The Eagles’ Coaching Thread

I am the Walrus

With all of the reports flying, we’ll give you an updated list of people that the Eagles are talking to and are reportedly interested in talking to over the course of this process. We’ll also be providing commentary on a regular basis as the situation develops. Feel free to chime in on who you love, hate or want to see on the list in the comments section!

Coaches interviewed:

Mike Nolan – Defensive coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
Keith Armstrong – Special teams coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
Gus Bradley – Defensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks
Lovie Smith – Former head coach, Chicago Bears
Brian Billick – FOX announcer/Former head coach, Baltimore Ravens
Ken Whisenhunt – Former head coach, Arizona Cardinals

Coaches they’re scheduled to interview:

Bruce Arians – Offensive coordinator/interim head coach, Indianapolis Colts
Jay Gruden – Offensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals        Interview on Monday

Coaches the Eagles reportedly have interest in:

Jon Gruden – ESPN analyst
Greg Roman – Offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers

Coaches out of the race:

Dirk Koetter – Offensive coordinator, Atlanta Falcons.       Remaining in Atlanta
Bill O’Brien – Head coach, Penn State.        Remaining at Penn State
Doug Marrone – Head coach, Syracuse University    Hired to coach Buffalo Bills
Chip Kelly – Head coach, Oregon     Remaining at Oregon
Brian Kelly – Head coach, Notre Dame     Remaining at Notre Dame
Mike McCoy – Offensive coordinator, Denver Broncos     Hired by San Diego Chargers


1/15/13 – 11:28 am

In a move that I surprisingly agree with, the San Diego Chargers have reportedly hired Mike McCoy of the Denver Broncos as their next head coach. McCoy is an ideal candidate for a lot of teams, but what makes the move better is that it robs their division rival of a quality coach.

Well done, San Diego.

In other news, the Eagles are having a second interview with Gus Bradley today. The idea going around is that if the Eagles want Bradley, they’ll offer him a contract today instead of exposing him to other teams.

As a result, today should be very revealing.

1/14/13 – 4:11 pm

First, the Eagles are meeting with Jay Gruden and Bruce Arians early this week. Both of these interviews were expected.

In addition, a new and unexpected candidate has stepped into the ring by the name of Ken Whisenhunt.

At this point it feels like the Eagles brass is like a five year old in a fun house. They’re just trying to see every possible goofy angle because they’re five years old and who gives a shit. They’re having a good time.

I’m not concerned by the news in any way–due diligence and all that good stuff–but how many of these guys are they sincerely interested in? 3? 4? It just seems bizarre to speak to so many people (12 at this point) when you can just as easily focus on a smaller sample size and get to the heart of it.

So, while I don’t want the Eagles to necessarily rush, they should get to the pont.

1/13/13 – 5:15 pm

So there’s three major things to discuss with the Birds today:

1. The end of the college coaches.

It’s official that Brian Kelly will be staying at Notre Dame after, you know, saying he would stay at Notre Dame. Do not be discouraged, this is certainly not a bad thing.

2. Brian Billick? Yes, that happened.

The Eagles interviewed the former Super Bowl winning coach within the last week. Reportedly the interview lasted about eight hours. Hot damn.

To what extent the Eagles are truly interested in Billick is unknown. It’s not like he’s had other duties to restraining him from interviewing with the Eagles previously…or anyone else for that matter. As far as I know Billick has not interviewed with anyone else at this point so he isn’t in high demand. However, what hurts Billick is that…

3. Christmas came a few weeks late for Philadelphia.

If you are a supporter of either Gus Bradley or Mike McCoy, then you’re in luck. Both the Broncos and the Seahawks lost this weekend, making both coaches free to accept any offers from another team. If the Eagles are serious about either of the two, we’ll know in the next day or so.
1/11/13 – 10:30 pm

Today on the coaching front the Eagles are now linked to Jay Gruden, who will be coming in for an interview on Monday. Gruden has been considered to be in the mix for the head coaching job for a few months now. He will be interviewing with the Chargers as well.

In other news, Gus Bradley, the new people’s choice for the head coaching job, has reportedly already interviewed with San Diego. I’m not sure what the level of interest is for the Chargers who installed a new GM two days ago.

Keep an eye on the number of candidates the Chargers decide to speak to in the next few days if you’re a Bradley/Gruden supporter. The more people the Chargers talk to, the better the odds of landing one of the two candidates in Philly.

1/10/13 – 10:13 pm

Today wasn’t very exciting for the Birds. They sat down with Lovie Smith, but there haven’t been any reports regarding how the interview went.

The important news comes down to the movement of other organizations.

The Cleveland Browns have officially hired Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as their new head coach. This is good for the Eagles because it’s a candidate that they wanted nothing to do with.

However, the Jacksonville Jaguars just fired Mike Mularkey as their head coach after installing a brand new general manager. This could be a problem.

One name that has been connected to the Jags is Greg Roman, offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers. He’s also someone that the Eagles have supposedly had their eye on, but it could be complicated.

First, Roman can’t sign with anyone until the 49ers are eliminated from the playoffs. So both teams will get the chance to pitch to him at the same time.

What hurts the Eagles is that, as of now, the Jags are only connected to Brian Schottenheimer outside of Roman. In Philly, Roman’s competing with a small country’s worth of candidates to be the next head honcho.

As a result, consider Roman a less likely candidate for the Eagles’ top spot.

1/9/13 – 9:45 pm

While it felt like the Eagles were done plodding through the college ranks, another name has come to the surface: Brian Kelly.

You may know Kelly as the guy who was responsible for the utter steam-rolling that the Pacifist Irish received on Monday. Otherwise, Kelly has done a quality job in South Bend and has been floated around as a candidate for numerous jobs prior to the BCS Championship.

It is currently being reported that Kelly is not only a target for the Eagles, but he’s already met with the team.

What makes this so interesting is that there hadn’t been any reports directly connecting the Eagles to Kelly prior to today. However, he must have been in the mix for a few weeks now if he already met with the team.

Stay tuned. We’ll update you as things develop.

1/8/13 – 4:50 pm

So over the past two days there has been some minor news. First, Ron Jaworski has attempted to try and drum up a market for his buddy Jon Gruden. Specifically, Jaws said that Gruden has an interest in Philadelphia.

However, at this point it doesn’t seem like the Eagles have any interest in him.

In other news, the Eagles will be bringing Lovie Smith in for an interview. Smith is a solid head coaching candidate. Not thrilling, but reliable.

During his tenure with the Bears, Smith coached the team to a Super Bowl appearance and an 81-63 overall record over nine seasons. He has developed a reputation for having great defensive systems, but limited offensive knowledge. Smith’s string of one and done offensive coordinators ultimately led to his demise.

1/6/13 – 2:30

More major news has come up in the league-wide coaching search. First, the Cleveland Browns are apparently moving on form Chip Kelly after Kelly spent most of yesterday talking with the Eagles brass.

The Bills, who were also interested in Kelly, hired Syracuse University coach Doug Marrone as their head coach this morning. Therefore, Chip Kelly has to decide between staying at Oregon or making the leap to the NFL with the Eagles.

If Kelly does decide to stay at Oregon, then all bets are off for the birds in terms of picking a favorite for the job. The good news is that with Buffalo hiring Marrone, an unlikely candidate for the Eagles job, there’s one less team to compete with for coaching services.

The only teams without head coaches now are the Eagles, Browns, Chargers, Cardinals, and Bears. In this case, the lesser the merrier. New names like Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer (the offensive and defensive coordinators of the Bengals) will enter in the coaching mix this week. Same for Darrell Bevell and Gus Bradley of the Seattle Seahawks if they lose against Washington today.

So while it may feel like the Eagles are missing out, the fun may have just begun.

1/5/13 – 12:20

Reports from Adam Schefter say that the Eagles have asked permission to speak with Jay Gruden. Jon’s younger brother should receive a couple of interview offers once the Bengals’ season is over and is a viable candidate for the birds.

If you’d like to learn more about Gruden, check out this review!

Also, the Eagles released this statement today: “#Eagles heading to Arizona now to kickoff a week of interviews with a variety of candidates, including McCoy, Arians and Bradley”

Things should get very interesting very quickly.

1/4/13 – 6:45

Some big news going on recently. It appears two major things have happened.
First, the Browns are reportedly close to a deal with Chip Kelly.
Second, the Eagles have likely heard this news and have now asked to interview with Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. However, Arians won’t be able to interview until the Colts are done playing.

Another person that the Eagles have asked to speak with is Gus Bradley from the Seattle Seahawks. However, Bradley is considered a long shot at this point given the Jeffrey Lurie is likely seeking an offensively minded coach.

Overall, Kelly in Cleveland could be a good thing for the Eagles. While I find Chip Kelly interesting, I wouldn’t want him as the Eagles’ coach. It seems reckless to make a wild gamble on an inexperienced NFL coaching prospect when you have such a young core. Bruce Arians, on the other hand, has a proven NFL track record to go with 20 years of NFL experience.

My take:

While it was expected that Arians would get interviews, hearing his name in Philly seems like a bit of a surprise. So far the Eagles have been interested in younger offensive minds (Bill O’Brien, Chip Kelly, Mike McCoy, Dirk Koetter, Greg Roman). At 60 years old, Arians is anything but a spring chicken.

Despite never being a head coach in his career, Arians has demonstrated that he is more than capable of handling the job. During this season in particular, Arians took over the Colts for nine games as Chuck Pagano recovered from lukemia. Arians posted a 9-3 record over that span with a team that had only two wins last year.

So if it turns out that Kelly is truly out of the race, consider Arians and McCoy the leading candidates for the job.

1/3/13 – 10:30 pm

Bill O’Brien has officially declared that he’s going to stay put with Penn State. This likely has to do with his contract. Teams would have had to pay PSU either $9 or $18 million to get O’Brien’s services. O’Brien had reportedly interviewed with Cleveland earlier in the week, but now he’s out of the race…and the Eagles lose out on one of their top choices.

1/2/13 – 9:17 pm

It’s now widely reported that the Eagles have agreed to meet with Chip Kelly some time shortly after Oregon’s Fiesta Bowl contest. Kelly has been one of the intriguing and polarizing candidates and been considered a target for the Eagles over the past two weeks.

Kelly may very well end up being the guy. Keep a close eye on him.

1/2/13 – 1:23 pm

Reuben Frank of CSN Philly is reporting that the Eagles have no interest in former Steelers coach Bill Cowher.

1/2/13 – 12:43 pm

It’s been announced that Dirk Koetter has signed an extension with the Atlanta Falcons and will not be seeking any head coaching opportunities. That’s one big name off the market.

1/2/13 – 9:47 am

It’s being reported that the Eagles are now set to interview Broncos’ offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. McCoy is a smart up-and-comer that’s only 40 years old. You may know him as the guy who set up Tim Tebow’s gimmicky run-heavy offense last year.

However, this year is much different. McCoy worked with Peyton Manning to recreate a new offensive system that is much more vertical and savvy. As a result, Peyton is putting up MVP numbers and McCoy is considered one of the hot commodities on the market.

It’s nice to hear that the Eagles are willing to give him a look.

1/1/13 – 1:27pm

You may be wondering “Who the hell is Keith Armstrong and why are they interviewing him?” Well, good question. It seems like the Eagles are interested in interviewing Armstrong for a special reason: He fulfills the Rooney rule requirement.

The Rooney Rule states that all NFL teams conducting a head coaching search must interview at least one minority candidate. By doing it now, the Eagles have the freedom to hire whomever they want without the complete farce of an interview with a minority beforehand. Not a bad move by the birds since they’ll already be in Atlanta talking with Mike Nolan and Dirk Koetter.

Posted on January 14, 2013, in Posts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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