a different dialect. 

This Eagles offense wasn't awful last year, especially considering the injuries. When Miles Sanders emerged as a big-time weapon and Doug began rolling Carson out of the pocket more and Greg Ward started to play, things began clicking and the Eagles began winning.

But the inconsistency much of the season was a problem. During that seven-game stretch from Jets through Seahawks the Eagles averaged just 17 offensive points per game, and it took too long to find answers.

With some new ideas, some invigorating voices, some outsider coaches who paid their dues far removed from the Andy Reid/Doug Pederson coaching tree, those answers should start to come a lot faster.

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