The Philadelphia Eagles cannot hire Gus Bradley until the Seattle Seahawks are eliminated from the playoffs. However, the Eagles can talk to him as long as they don’t hire him. To that end, Philadelphia is allegedly meeting Bradley on Jan. 12, according to ESPN.
A league source allegedly told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Eagles will talk to Bradley on Jan. 12, the day before the Seahawks play the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional playoffs. Bradley’s work as the Seahawks defensive coordinator has made him a hot name on the coaching market, and the Eagles seem to want to get a head start in wooing him.
If the interview goes well and the Seahawks lose to the Falcons, the Eagles would have a lot to think over. Philadelphia has already scheduled an interview with Jay Gruden for Jan. 14, according to USA TODAY, and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly may meet with the team again soon as well. Yet if Bradley is available after Jan. 13, would the Eagles move fast to sign him instead?
Although Philadelphia’s offensive problems are well documented, perhaps hiring a defensive-minded coach could be a wise change of pace. The Eagles haven’t had a stable defense since Jim Johnson’s death in 2009, and its failures under Juan Castillo and Todd Bowles crippled them in 2012.
In contrast, Bradley’s Seahawks gave up a league-low 15.3 points per game, and thoroughly shut down the Washington Redskins in their wild card win on Jan. 6. Robert Griffin III’s injuries had something to do with it, yet the Seahawks still got back up after an early 14-0 deficit, showing the kind of resiliency the Eagles never had.
At the least, this type of hire would be the ultimate way to clean the slate from the Andy Reid era. His years of offensive innovations ultimately flamed out, although he was also hurt by not having a defensive wizard like Johnson to back him up. Now that the Eagles are going in a new direction, they may need a totally new battle plan.
Of course, if Bradley does his job too well and leads the Seahawks over the Falcons, it would be at least another week before he could join another team. At that point, unless the Eagles are truly patient, they may move back on to Kelly, Gruden or Bruce Arians in the meantime.