Brian Kelly Stays in School

Posted: January 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 95 Comments »

Brian Kelly just announced that he will stay at Notre Dame.

The Eagles met with Gus Bradley today, but we have no idea how that interview went.  He would seem to be the front runner at this point, but that was based on perception.  The interview is huge.  Mike McCoy didn’t interview well and is off the team’s radar.  Most people expect Bradley to do well in the meeting, but only time will tell.

Jay Gruden and Bruce Arians are set up for meetings in the next few days.  Could there be any other candidates?

A lot of people still want the team to talk to Jon Gruden.  I have no idea if that will happen.  You wonder how Lovie Smith’s interview went.   I would like the Eagles to consider Pete Carmichael, but they may feel he’s just not ready.

The Eagles were really fascinated by the idea of hiring a college coach.  Are there any more guys of interest?  Here are some names, but I have no idea if the Eagles will still pursue this angle.

Charlie Strong – Louisville

Al Golden – Miami

Kevin Sumlin – Texas A&M

None of these guys has the track record of Chip Kelly or Dennis Brian Kelly.  None has the NFL ties of Doug Marrone.  These guys would truly be a roll of the dice.

Let’s hope Gus nailed his interview.


  • scratcherk

    Dennis Kelly, right tackle AND up and coming college coach? Impressive.

    Did you find about about McCoy from your sources? That is rather disappointing. I was hoping he would be our guy.

    • TommyLawlor

      Howard Eskin had the public blurb on McCoy.

    • D3Keith

      It is a little disappointing. Was thinking it would come down to him and Bradley.

      Even if it’s a surprise hire, it doesn’t matter, as long as it ends up being a good hire. And nothing we can say or know in January 2013 can determine if it is or not. Hmmph.

      • deg0ey

        That won’t stop us from saying it and/or pretending we know it anyway, though 😉

        • D3Keith

          Nope. Never does. We analyze drafts the day of, we’re definitely going to ride our initial impressions of the hire until free agency at least.

          • Cliff

            Until free agency? No.

            Try the entire career of our new coach.

          • D3Keith

            Well at some point they’ll no longer be “initial impressions” and we’ll have something concrete to actually go off of, but otherwise, I’m with you.

          • Cliff

            Yeah, I’m already looking forward to getting in Internet fights 5 seasons from now with trolls who can’t shake whatever “initial impressions” they get with the new coach in the next few weeks.


  • that mike mccoy information is a fact?

    • TommyLawlor

      Eskin said it and others have backed it up without being as definitive.

      • The_Reddgie

        Any details on why he is out? What the hell happened?

  • Garp

    I’m on the (Jon) Gruden Train! Honestly, of the remaining candidates I’d say it’s a toss-up between Gruden and Bradley as to who would be the best.

    I’m not seeing anyone realistic that’s higher than these two. What’s your top coach list look like now Tommy?

  • bdbd20

    If it is in fact Bradley, are there any veteran offensive coaches that you would prefer? I assume you would not want a young OC (so as to prevent another Gruden-Rhodes situation).

  • Andrew Moore

    I’m not particularly phased by all these near misses. Truth is that we don’t really know how “close” any of these guys were to getting the job. Also, I’d much rather interview 12 guys and get the guy who is a good fit and who really wants to be here, than just throw a stupid bunch of money at the first guy you interview.

    • D3Keith

      Agree and agree.

      I never thought Brian Kelly was a serious candidate. I think either one of two things is going on, and the first has been floated here on IB several times: The Eagles are interviewing as many people as possible to gather intel/see what coaches say when you ask “how would you fix this?” It can’t hurt, and you might as well if you only hire once every 14 years.

      The second possibility is that they know since they are after someone whose team is still alive, they are interviewing people just to placate fans and media, keep their name out there, etc. I highly doubt that’s the case, because it’s a terrible way to run a multi-million dollar company, and it also doesn’t really convince the guy they do want that they do want him.

      Most likely, they don’t know what they want yet and perhaps are fine taking their time. In the end, the idea is to get a great coach who wins a bunch. If/when that happens, none of us will care that it wasn’t our first choice or it took several weeks.

      • D3Keith

        I read a few of the Tommy posts that I missed on my days off. I guess B-Kells was more serious than I’d considered him, but I stand by the last part, the end idea.

        This process can be excruciating as it plays out, but in the end, if they get someone who does well, that’s all we’ll care about.

    • The_Reddgie

      Like D3Keith said, yes and yes.

      The fact is, the only 3 people who know exactly how this is going is; Lurie, Howie and Smolenski. (Honestly, to make this troika work, Smolenski needs to either change his 1st name to Donie or add an “e” to his last name making it Smolenskie)

  • nopain23

    Tommy, where did you hear that McCoy didn’t interview well? He’s the only guy left I wanted. I’m sitting here hoping Denver loses so we could sign him tomorrow. Some guy name Tommy Lawlor wrote a piece called the College Belichick. The guy in the piece is the guy who I want to coach the Iggles. Just back the Brinks truck up to his front door..Lurie. If Jon’ s bro and B. Arians are our only options at this juncture this franchise is in a lot of trouble

  • Tommy – Doesn’t it seem that ‘the market’ is disagreeing with Jeff Lurie’s comments, that “the Eagles HC job is the best job in football”? Every pretty girl the Birds have asked to dance has said ehhhhh – I’ve already got a boyfriend. This is just getting desperate. Do I have a bad read on this? Anyone?

    • Iskar36

      I do wonder about this. At the very least, you have to wonder what’s going on behind the scenes and how desirable the eagles HC position truly is.

    • D3Keith

      I don’t think we can know this yet. All we know is Chip Kelly stayed at Oregon.

      Everything else and everyone else has been a feeler interview or someone the team (supposedly) didn’t like. We don’t even know for sure who all they’ve talked to. The hire in the end could be a complete surprise, which would be not surprising considering how the Eagles do business.

      I know we all want answers now, but it’s like wanting a final score at the start of the second quarter.

      Also I don’t think you should equate some other teams filling their job quickly with it being “a better job.” Just because Buffalo found Doug Marrone in their backyard and made a quick deal doesn’t mean the Eagles job is less desirable. The Eagles need to find the best available coach for the Eagles and the Bills have to do it for the Bills, and it doesn’t much matter which job is “best,” and that’s a matter of opinion anyway.

      • Good points both you and Iskar – I’d only add that that *I* feel like they *really* don’t know what they’re doing in part because if they did I think they’d have had a plan in the works prior to the end of the season as opposed to seeing this whole thing play out in the midst of the yearly off-season scramble.

        The reality is I just like every other schlub doesn’t have the foggiest idea of what it takes, we only get a vague sense of the appearance of what looks smart. I just have a bad felling about this and the team in general. Unfortunately for the team – every exec has the same tape we saw the entire last year and it was ALL ugly… (here’s hoping for the best).

    • A_T_G

      On the other hand, it seems like they had it narrowed down to the Eagles or staying put. Chip, at least, reportedly was only considering the Eagles if he came to the Nfl. You have to assume we were not the only one to call Brian, but we were the only ones to make him think about it.

    • TommyLawlor

      These are college coaches deciding to stay at their school. As much an emotional decision as anything. Not rejecting us so much as staying.

      • Iskar36

        The college coaches who have ultimately rejected us were at the very least debating leaving their schools to come to the NFL. They would not have humored taking interviews if they were not considering making the switch. While saying the Eagles HCing position is “undesirable” based on that would be a major overstatement/overreaction, I think it can very fairly be determined that at the very least, the position is not blowing anyone away as a fantastic opportunity. The Eagles clearly wanted both Kellys and were unable to entice them enough.

        • D3Keith

          Because Chip Kelly and Brian Kelly didn’t leave college for the NFL = Not blowing “anyone” away as a “fantastic” opportunity?

          Not sure I agree, but fine, not fantastic. Still probably in the top 1/3 of the NFL as far as locales/franchises you’d like to coach for, long-term.

          If a true franchise QB was in place, I’d bet it would be in the top five or eight.

          It’s a place where they spend money to bring in free agents and top assistant coaches, is a major market where a coach can win and be adored for life, plus you’re going to face Dallas, New York and Washington six times a year, so you’ve got a chance to be really well known and make a lot of money in endorsements too.

          It might be a high-pressure job, but if that scares a coach off, if he sees the city and the franchise’s desire to win as a negative, then he’s not the guy for this job.

          It’s a better job than the whole AFC West, AFC South NFC West, AFC East except New England, etc., but for the right candidate. Certain guys have ties to certain areas or franchises or styles of living that would make Indianapolis or Green Bay perfect for them.

          On balance, though, a coach with a long-term vision of winning a Super Bowl, would want to come here. I wouldn’t read TOO much into 1-2 week’s aggressive pursuit of college guys not panning out. Maybe they’re truly trying and failing. Maybe their first choice is someone who had games this weekend and they were smokescreening. Maybe one of the retreads that gets no buzz (Whisenhunt? Lovie? Gruden? Cowher? Billick?) would be a good fit.

          I think we should all be careful about drawing grand conclusions from these short moments in time. Most of the information we have is unreliable, and while this is an important decision for the Eagles and the QB thing makes it a not-perfect opportunity at the moment, it’s an overstatement to say Coach A and B not taking the job means nobody good wants it.

          Isn’t Chicago, the other best opportunity out there IMO, still looking as well?

      • Cliff

        AND they are college coaches who probably feel very close to a National Championship.

    • wofj

      disagree, they spoke with the probably three of the four most highly regarded college coaches and they all decided to stay in college. If Bradley or Mccoy or another current nfl assistant turns them down then it is time to get desperate. Gus Bradley is my pick at this point although I still think Whieisenhunt might be the next Couglin/Bellicheck, ala coach who wins during his second go round…

      • goeagles55

        Belichick had 5 years as an assistant between head coaching jobs and Coughlin had a year completely off. I think that is important for guys going to new teams after failing.

    • Weird side note – I live in Indianapolis and saw Bruce Arians at a local optometrist. One of the guys in the retail side of the store was chatting him up about football and the possibility of him being a new Head Coach. I totally creeped on the conversation to see if I could glean any details about the Eagles. No news to report but he seemed interested in taking a HC position…

      • The_Reddgie

        So, you got nothing out of your eavesdropping? Thanks.

    • Gregory Post

      I think job security is an issue. NFL competition is tough, and two (or even one) bad season(s) and that coach is gone. And that coaches former job is taken. Any coach wants to establish a legacy where they are, and O’Brien and both Kelly’s have that opportunity in the college ranks. NFL is a huge unknown.

      • D3Keith

        Yup. Those guys know for a fact they can win where they are, and possibly be coach for life, or at least have significant longevity. To want to give up on that and uproot your life is a huge decision, and you can’t blame any guy for passing on it, no matter how “desirable” the NFL job appears to be.

        It’s a risk whereas an NFL OC/DC or fired HC is going to leap at the opportunity because it’s a clear upgrade from their current situation.

        I think the Eagles were wise to explore these guys while they good.

        When the end game is clear, we might have more information as to whether the college dalliances were as serious as they appeared, or if someone else was in the fold/back pocket the whole time.

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      No, I think you’re read is good, and you’ve hit a nerve.

  • GermanEagle

    What if there’s a Broncos vs Seahawks Super Bowl?!

    I am jumping on the Jon Gruden bus soon…

    • D3Keith

      Lol. Patience, Iago.

  • bdbd20

    “Ravens lost 5 fumbles this season”

    This really puts in perspective how bad our ball security was.

    • Pssssh, stupid Ravens. Bryce Brown will match that total in the first quarter.

  • Frank

    The worst part of this is that now Mike Florio can claim that he was right, that Kelly was just trying to finagle a raise.

    Still no coach and Florio gets to act smuggler than usual? Ugh…

    • New drinking game: take a shot every time you feel like punching Mike Florio in the face.

      • D3Keith

        The number of alcohol-poisioning deaths in this country would skyrocket.

      • TommyLawlor

        Both a brilliant and deadly idea.

    • TommyLawlor

      So true, Frank.

    • laeagle

      Ugh. Too true. So tired of hearing how he thinks the Eagles don’t know what they’re doing, because he doesn’t know who the coach is yet. How someone can point to the fact that they’re interviewing a ton of different people with no visible pattern (except that they’re all top candidates) as evidence of incompetence on the Eagles part is just staggering.

      • Really, staggering? After the problems getting competent assistants and coordinators around here over the last few years, it might be within the realm of possibility that the Eagles are a step behind here.

        • laeagle

          Yes, utterly and completely staggering. The Eagles have interviewed college coaches, former coaches, and coordinators of both kinds. This after they said they were going to leave no stone unturned. And for historical purposes, at this point last year, the only head coach job that had been filled was Crennel taking over from being interim head coach to full head coach. I bring up the historical perspective to refute any notion of “they’re running behind”.

          So to criticize the Eagles for doing exactly what they said they were going to do, for being thorough and not jumping the gun, is asinine at best. It is ludicrous to even think that a thorough search is in any way indicative of a failure on the team’s part. Sorry, you can criticize them for legitimate problems. This is not one of them. No, they don’t know what they want. Meaning they don’t yet know the coach they want. if they did, they’d have hired him (if they could). That’s why they’re interviewing everyone on their very thorough list.

          At the end of the day, I think Lurie and company are far more interested in finding the right coach than in satisfying Mike Florio’s editorial cycle, or in fulfilling the general public’s insatiable need to know everything right now. All of the noise people are making around that search is just that: noise.

          • I hope you’re right! In the past 9 years, I’ve slowly gone from blind faith in the FO to mild suspicion.

          • austinfan

            Given the only HCs that have been hired are AR, Marrone and Chud, and that they’ve interviewed or have scheduled interviews with the “hottest” candidates, Bradley, Arians, etc., not sure exactly what impact their flirtation with three hot college coaches actually had, other than getting Florio all hot and bothered.

            Talk is cheap, other than the mileage on Lurie’s corporate jet. At worst, Jeff and Howie are getting a graduate course in NFL coaching. Which isn’t a bad thing, in and of itself. Talking to a lot of outside people about your organization and personnel has value – hasn’t it been a constant refrain the last few years that the Eagles are too insular?

  • As exciting as the new direction will be, I am getting weary of the emotional roller coaster…kinda feels like an extension of the last few seasons.

    • TommyLawlor

      It does.

  • D3Keith

    Maybe the Ravens will decide they are a Super Bowl-worthy franchise that is tired of getting bounced early in the playoffs and its their coach who is holding them back.

    If I could steal anyone in the NFL, John Harbaugh would be in the top five. Or 10.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve wondered if Harbs is totally safe. I think the game today has gone well enough that they’re not making a wild decision and firing him. If only Jerry Jones owned that team we might have a shot.

      • D3Keith

        Yeah it’s a pipe dream. But maybe someone that we haven’t considered as in the picture will end up as coach. Either someone unexpectedly fired, or poached, or someone we thought was over the hill and out of the game.

        Or maybe we get our version of Chudzinski. I’m eager to find out.

      • bdbd20

        I do believe Harbs is safe.

        • D3Keith

          Hindsight is 20-15.

  • Anyone watching the Denver-Baltimore game? Man, I feel like the refs are trying to give this game to Baltimore.

    • Yeah no joke – though Bailey is getting beat like a drum.

      • D3Keith

        Nate Allen … at least he’s not Tony Carter. That misplay on the Jacoby Jones ball was ugh.

      • A Roy

        I had flashbacks to the season all game. Looked like the Eagles secondary.

    • SteveH

      Rough game for Denver, the refs definitely worked them over, but then they give up the long tying TD with almost no time and the playcalling in the 2nd half/OT very bad as well, and then Manning with the Favresque backbreaking interception. All in all a terrible day for Denver, both because of themselves as the refs.

  • A_T_G

    Well there goes the Kelly green angle. Laurie always was seeking the Gold(en) standard. Maybe he’s our man.

    I can see the truncated web headline about him praising Peters and Co. already: “Golden showers offensive… click to read more”

    • TommyLawlor

      Ur r a good righter!!!

  • bdbd20

    Did Denver trade for Nnamdi?

    • Its amazing to see the similarities, both guys simply just lost their top speed while all the other guys in the league just keep getting faster and more athletic.
      I have been wondering all game why they have kept Champ on Torrey Smith. Champ would have been perfect against Boldin.

  • Arby1

    Get on the bus, Gus!

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      Make a new plan, Andy/Marty/Bobby/Wash/Juan/Todd/Howard/Michael/etc.!

  • tad

    what a game in denver

  • xeynon

    Well… Mike McCoy is free to be hired.

    Wouldn’t want to be a Broncos fan right now though. What a choke job – can’t decide which was worse, giving up the tying score when the other team has to go 70 yards for a TD with no timeouts and 35 seconds left in the game, returning a punt you field at your 14 backwards to your own 5, or throwing a classic Favre-esque killer pick in OT… they deserved to lose, but there are going to be a lot of people crying into their freezing cold Coors Lights tonight.

    • D3Keith

      Eff them, they can fire up their Elway commemorative DVDs.

      McCoy’s offense looked fine. Too bad the Eskin-powered scuttlebutt is that he’s out of the picture. McCoy or Bradley seem fine to me.

      • bdbd20

        It wouldn’t surprise me if McCoy is the guy. The team may be using Eskin to send out some false info. Wouldn’t be the first time.

        • D3Keith

          Would not surprise me either. That is very much the Eagles m.o.

    • holeplug

      John Fox coaching the last 3 mins of regulation like Tebow was still his QB had me wanting to break things and I don’t even care about either team.

    • I’m waiting for the inevitable “bring back Tebow, he’s a WINNER” arguments from the fan base here. Massive choke job by Manning and the Denver secondary yesterday.

  • D3Keith

    How come nobody likes Greg Roman again?

    • bdbd20

      Probably because it means that Alex Smith will be your QB for the next few years.

      But seriously, I’m assuming that front office people believe that Harbaugh is really the OC and Roman is his little helper.

      • Harbaugh, Roman, and I believe their WRs coach or another position coach split the play call duties. Not a ringing endorsement for Roman.

        • D3FB

          How much play calling did Andy do in GB?

  • bdbd20

    Am I the only one getting happy flashbacks hearing Harbaugh talk special teams?

  • ian_no_2

    I’m ok with Gus. We may look back and be thankful the other guys weren’t available.

    • D3Keith

      Same here. Is it a done deal in your mind, because of the McCoy rumor?

      • ian_no_2

        Thanks for thinking I would have any idea.

        • D3Keith

          Well you were so definitively okay with Gus!

  • bluboy55

    lol Dennis Kelly? U mean Brian Kelly

    • TommyLawlor

      I was testing you.

  • xeynon

    This 49ers game has me excited about hiring a coach like Roman who knows how important the running game and a great offensive line are… would love to see the Eagles use the #4 pick on Joeckel, move Herremans to guard, install a creative SF-style running game and just pound the crap out of teams with Brown and McCoy.

    • D3Keith

      Plus Roman is a D-III guy. And although I am ridiculously biased in this respect, you know a D-III dude who rose to NFL OC is a worker, which would rub off on Philly fans who love em some grinders. (not to be confused with hoagies, which we also love)

      I don’t know how serious I am by saying that, but Roman getting no burn and Gus Bradley getting everyone excited … isn’t that sort of proof how good the hype machine is? 85% of Eagles fans never heard of either guy before two weeks ago. And their teams/units are equally successful this season in the playoffs so far.

  • austinfan

    For all the angst over the three college coaches, exactly what candidate did the Eagles miss out on? AR, Chud and Marrone are the three hires, and the Eagles were only interested in Marrone, but not enough to try to interview him before he signed with Buffalo. So the flirtation with top college coaches really cost them nothing but time and plane flights.

    They’ve interviewed or are scheduled to interview just about every credible candidate and a few others just for brain sucking. The fact that no one has blown them away simply reflects that available coaches will never be sure things – since the “sure things” are coaching playoff teams.

  • The_Reddgie

    I have been on and off the grid the last few days (procrastinating on a 3000 mile move back to the East Coast is far more time consuming than I anticipated or would prefer), where was it reported that McCoy did poorly in his interview and what exactly does that mean?

    I need more details on this development.

    • D3Keith

      I was in the same boat as you a few hours ago, but for different reasons.

      It means McCoy is supposedly out. If you believe everything you hear from Howard Eskin and everything that is leaked right before a big hire is made.

  • D3Keith

    Not sure why this just occurred to me, but a positive-thinking coach with long-term vision shouldn’t be too discouraged by the QB situation. Seattle found their franchise guy in Round 3 this year. Crazy things do happen.

    I think the key in hiring for a long-term thinker has to be “Will I be afforded enough time to put in my system and let it grow?” You can’t blame a coach who has his college by the balls right now — Bill O’Brien just saved Penn State football by going 8-4 after the worst imaginable offseason, Chip Kelly is a BCS bowl winner, Brian Kelly went to the title game. Those guys have their systems in and have job security currently.

    An NFL guy who’s not currently an HC will want the job. But he will, if he has any leverage, want more than two years to get the Eagles where they need to be. Not to say it can’t be done sooner. I think the pressure of the job makes it more appealing to an NFL guy than those guys whose situations are golden, and it if it’s a promotion for the NFL guy, it’s much less of a leap of faith.

  • GermanEagle

    Can we not trade Demetress Bell for Kaepernik….?!

    • If the 49ers throw in a second rounder as well, I could get behind this idea.

  • GermanEagle

    If the eagles really reached out for Cowher, a cushy TV broadcaster who’s been out of the coaching business for over 6 years, then I am worried about our Front office….

  • ACViking


    According to Tony Dungy, he missed out on a few HC jobs because he didn’t interview well — that is, he was exactly who we see on TV.

    On the other hand, I understand that Spagnuolo knocked his interview out of the park with the Rams.

  • ACViking

    Re: Gus Bradley — Home v. Away / Eagles — Home v. Away

    Bradley’s been the DC for Seattle since 2009.

    Here’s the Seahawks home v. away points-allowed-per-game numbers:

    2009: Home – 16.25; Away – 32.50

    2010: Home – 21.63; Away – 29.25

    2011: Home – 19.38; Away – 20.00

    2012: Home – 17.25; Away – 13.38

    In three of his four seasons as DC, Bradley’s defense did better at home. And by a lot, too


    Here’s the Eagles from 2009-12:

    2009: Home – 22.00; Away – 20.00

    2010: Home – 20.50; Away – 26.63

    2011: Home – 22.25; Away – 18.75

    2012: Home – 28.13; Away – 27.38

    The Eagles’ defenses the past four years have done better AWAY than at the Linc. Just the opposite of Bradley.

    Seems fair to say that Bradley’s defenses have generally gotten a nice home-town discount.