Coaching rumors are flying around like crazy. My sources tell me the Eagles are interviewing every coach in North America and all in the next 5 days. My sources are Twitter and Google…and they’ve never been wrong before. If only Mort, Schefter, and La Canfora could say that.
Here is what we “know”. The Eagles are reportedly interested in:
Dirk Koetter – ATL – offensive coordinator
Mike Nolan – ATL – defensive coordinator
Keith Armstrong – ATL – STs coach
Mike McCoy – DEN – offensive coordinator
Chip Kelly – Oregon HC
Doug Marrone – Syracuse HC
Bill O’Brien – Penn State savior/HC
Howard Eskin has also reported that the team is interested in Greg Roman and Bruce Arians.
I know many of you want my thoughts on these guys. I’m working on that stuff. Rather than just throw out a quick “I like him” or “he sucks”, I’m trying to do a bit of research to confirm or change my thoughts.
I will put up a post on the Atlanta candidates on Monday afternoon. I’m doing some final checking on them.
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Bill O’Brien is the most complex of the candidates. On a simply emotional level it is hard for many Eagles fans who are also Penn State fans to know what they want. I lean toward him staying at PSU. Others want him at the NovaCare.
O’Brien does have a big buyout, reportedly between $8M and $9.5M. If an NFL team really wants him, they’ll pay it. However, PSU boosters are willing to up his salary to stay put. And the state of Pennsylvania just filed suit vs the NCAA to get the sanctions lessened. If that were to happen, O’Brien could be more inclined to stay put, where he could compete for titles sooner rather than later. The scholarship reductions that are coming for the next few years will really hurt the PSU program.
Dave Jones of PennLive.com has an article on O’Brien, with a very interesting nugget buried at the bottom.
“A potential sticking point for O’Brien regarding the Eagles job could be their new general manager Howie Roseman. The club’s 37-year-old salary cap guru is known to be held in low regard by O’Brien’s mentor, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and by another strong O’Brien contact, former Broncos head coach and Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels.”
Jones says this in a very matter of fact way. He might be correct, but I’ve never read anything about Belichick and Roseman. I wonder if this is more of a rumor or if Jones does know something we don’t.
The one possibility would be the Jason Licht situation. A few years back Licht lost some kind of power struggle inside the Eagles and was let go. He went to the Cards, but then moved onto the Pats, where he had worked prior to coming to Philly. We don’t know what happened exactly, but it always felt like Roseman and Licht had some dispute. Clearly Roseman won.
That’s the best guess I’ve got for why Belichick would be anti-Howie. Some of you might question his football background, but I actually think Belichick would respect that. Bill is a grinder. He loves workaholics. Say what you want about Howie, but he’s not here on his dad’s name or because he was the star QB. Do you guys know the Dan Marino story? He asked to be GM of the Dolphins and was given the job. He quit a week later after realizing that it wasn’t a 9 to 5 job where you simply talked about star players. Most GM work involves reports on the bottom of the roster, not the top.
If the O’Brien/Belichick/Roseman story is true, Lurie would have to see if he could make it work or if he valued O’Brien so much that he was willing to fire Howie and hire someone else to run the personnel side of things. If you really love O’Brien, you do what it takes to make him happy…love being the key word. If you “only” like him, then you keep Howie.
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One critical thing to keep in mind as we talk about coaching candidates is that they must interview well. Having a great track record doesn’t mean the candidate will light it up when he sits down with Lurie and company. The coach must be able to convince Lurie to turn over the keys to his billion dollar organization to the guy. This is not a decision to be made lightly.
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Andy Reid will be in Arizona on Wednesday and will interview with the Cards then or Thursday. That would be a good job for him. He could rebuild the OL. He could work with Kolb. The defense has some good pieces. Reid also would have the chance to hire some of his old assistants (Shurmur, Childress, Castillo, Eagles guys, etc.). We still don’t know if Ron Rivera and the Panthers coaches are completely safe.
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A few of you have asked about the Eagles coaching staff. Right now they are writing reports on the players. Lurie and Roseman want the reports on each guy so that they can make offseason evaluations on who should stay and who should go.
The coaches have not been fired. They are under contract. The new head coach will be allowed to keep any current assistants that he wants. There aren’t many who are likely to stick around, but you don’t gain anything by firing them now.
Don’t panic. Marty Mornhinweg is highly unlikely to be involved with the Eagles in 2013.
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I wrote a piece on Andy Reid for PE.com. I’ll write something else in a few days. The coaching situation and bowl games have been overwhelming here recently.
Jimmy Bama has up a post on the lack of defensive preparedness. Can’t wait for the new coaching staff.