The Philadelphia Eagles have a rich history in the NFL since they were established as an expansion team in 1933. Most remember the coaches from the past couple of decades, but Philadelphia has had plenty of coaches from the early days who also were successful.
The Eagles have had 22 head coaches in franchise history. Therefore, there are many options on who makes this list, but there are only room for five. Let’s rank the five best Eagles coaches of all time.
5. Dick Vermeil
Dick Vermeil is best-known for his time with the St. Louis Rams, but he was still a solid coach with the Eagles. Vermeil was in charge from 1976-82. During the 1981 season, Vermeil led Philadelphia all the way to the Super Bowl before being knocked out by the Oakland Raiders. Vermeil finished his time with the Eagles with a record of 54-47 in the regular season. In the playoffs, the Eagles did struggle under Vermeil, excepting the 1981 season.
4. Buddy Ryan
Buddy Ryan was the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, one of the best defenses of all-time before coming over to the Eagles in 1986 to be the man in charge. Ryan led the Eagles to a 43-35-1 record during the regular season. The Eagles did underperform in the postseason under Ryan, winning none of their playoff games.
Even though they struggled during that time, that doesn’t take away from how good the defense was when he was in charge. Reggie White, Eric Allen and Seth Joyner were all standouts on that side of the ball under Ryan. But even with their success on defense there has to be some regrets about their postseason struggles.
3. Andy Reid
Andy Reid finally won his Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs, but if he would have done so with the Eagles, he would no doubt being No. 1 this list. Reid took over the Eagles job before the 1999 season, leading the team through 2012.
During the regular season, he led Philadelphia to 130 victories, the most in team history. The big knock for Reid is that the Eagles seemed to struggle when the lights were brightest. During his time in Philadelphia, Reid led the team to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. The Eagles teams led by Reid seemed too good to not win a title, but it never happened which puts him at No. 3 instead of at the top.
2. Doug Pederson
If Doug Pederson wins another Lombardi Trophy with the Eagles before his tenure comes to an end, be would easily become Philadelphia’s all-time greatest head coach. Pederson took over for the Eagles before the 2016 season after the Chip Kelly experiment fell flat. He had to change the entire culture of a team, but he got the Eagles players to buy in early.
Heading into 2020, Pederson sits with a 32-21 record during the regular season. He also led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.
1. Earle “Greasy” Neale
The Eagles were a mess before Earle Neale took over before World War II. In 1948 and 1949 Philadelphia won two straight championships with him in charge. Neale served as the Eagles head coach from 1941-50, leading them to a 63-43-5 record. For his efforts, he was named to the Eagles Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The only knock against Neale is that he set the expectations very high for the litany of coaches to follow him. There were high hopes for the team but they couldn’t win another title until Pederson took over nearly 70 years later. People often overlook what Neale did for Philadelphia but he was a major part of their history.