The Philadelphia Eagles have permission to talk to Jay Gruden about their head coaching job. However, the Eagles probably can’t count on anything to come of it, as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator may just stay where he is.
According to Comcast SportsNet on Jan. 8, Gruden will interview with interested teams, but has “every intention” of coming back to Cincinnati afterwards. This is nothing new for the Eagles, who are used to having their coaching candidates stay home by now.
The organization talked to Chip Kelly and Bill O’Brien last week, only to see both of them remain at their old college jobs. With Gruden seemingly still committed to Cincinnati, it appears that people are more interested in keeping their old jobs than coming to Philadelphia..
Given that the Oregon Ducks, Penn State Nittany Lions and Bengals have been bigger winners than the Eagles lately, it’s no wonder that Kelly, O’Brien and Gruden prefer their current teams. A few years ago, more coaches would have jumped at the chance to join the Eagles and spurn their old employers. But with Philadelphia now near the bottom of the NFL and ready to rebuild, it can’t seem to lure people away.
The Eagles do have other candidates besides Gruden, as Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith are set to talk to them. Smith is now available after being fired by the Bears, yet Arians and Bradley are currently settled in with playoff teams, so would they really jump ship just to be a head coach?
If the Eagles were in better shape, these prospects might be ready now. Instead, the lowly state of Philadelphia football has to give candidates pause, and perhaps it already has. Owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman can’t brag about the Eagles’ winning past and expect it to be enough, so they have to make a much better sales pitch.
So far, most coaches that the Eagles were interested in have preferred to remain where they are. Will Arians and Bradley join the club this week, or will one of them or someone else finally take a leap of faith with Philadelphia?