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January 14, 2016

Doug Pederson will be Eagles' new head coach

Eagles NFL
011416DougPederson Orlin Wagner/AP

Doug Pederson will be the Eagles' 23rd head coach.

About two and a half weeks after firing Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles have found their franchise's 23rd head coach, soon to be former Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, per Les Bowen of the Daily News. can confirm via a source that it will indeed be Pederson. The Eagles cannot confirm until the Chiefs' season concludes. An Eagles spokesman said only, "We have concluded our search for a head coach. No further interviews are scheduled."

The Chiefs will play the New England Patriots this Saturday in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Pederson is an Andy Reid protege. Reid was Pederson's quarterback coach when Pederson was a player in Green Bay in 1997 and 1998. When Reid landed the Eagles' head coaching job in 1999, he brought Pederson with him to be his temporary starting quarterback and mentor to rookie Donovan McNabb.

After his retirement from playing in the NFL in 2004, Pederson became a high school football head coach, until Reid hired him in 2009 to be an offensive quality control coach for the Eagles. In 2011, he was promoted to be the quarterbacks coach.

After Reid was fired by the Eagles after the 2012 season, he landed in Kansas City and once again brought Pederson with him, making him the Chiefs' offensive coordinator, where Pederson has served since. The Chiefs' offensive rankings from 2013 to 2015:

Stat 2013 2014 2015 
 Yards per game  21 25 25 
 Passing yards T-24 29 28 
 Rushing yards10 10 
 Points per gameT-6 16 
 TurnoversT-2 T-4 

Over the last three years, the Chiefs' numbers are very consistent. They are a running team with overall unimpressive numbers, but they do a tremendous job limiting turnovers and allowing the strength of the team, the defense, to win games.

That style of play could mesh well in Philadelphia. The Eagles clearly have more talent on the defensive side of the ball, but they have been put in an impossible situation over the last three years by Chip Kelly's unrelenting fast-paced offense.

The Chiefs' ability to limit turnovers can be at least partially attributed by quarterback Alex Smith, who has a conservative approach to the position. However, if Pederson could bring the ability to hang onto the football with him to Philly, that would improve what has arguably been the Eagles' biggest downfall over the last two seasons:

Since the Eagles and Chiefs changed over their coaching regimes in 2013, the Eagles have had the third most giveaways in the NFL. Over the last two seasons, they've turned it over more than anyone.

Conversely, over the last three years, the Chiefs have only turned the ball over 50 times, which is third best in the NFL:

Giveaways 2013 2014 2015 TOTAL 
 Giants44 28 21 93 
 Redskins34 31 22 87 
 Eagles19 36 31 86 
 Titans25 26 33 84 
 Raiders31 29 24 84 
 Buccaneers21 33 28 82 
 Browns29 23 30 82 
 Falcons28 23 30 81 
 Jaguars27 26 28 81 
 Cowboys20 25 33 78 
 Lions34 20 24 78 
 Ravens29 20 28 77 
 Broncos26 20 31 77 
 Jets29 24 24 77 
 Colts14 31 30 75 
 Bears23 29 21 73 
 Steelers24 21 28 73 
 Bengals30 26 17 73 
 Texans31 22 2073 
 Cardinals31 17 24 72 
 Saints19 30 20 69 
 Rams21 27 21 69 
 Bills27 23 19 69 
 Vikings32 20 17 69 
 Chargers21 23 24 68 
 Dolphins26 23 19 68 
 Panthers19 23 19 61 
 49ers18 22 17 57 
 Packers25 13 17 55 
 Chiefs18 17 15 50 
 Seahawks19 14 16 49 
 Patriots20 13 14 47 

Pederson was not the Eagles' first choice. Per a source, former Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was the Eagles' top target, but he was hired by the Giants. The Eagles then reportedly turned their attention to Tom Coughlin, who also rebuffed them.

The Eagles also reportedly have begun to hire a staff of assistants. According to ABC-7 News in El Paso, Texas, longtime NFL assistant coach Ken Flajole will join the Eagles in some capacity, likely as a defensive assistant.

The Eagles' head coaching search mostly included former quarterback coaches. Quarterback has been a position of extreme instability on the Eagles' roster since McNabb's heyday. 

Next on the agenda for the Eagles will be to hire a coaching staff and figure out that pesky quarterback situation. We'll update as we learn more.

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