The Philadelphia Eagles have two potential defensive coordinator candidates coaching in the Super Bowl. At first, San Francisco 49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell was on the Eagles’ radar, then they were rumored to have interest in Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach Ted Monachino. However, Monachino didn’t seem too optimistic about his chances on Jan. 31.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Monachino claimed that the story about him and the Eagles “doesn’t have any legs.” In fact, he stated that he doesn’t know anyone in Philadelphia, and that the Eagles haven’t contacted the Ravens to set up an interview.
The Eagles can’t hire Monachino, Donatell or anyone else on the Ravens or 49ers until after the Super Bowl. But they can start to arrange interviews, yet neither Monachino nor Donatell is scheduled to meet with them at the moment.
The only candidate who has talked to the Eagles so far has been Cleveland Browns linebacker coach Billy Davis. However, once the Super Bowl ends and Monachino and Donatell have made their final cases, the Eagles could then move to talk to one or both of them. The fact that they haven’t hired anyone, or spoken to many people so far, suggests that they are willing to wait around.
The Eagles have pulled a fast one when it comes to coaching searches before. After Chip Kelly originally seemed to turn Philadelphia down in early January, the Eagles kept negotiating with him in secret until he finally took the head coaching job. As such, even if there is nothing going on right now between the team and Monachino, things can always change in a heartbeat.
If Monachino is right and the Eagles aren’t really looking at him after all, then Donatell would become the favorite again. That doesn’t mean Philadelphia would automatically hire him, although he would be the most enticing name, if only because he is in the Super Bowl.
With the Eagles already rumored to have hired Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator is the last big piece of the puzzle for Kelly’s staff. Given that Kelly is an NFL rookie and Shurmur struggled as head coach of the Browns, having an important staff member who just made it to the Super Bowl would be a big help -- or at least appear to be.