The Philadelphia Eagles have had a rough week since firing Andy Reid on Dec. 31. It is one week later, and Reid is ready to be introduced as the new coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Eagles are still scrambling for his replacement. With Chip Kelly allegedly staying in college, Philadelphia has to start completely over in finding a new top choice.
All signs looked clear for the Eagles to land Kelly on Jan. 6, when the Cleveland Browns took themselves out of the running and the Buffalo Bills hired Syracuse Orange coach Doug Marrone. But according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Jan. 7, Kelly will remain with the Oregon Ducks, which would completely alter the Eagles’ coaching search.
Since all eyes have been on Kelly and Bill O’Brien to join the Eagles after Reid’s firing, and since they are both staying in school, it’s hard to know who else Philadelphia might want. One possible candidate is Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, whom the Eagles met on Jan. 6. Yet with the Broncos starting their playoff run, it could be weeks before anyone can talk to him again.
Cincinnati Bengals’ coordinators Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer are available after the Bengals’ playoff loss on Jan. 5. However, the Bengals haven’t answered the Eagles’ offer to talk to Gruden yet, according to Comcast SportsNet’s Geoff Mosher. As for his brother Jon, his possible desire to coach again must give Philadelphia pause for thought once more.
Mosher also reports that Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator/interim head coach Bruce Arians and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley have garnered interest from the Eagles. But Arians had to miss the Colts’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 6 due to an illness, and the Seahawks are still in the playoffs, so these candidates have other issues to worry about right now.
It may be that the Eagles will have to find a new coach out of nowhere, much like they did with Andy Reid in 1999. Maybe they’ll find an unknown candidate that no one is talking about yet, or they can lure someone like Gruden or Bill Cowher back to the NFL with the right offer.
In any case, Philadelphia’s search has become completely unpredictable with Kelly out of the running. But while there is more suspense, there is a lot more uncertainty now in the air.