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NFL Philadelphia Eagles

5 Big Name Candidates to Replace Andy Reid as Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach

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Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid: 5 Big Name Candidates to Replace Head Coach

Andrew Weber-US Presswire

At this point in the 2012 season, it would take an absolute miracle for Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Andy Reid to keep his job, and extend his 14-year tenure.

Even if the Eagles (3-5) make a miraculous run during the back half of the season and squeak into the playoffs, I still doubt that Reid will retain his position. The only thing that could really save him is a wild-card playoff berth, followed up by an NFC Championship appearance. And even that's a stretch.

So now it's time to play the "who's next?" game.

It is always an exciting situation for NFL fans when a well known, storied head coach is on the outs, and somebody new is about to step in and fill the void.

Will it be a young buck getting a shot at his first head coaching gig? Or will it be a famous, high-profile ex-NFL head coach coming out of retirement (or out of the broadcast booth)?

No matter who it is, filling the shoes of Reid in Philadelphia is going to be a very difficult task. Through all of the criticism and troubles that Reid has dealt with in Philly, he has consistently fielded a highly competitive team in mostly every season over the past 14 years.

While QB Michael Vick has been the scapegoat for the Eagles throughout this entire season, Reid has stood by his quarterback and has shouldered the blame for the team's woes.

Reid knows that the struggles his team has faced are not all Vick's doing, and he has enough pride and morality to admit this, and not try and throw it all on his quarterback in an attempt to save his job.

So with Coach Reid now all but out the door, there are five big-name head coaching candidates that I have my eye on to step in and lead the Eagles.

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5. Eric Mangini

Andrew Weber-US Presswire

Following highly disappointing head coaching stints with the New York Jets (2006-2008) and the Cleveland Browns (2009-2010), Eric Mangini has been out of the NFL coaching scene. Most recently he has been working as an NFL analyst on ESPN.

There was great hype surrounding Mangini when he began his first head coaching job with the Jets, as he was greatly successful as the New England Patriots’ defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator during their 3 Super Bowl win era in the early 2000’s.

Call me crazy, but I think we have yet to see the last of the “Man-genius,” and the Eagles’ job could be his next big chance.

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4. Lane Kiffin

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US Presswire

The current University of Southern California head coach, Lane Kiffin, has always been a controversial figure ever since becoming the head coach of the Oakland Raiders (2007-2008). Kiffin’s NFL head coaching stint did not last long, as he was publicly humiliated and famously fired by the late Al Davis after coaching just 20 games for the Raiders.

In 2009, Kiffin accepted the head coaching position at the University of Tennessee, but fled the program after just one season in a highly publicized departure to become the coach at USC.

Kiffin’s father, the great Monty Kiffin, followed Lane to USC to remain the defensive coordinator under his son, after originally leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to join Lane at Tennessee.

After being an assistant with the Trojans from 2001-2006, it was well known that the USC head coaching position was Kiffin’s ‘dream job’. But could Kiffin really turn down the opportunity to give it another go in the NFL if the Eagles give him a shot? I think not.

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3. Urban Meyer

Rich Barnes-US Presswire

Yes, this is a certainly a long shot. Urban Meyer is one of the most celebrated college football coaches in today’s game after having great success at Bowling Green University (2001-2002), the University of Utah (2003-2004), the University of Florida (2005-2010), and currently, Ohio State University.

You see the consistency here? Meyer has never coached at any level in the NFL, as he has coached college football ever since 1986, where he was the tight ends coach of his current suitor, Ohio State.

It is clear that Meyer has done all that he can do in the college ranks, and I think it makes perfect sense for him to take a crack at the NFL. And with an explosive offensive mind-set, Meyer would be a perfect fit to replace Reid and lead the Eagles back to greatness.

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2. Jon Gruden

Kim Klement-US Presswire

Jon Gruden has always been one of my favorite characters to ever step foot in the NFL coaching arena, and it hurts me to see him up in the broadcasting booth every Monday night during ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Even though he is certainly entertaining covering the NFL from the booth, I feel like Gruden still longs to coach again at the professional level.

Gruden accepted his first head coaching job with the Oakland Raiders, where he coached from 1998-2001, before being shipped to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a greatly publicized trade. Gruden was fired by the Bucs in early 2009, following an epic collapse the season prior, where his team missed the playoffs after a 9-3 start to the season.

There were plenty of questions regarding who was to blame for the disappointing season, but in the end it was Gruden who got his walking papers.

I think it is just a matter of time before “Chucky” takes another NFL head coaching position, and while he’s definitely having fun analyzing games right now, if the Eagles come calling, he might get that itch to return a little sooner than expected.

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1. Bill Parcells

Tim Fuller-US Presswire

I feel like the legendary Bill Parcells will always be in the discussion to take over as the head coach of any team looking to fill the spot.

Parcells’ brilliant track record as a head coach for 23 years in the NFL is what always has teams chomping at the bit to get the man on their sideline. The coach is famous for bringing under-achieving teams to an elite level in a very short period of time, while he accomplished this feat with the New York Giants (1983-1990), New England Patriots (1993-1996) and New York Jets (1997-1999). The Dallas Cowboys did not quite reach that level when Parcells attempted to resurrect the squad (2003-2006).

While Parcells has only held positions in NFL office jobs during recent years, I never doubt that he will return to coach an NFL team.

And with the looming head coaching vacancy in Philadelphia, it seems like just the challenge Parcells would be willing to take on in a legendary return to the gridiron.