The Philadelphia Eagles have spent almost two weeks so far looking for a new head coach. The Eagles aren’t alone in playing the waiting game, as the Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears have been searching for almost two weeks as well. But how much longer will Philadelphia take?
If the Eagles are focused on Brian Kelly, they could work much faster to lure him away from Notre Dame. He’s set to meet with Philadelphia again this weekend, according to ESPN on Jan. 10, and they would likely have to outbid the Irish quickly. But if they lose out on Kelly and look towards the likes of Gus Bradley, Mike McCoy or Mike Nolan, the hiring process could take much longer.
Bradley, McCoy and Nolan are still coaching in the playoffs for the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. In truth, they may be among the best candidates, but none of them can be hired until their teams are eliminated. With the Broncos and Falcons as the top seeds in the playoffs, and the Seahawks looking to become the latest low-seeded Super Bowl winner, it could be a long wait for teams looking to hire these coordinators.
If the Eagles continue to show patience, they may be willing to wait that long. However, after their failures to land Chip Kelly and Bill O’Brien, they might not be willing to wait until late January or early February to outbid for McCoy, Bradley or Nolan.
If Philadelphia can’t land Kelly and can’t wait long enough for the other candidates, then it may settle for someone like Lovie Smith. He already interviewed with the Eagles on Jan. 10, and no one else has officially expressed interest in the former Chicago Bears coach.
However, there might be a reason for that, in spite of his nine years of service with the Bears that included one Super Bowl berth. Would the Eagles settle for someone like Smith in lue of waiting for a much bigger, hotter prize they might not even get? Or would hiring Kelly qualify as settling as well?
ESPN cited on Jan. 11 that owner Jeffrey Lurie is willing to get “the right guy” regardless of how long it takes. If the Eagles fail to win Kelly over and don’t follow up with Smith, it appears that philosophy may be tested.