Fresh off Tampa Bay’s 30-20 win at New Orleans in the NFC divisional playoffs, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is set to interview for the Philadelphia Eagles heading job on Monday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
With Bowles’ defense holding the Saints to 20 points and forcing four turnovers, including three interceptions of quarterback Drew Brees, his stock may never be higher than it is right now.
The Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson after five seasons – just four years after winning the team’s first and only Super Bowl in 2017. After two years of back-to-back 9-7 seasons following the Super Bowl win, Pederson’s Eagles battled a plethora of injuries in a 4-11-1 campaign in 2020 that saw a quarterback controversy emerge between starter Carson Wentz, who was benched for poor play, and rookie Jalen Hurts, the team’s third-round pick. The Eagles are 35-33-1 with Wentz as the starter and 11-3 without him.
Pederson was fired because he wanted to move on from Wentz with Hurts as the starter, and owner Jeffrey Lurie wants Wentz, who signed a four-year, $128 million contract extension with $107.9 million in guaranteed money, in the mix as the starter for 2021. Pederson benched Hurts in the second half of the Week 17 loss to Washington in a move that many perceived to be a tank job for a better draft pick with the loss.
According to reports in Philadelphia, the new head coach needs to be on board with keeping Wentz, who reportedly wants out of the organization, although that won’t happen due to a massive cap hit that would result in millions of dollars worth of dead cap room.
Bowles, who hails from Elizabeth, New Jersey, which is an hour and a half away from Philadelphia, played his college football for Bruce Arians at Temple University in Philly. Bowles spent one year with the Eagles in 2012 on Andy Reid’s staff as the secondary coach and interim defensive coordinator before Reid was fired at the end of the season.
Bowles is one of several candidates the Eagles have an interest in, joining Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Philadelphia running backs coach Duce Staley, and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels among others, according to PhillyVoice.com. Bowles was supposed to interview with Detroit on Friday after initial interest from the Lions, but both sides decided to cancel that interview.
The Bucs will travel to Green Bay to face the Packers in the NFC championship game on Sunday. NFL Championship point spreads are almost always tight and the Packers are currently four-point favorites over the Bucs. Tampa Bay rallied from an early 10-0 deficit to beat Green Bay 38-10 in Week 6, as Bowles defense picked off Aaron Rodgers twice and sacked him five times.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org