Doug Pederson will be the Eagles' next coach, an NFL source confirmed to the Daily News.
Pederson, the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator, can't be hired until his team is done with the playoffs. The Chiefs play at New England this weekend.
Pederson, who turns 48 at the end of the month, is a former Eagles quarterback and quarterbacks coach, who has been mentored by former Eagles coach Andy Reid. Going into the search process, a source told the Daily News' Paul Domowitch that Pederson was the favorite among coaches who weren't already head coaches in the league.
The selection of Pederson to succeed Chip Kelly -- hired Thursday as the San Francisco 49ers' head coach -- will not be viewed positively by many Eagles fans. Pederson has a low profile around the league; no other team interviewed him. He calls plays in Kansas City only occasionally, and has never coached under anyone but Reid in the NFL.
But Pederson is used to skeptics. He was an undrafted quarterback out of Northeast Louisiana who scrapped his way onto the Dolphins' roster after having been cut five times. He played in the World League twice, as he slipped on and off NFL rosters. He backed up Brett Favre in Green Bay and Dan Marino in Miami. He came to Philly to mentor Donovan McNabb in 1999, and when then-first-year coach Reid named him the starter, fans were less than pleased. At the second game, a fan brandished a sign that read "DONOVAN McNOWW."
Pederson was replaced by McNabb after nine games, and finished his playing career with Cleveland and Green Bay, then spent four years as a high school coach back in Louisiana before Reid made him the Eagles' offensive quality control coach in 2009. Two years later, Reid named Pederson to coach the Birds' quarterbacks. When Reid was dismissed after the 2012 season, and hired to coach the Chiefs, Pederson followed him as offensive coordinator.
The Eagles' coaching search, meanwhile, took a few twists. The Birds' first interview outside their own staff was Adam Gase, the Bears' offensive coordinator, who ended up coaching the Dolphins. The Eagles were very interested in hiring Ben McAdoo, an NFL source confirmed Thursday, but they never made him an offer, the source said, because it was apparent the Giants were interested in having McAdoo succeed Tom Coughlin, and there was no reason for McAdoo to leave New York if he could be head coach there.
Then, Thursday began with reports that the Eagles were meeting for a second time with Coughlin, which seemed to indicate they were going to hire the two-time Super Bowl winner, who will turn 70 in August. As that speculation peaked, Coughlin withdrew his name from consideration, apparently over differences of opinion on staff hires.
The Pederson news trickled out after Texas-El Paso let it be known that Ken Flajole, just hired to be the Miners' defensive coordinator, instead was taking a job with the Eagles. Flajole had worked with Pat Shurmur, the Eagles' current offensive coordinator, in St. Louis. But he also had worked in Green Bay when Pederson was a player there. Clearly, Flajole was being hired to fill out someone's staff, and it just about had to be Shumur's or Pederson's.
The answer was Pederson's staff, though the Eagles did not acknowledge that, in a statement that said: "We have concluded our search for a head coach. No further interviews are scheduled."
You don't announce you've concluded the process without announcing that conclusion -- unless you can't. Like the Falcons and then-Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn a year ago, the Eagles are prohibited from making Pederson's hiring official as long as the Chiefs are alive.
It will be interesting to see how many current assistants are part of Pederson's staff. He has played and coached with running backs coach Duce Staley, who was interviewed for the head coaching job.
"That's a great hire," Eagles outside linebacker Brandon Graham said Thursday night. "I loved his energy when he was here, and I'm sure not too much of him has changed ... I can't wait to get after the 2016 season with him."
Former Eagles center Jamaal Jackson recalled Pederson as "very much a players' coach. Had a great relationship with just about everyone on the team." Jackson added that "guys would play for him, for sure."