Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is a trusted confidant of Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. According to reports, they could also share a workspace in the near future.
Riley was contacted by the Eagles on Monday as Philadelphia dismissed head coach Doug Pederson, according to multiple reports.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie fired Pederson after he compiled a 46-39-1 in five seasons, including winning Super Bowl LII.
Riley’s specialty is offense and his expertise is quarterbacks. He groomed current Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in one season with the Sooners, this after helping Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray each win the Heisman Trophy and get drafted No. 1 overall in back-to-back years.
Riley, 37, has been on the NFL radar before. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Riley “intriguing” and hoped to bring him in prior to hiring Mike McCarthy last January, but Jones said talks never moved off of home plate.
Much like Riley’s predecessor at OU, Bob Stoops, convincing the coach to leave Norman, Okla., will not be easy. Oklahoma is likely to be a top five team in college football again next season and current Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler is a Heisman candidate. Oklahoma (9-2) finished at No. 6 this season and is 45-8 in four seasons under Riley.
It is not known whether Roseman and Riley have had detailed discussions, including how Riley might walk the line between Hurts and Carson Wentz, who is championed by management and under contract at franchise QB salary numbers.
Lurie’s concerns reportedly included Pederson’s plan to fix an offense that underperformed in 2020, the future at the quarterback position and the makeup of the coaching staff.
Pederson reportedly preferred to fill the offensive coordinator role with Press Taylor, the team’s 32-year-old quarterbacks coach. ESPN reported Lurie wanted the position filled from outside the organization.
The Eagles’ offense ranked 24th in the NFL in yards per game (334.6), 26th in scoring (20.9 points) and 28th in passing yards (207.9). Pederson removed Wentz as the starting quarterback after 12 games and replaced him with the rookie Hurts.