ESPN ranks Doug Pederson as NFL’s worst coaching hire

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Doug Pederson addressing reporters this past week as the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator. The former quarterback will face even more scrutiny when he takes over the Eagles.

Did the Eagles make the right choice in picking Doug Pederson as their next head coach? ESPN doesn’t think so.

With all but one of the NFL’s head coaching vacancies now filled, ESPN has ranked Pederson the league's worst new hire.

“Pederson has spent only three years in the league as a coordinator, all under a head coach who is a dominant offensive voice,” writes Ian O’Connor. “Maybe Pederson has the "emotional intelligence" that owner Jeffrey Lurie is looking for and that Chip Kelly allegedly lacked, and maybe not. But after Coughlin pulled out of the chase and McAdoo canceled his second interview, Lurie didn't have much to choose from and figured Pederson might bring a little Andy Reid football back to the Linc.”

ESPN thinks the Pederson hire “feels like a reach,” an opinion supported by the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, whose reporting suggests the former Eagles quarterback was more of a fallback pick than a top target:

The Eagles may not have offered the position to Adam Gase, Ben McAdoo or Tom Coughlin, but they had strong interest in all three, and were prepared to make their pitch to two of them, according to several NFL sources familiar with the team's search.

McLane also wonders if the Eagles chose Pederson because he was more of a “yes” man than other candidates:

He won't come in and rock the boat. Coaches who say "gosh," as Pederson did on Wednesday when asked about his meeting with the Eagles, aren't boat rockers. As silly as it seems, Pederson's aw-shucks answer almost sounded like a "Muskie Moment."

Does a leader of men, someone that will have to endure one of the toughest towns in which to coach football, say "gosh?"

"He's tough," Reid answered in a text message.

ESPN ranked the 49ers hire of former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly as the league's second best hire, noting he'd be No. 1 on the list if it were based on his coaching record alone (New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, whom the Eagles interviewed for their vacancy, was ranked No 1).

"Kelly treated too many of his grownup Philadelphia Eagles as if they were still teenagers on scholarship, and in the end he was an unmitigated disaster as overlord of personnel," O’Connor writes. "If Kelly fixes Kaepernick, and adds a more human touch to his playbook when dealing with employees and employers alike, he has a real chance to restore San Francisco as a credible NFC contender."