So the Eagles still don’t have a new leader, but the country definitely will get one today, sources close to the situation say.

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Les Bowen (earlybirds@inquirer.com)

Time to regroup

Maybe you remember Doug Pederson. Tall fellow. Likes ice cream. Won the only Lombardi Trophy in Eagles franchise history.

When Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie wished Pederson a fond farewell back on Jan. 11, Lurie said: “I really, really expect him to be a successful head coach in this league, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he is on another NFL team later this week.”

That didn’t happen. Now there are only two NFL head-coaching vacancies left, the Eagles’ and the Houston Texans’, and Pederson hasn’t been mentioned in connection with Houston.

Pederson said by text Tuesday night that he is “leaning toward taking the next year off and preparing for [the] next season.”

As a Super Bowl-winning coach who made the playoffs three times in five seasons, Pederson ought to be a strong contender in the 2022 coaching sweepstakes. But his two immediate predecessors running the Eagles, Andy Reid and Chip Kelly, jumped right back into the hurly-burly, Reid as head coach of the Chiefs and Kelly with the 49ers.

Coaches sometimes fear taking a year off; it can take you out of the flow. Some have had trouble getting back in. That might not be a huge problem for Pederson, depending, of course, on who else is available in 2022.

Extremely Big Red

Speaking of Reid, when his protégé Pederson won Super Bowl LII, there was talk that Pederson might end up as the best Eagles coach of the Super Bowl era. The next three years ended up being disappointments, and now, of course, that won’t happen, unless Pederson returns some day for a second stint.

Reid, at 130-93-1 in 14 Eagles seasons, seems unlikely to relinquish that honor anytime soon. And given his 91-37-0 record with the Chiefs since he left here — Reid has not had a losing season in Kansas City, and he’s trying to become a repeat Super Bowl winner this year — it’s quite possible that Reid will be the most successful leader ever to coach the Eagles. At 221-130-1, with three losing seasons in 22 overall, he’s a sure bet for the Hall of Fame.

What you need to know about the Eagles

From the mailbag

Will the Eagles have a coaching staff by the Senior Bowl? It will be a huge disadvantage if they don’t. — from @IBleedGreen24_7 via Twitter

Teams do like to have their coaching staffs settled by Senior Bowl week, which is next week, in Mobile, Ala. This year, there will be more top-drawer player talent attending than usual, because some players sat out the college season, or didn’t get to play a full slate of games. Also, the NFL scouting combine will not exist this year in its traditional form, lending even more importance to these workouts.

But a couple things are relevant here: One, it’s more important to have your talent evaluators on hand, and for the Eagles, those aren’t changing, Andy Weidl and crew will be on hand. Two, the assistants on Pederson’s staff are still under contract, and presumably will be there, filing reports that can be used even if the assistants aren’t retained.