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What happens if Doug Pederson leaves the Chiefs?

Given the Kansas City Chiefs success during Andy Reid's tenure and specifically this season, it wouldn't be surprising to find some other teams raiding front office personnel or members of the coaching staff as they make offseason changes. The coaching carousel happens on all levels, not just as head coaches, which means the Chiefs could definitely wave goodbye to some of the consistency they've enjoyed on Reid's staff.

While others have had rumored interest, Doug Pederson is the first such coach to have a legitimate interview. Pederson, the Chiefs offensive coordinator, is an official candidate to fill the Philadelphia Eagles head coach opening in the wake of Chip Kelly's firing. The Eagles announced they interviewed Pederson on Sunday. There are other candidates, of course, but it's interesting to consider what could happen if Pederson leaves.

Would other assistants leave?

Pederson has served alongside Andy Reid for some time and is likely as close with a number of the assistants as the head coach himself. Position coaches could enjoy a nice raise and promotion if they were to leave with Pederson.

It's impossible to say who, if anyone, would join Pederson, since I'm as privy to such information as Sabby Piscitelli. Suffice it to say, a quick look at the Chiefs coaching staff reveals a number of guys with strong ties to the Philadelphia area. Would an assistant position coach love to move up a rung? Would a position coach eye a coordinator job?

If Pederson gets his chance, Andy Reid likely already has a list of potential replacements knowing he's going to have some holes to fill. The Chiefs will lose the benefits of such continuity, but such is the price of success.

Replacement options

I would say he's easy to replace but the term "easy" is a misnomer here, since personnel changes at the top of the coaching food chain aren't conducted with plug-and-play simplicity. But the Chiefs are well-equipped to handle a staff exodus of sorts considering the others who could potentially remain in house. Here are some obvious (and one not so obvious) idea for Pederson's potential replacement:

Brad Childress

The Chiefs have kept a former NFL head coach and longtime offensive coordinator in their back pocket for the last three seasons. Childress has been termed a Spread Game Analyst or tasked with Special Projects in his KC tenure, whatever that means, but no one else on the Chiefs staff has stronger experience this side of Reid. It would be easy to see Reid just moving Childress away from learning Klingon or mastering chess opening sequences and inserting him as the familiar OC he's been in the past.

Eric Bieniemy

It'd be silly to look over the coaches and not mention the incredible job the Chiefs coaches have done at running back. John Dorsey took a flier on some guys he believed could make a difference, and Eric Bieniemy and company did an incredible job getting Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West ready for legitimate playing time. Next man up is only possible if a talented player is made ready, and the Chiefs' offense didn't miss a beat sans Charles.

Bieniemy served as offensive coordinator for two years at the University of Colorado before joining Reid's staff as running backs coach. Is he ready for a much bigger role? Given his work with the Chiefs running backs this season, someone is likely going to give him a chance soon. The Chiefs might want to do so before losing him to another team.

David Culley

Culley has served as an NFL assistant coach for 22 years. That's as long as some of you (readers) have been alive. He spent 2011-12 as Andy Reid's senior offensive assistant in Philly and was christened the Assistant Head Coach after Reid arrived in Kansas City. Remember Reid calls most of the plays anyway, so Culley would likely be able to ease right in since he's been in senior leadership for some time.

Marty Mornhinweg

Mornhinweg served as Reid's assistant head coach / offensive coordinator from 2006-12, and spent the last year as the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach. Would he appreciate a step back into a coordinator role? That remains to be seen, but such familiarity with Reid's offense would make the easiest transition were the Chiefs to look outside their current coaching staff for Pederson's replacement. Then again, Mornhinweg was the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets in 2013-14, so it's not as if his most recent body of work is very impressive. One hitch here is that Reid wants to call plays and he previously didn't hire Mornhinwheg because of that.

Pat Shurmur

Shurmur served as quarterbacks coach in Philly from 2002-08 before the Rams hired him as their offensive coordinator. From there, Shurmur has built a solid resume away from Reid's leadership, including a head coaching stint with the Cleveland Browns and as interim head coach for the Eagles after Chip Kelly was fired. He was the Eagles' OC for Kelly's entire tenure, and would be a very interesting hire for Reid who would bring a new perspective while maintaining familiarity. His name was thrown around back in 2013 when Reid was first hired in KC.

Joe Philbin

This is a total wild card, but I like the possibility of Joe Philbin as an offensive coordinator. Let's not forget that Philbin was a highly sought after coordinator who dialed up exciting point totals with the Green Bay Packers each and every week. Year after year, the Packers let free agents walk and end up replacing them with new stars in the making. Much of that is due to a solid front office (a la Dorsey), but coaching players up is the next step, and Philbin's staff had young guys always ready to make plays.

Philbin is well versed in the West Coast offense, and he would now come with years of head coaching experience after three-plus seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Again, this is a wild card since I have no idea how familiar Reid is with Philbin and vice versa. But Dorsey could be a lifeline here given their background together in Green Bay.

Speaking of wild cards, of course, all of this is just that. Pederson might get an interview and nothing more, and the Chiefs might keep their entire coaching staff intact. But if Pederson does grab the brass ring presented to him, the Chiefs definitely have some options in front of them.

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