Search Update

Posted: January 14th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 4 Comments »

The Eagles jumped right into the coaching search. Doug Pederson has only been gone a couple of days, but the team is already hot and heavy into the interview process.

That’s a lot of nuggets.

JOE BRADY

Just two years ago he was a young assistant on the rise. Now he is one of the hottest names in all of football. He helped LSU win the national title in 2019 behind one of the greatest offenses in college football history. Brady was the OC for the Panthers in 2020. He didn’t have a lot of talent to work with, but still got that offense to post better numbers than the Eagles.

I would have definite interest in Brady. He learned under Sean Payton and has an excellent mind for X’s and O’s. He will be a head coach sooner rather than later.

ROBERT SALEH

He is meeting with Lurie in Florida on Wednesday night. Gus Bradley had a similar meeting back in 2013 and was about to be hired when Chip Kelly called to say he had changed his mind and wanted the job. That must have been a wild night.

I mention Bradley because Saleh reminds me of him, a defensive coach that is loved by his players and is very good at his side of the ball. The stories I’ve heard of Bradley from people behind the scenes make you realize that he is an amazing guy. But he stunk as a head coach. Saleh would need to sell Lurie that he had the right guy in mind to run the offense. Lurie has openly talked about how much he believes in the need for an elite offense. He’s not going with a defensive coach unless the guy can convince Lurie that the offense can thrive under his watch.

ARTHUR SMITH

It sounds like the Falcons are making a hard push for Smith, who would be a good fit for them. I’m sure the Eagles have serious interest in him. I know I have serious interest in Smith.

The big question is whether he’s ready to be a head coach. A lot of young guys have gotten HC jobs and thrived in recent years. Smith fits that bill.

BRIAN DABOLL

Nothing definitive here yet, but Daboll makes a ton of sense as an Eagles target. I’d love to hear his thoughts on Carson Wentz. That could be something that draws him to Philly or makes him want to run the other direction.

JERROD MAYO

A name out of the blue. Mayo coached ILBs for the Pats the past two years after playing ILB from 2008-2015. I’m sure he learned a ton from Bill Belichick, but Mayo seems like a guy who needs more coaching experience. You wonder if the Eagles are more interested in him as a defensive coordinator candidate and used the interview to pick his mind and get a feel for him. Or maybe Mayo is highly thought of around the league despite his lack of experience.

RYAN DAY

A college reporter says there is nothing to this report. But that’s to be expected. If Day lets on that he’s interested, that hurts Ohio State’s recruiting and gets their fans all riled up. Day might not be interested. He coached in Philly under Chip Kelly and that didn’t end well. Maybe Day has interest in coming back to the NFL and would be open to the Eagles. He has done a great job since replacing Urban Meyer.

I have mixed feelings on Day, but he is definitely worth talking to.

LINCOLN RILEY

Domo reports that Riley is happy at OU. That very well might be true, but like Day, he can’t be open about interest in the NFL. He would have to lie right up until he took the job. I tend to think he’ll stay in college for now, but never say never. Still my top target.

MIKE KAFKA

There is speculation that the Eagles might be interested in him. The problem is that the Eagles would need to wait for KC to lose or after the Super Bowl to interview him. Lurie said he’s in no rush to hire a coach so Kafka could still be in play. That goes out the window if another candidate has a great interview and becomes the clear-cut top candidate.

*****

I have such mixed feelings on Duce. Part of me would love to see him get the job. He played for the Eagles under Ray Rhodes and Andy Reid. He’s coached here for more than a decade. He’s learned from Reid, Kelly and Doug Pederson. He’s seen a lot schematically.

But what is the big selling point with Duce? He’s a good leader. He is a beloved member of the Eagles family. Is that enough?

Can he run a football team? Does he have enough connections to build a top coaching staff and deliver a top offense and defense? I just don’t know what he’s like behind the scenes. I’ve spent a little time around him in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, but not enough to get a good feel for him.

If the Eagles miss out on their top candidate, Duce could make a good fall back plan.

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