Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
It was just a couple of days ago that ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson reported the Philadelphia Eagles interviewed Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly. Initial assumptions among Philly fans were that Brian Kelly was simply trying to gain leverage with Notre Dame to get a pay raise.
However, during an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Live” on Thursday NFL Insider Adam Schefter offered some insight to debunk that theory.
“I know there are people who believe … that this is nothing more than a leverage play. But the fact of the matter is he has a 12-1 record. He got Notre Dame back to where it wanted to go. And the people who are familiar with that situation believe he has all the leverage he needs anyway, with or without the Eagles. He’s interested. He’s gonna continue to talk to the Eagles … and then he’ll have to make a decision about whether or not he’s ready to jump to the NFL.”
Per Schefter’s report there is a mutual interest between the Eagles and Brian Kelly. The looming question at this stage of the process is how much interest is there? Keep in mind when the Eagles interviewed Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and Oregon’s Chip Kelly there was also a mutual interest there as well. Both individuals decided to stay put with their respective team.
In the event that Kelly opts to also stay put, the Eagles aren’t out of options. Below is an outline of who the Eagles have requested, and received, permission to interview and who already has a meeting scheduled.
Bruce Arians — Offensive Coordinator/interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Arians has only scheduled one meeting so far with the Chicago Bears.
Gus Bradley — Defensive Coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. Bradley is rapidly becoming a favorite among Philly fans who are hoping the Eagles hire a defensive-minded coordinator as their next head coach.
Brian Kelly — Head coach at Notre Dame, meetings expected to continue once he returns from vacation. Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently interviewed Eagles starting center who said he would welcome a reunion with his former coach.
Lovie Smith — This meeting with former head coach of the Chicago Bears was said to take place today, Thursday per Eagles.com. NBC analyst Tony Dungy has gone on record and believes a Lovie/Eagles connection is a great fit.
Jay Gruden – Offensive Coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals has started accepting invitations to interview with teams but has stated per bengals.com that it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s all in on becoming a head coach. Gruden interviewed with the Cardinals on Thursday but informed Arizona’s brass that he intends on meeting with the Eagles sometime next week.
Other Potential Names:
Jon Gruden — MNF analyst has been a big ticket name since he departed for the studio. Many credit his ability to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl in 2003 and come out victorious as the main reason why he should be hired. Former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil has endorsed Gruden saying the “Eagles should take the bank” to him in order to bring him on board. Gruden has recently stated that he would be interested in coming back to the NFL if the right team was to contact him.
Apparently that team hasn’t reached out to him yet.
Bill Cowher – Bill Cowher hasn’t seen the sideline of a NFL game as a head coach since 2006 when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, Cowher recently made a statement that he’d like to rejoin the coaching staff world some time soon. How soon nobody really knows.
Still, Cowher’s statement has created a bit of excitement from some Philly faithful those looking for a no-nonsense head coach. Those who are not looking for a players head coach see Cowher as the perfect candidate.
But hold the excitement.
Cowher has gone on record numerous times in the past to say he will not be the head coach of any other team in Pennsylvania — there’s only one other team — that’s the Eagles.
Money talks, most of the time. The question is if the Eagles want Cowher as their head coach, and there are no reports indicating they do, is Cowher the kind of guy who listens to money?
The Curious Case of Howie Roseman:
There has been a lot of talk lately regarding Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie feels very strongly that he is a quality, and qualified, individual to hold such a prestigious title in the NFL. However there are many outside the organization who see things a bit different.
Roseman has zero playing time at any level. He has a law degree from Fordham University. But he climbed his way up the corporate ladder evaluating talent and received Lurie’s respect for an ability to scout college players entering the NFL draft.
Lately, however, there is a sense among many Eagles fans and other outsiders that it is Roseman who is preventing potential candidates to occupy the head coaching vacancy looming in Philadelphia. Not because Roseman isn’t trying, rather simply being a GM in this city. There are reports out there claiming New England Patriots head coach Bill Bilicheck contacted both Chip Kelly and Bill O’Brien regarding Roseman as a GM which ultimately played a part in their decision to stay put.
I can’t debunk this speculation, but I can’t deny it either.
Many coaches appreciate being able to come in and name a GM on there own terms. Any potential head coach coming to Philly is going to have to accept that Roseman is the Eagles GM and that’s just the way it is.
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