PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator search is winding down -- there is some thought it could be wrapped up as early as this weekend or early next week -- and yet active candidates for the position are hard to come by.
Most names that have surfaced publicly have already been crossed off: Kevin O'Connell took the O-coordinator job with the Los Angeles Rams; James Urban is staying with the Baltimore Ravens; Graham Harrell, who is said to have had some big fans inside the Eagles' facility, decided to return to USC; and Andy Reid has made it clear he's not letting Mike Kafka shake free from the Kansas City Chiefs; Josh McCown is not ready to dive into the NFL coaching deep end quite yet.
New leads are scant. Meanwhile, the rest of the coaching staff is taking shape. Matt Burke is expected to be the new defensive line coach; former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel is poised to be hired as the secondary coach; and there's lot of buzz around Vanderbilt wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead for the same role in Philly.
So why seemingly no movement at offensive coordinator?
One theory is the Eagles have their sights set on one of the assistants who will be coaching Sunday in the Super Bowl. San Francisco 49ers passing coordinator Mike LaFleur and run game coordinator Mike McDaniel are two hot names. Or, perhaps they want to pluck from the ever-giving Reid coaching tree and hire someone like up-and-comer pass game analyst/assistant quarterbacks coach Joe Bleymaier.
That would explain the methodical pace to the proceedings.
There's another theory that works just as well, even if it's not as popular: Maybe the person is already in place.
According to a league source, Eagles quarterbacks coach Press Taylor has been interviewed during the team's wide-ranging coaching search. The 32-year-old former Tulsa quarterback became a household name locally when he was given credit for digging up the "Philly Special" trick play in front of Super Bowl LII. He was elevated from quality control and assistant quarterbacks coach to QBs coach in 2018.
Taylor has an advocate in Carson Wentz, and that's no small thing. The two have built a strong relationship over the past few years. Trust and respect are key ingredients in the coach/quarterback dynamic, and the Eagles' brass would have few concerns on that front if they tabbed Taylor.
It's worth noting Pederson could opt to not have an offensive coordinator at all and instead promote Taylor to passing game coordinator, seeing as he already has a running game coordinator in place in offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Pederson calls the plays, so he already wears the O-coordinator hat in a sense.
What Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie seems to be hungry for is fresh ideas to help give a jolt to an offense that has gotten a bit stagnant over the past two seasons. Would Taylor provide that in a heightened role? And could they get further innovation by hiring from the collegiate level for the wide receiver- and quarterback-coaching gigs by bringing in guys such as Moorehead and someone of the ilk of Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter?
There is a case to be made that Pederson and Wentz could use a more experienced voice in their ears, similar to Frank Reich before he left to take the Colts' head-coaching gig. Former Colts coach Jim Caldwell was one of the first candidates mentioned by a league source when the offensive coordinator job opened up this month following the firing of Mike Groh. Perhaps they still go in a similar direction, but the lead on Caldwell has gone cold, as it has for most of the names that have come to light.
Maybe the answer to the O-coordinator riddle can be found on the sidelines at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami this Sunday. Or maybe the answer has been sitting in front of us the entire time.