As soon as the Philadelphia Eagles fired their long-time head coach Andy Reid after 14 years on the job, it was clear that replacing him would be a very tall task.
The Eagles cut Reid loose two weeks ago on a ‘Black Monday’ that was chock-full of NFL head coaching terminations. Reid’s Eagles finished off the 2012 regular season with a gag-worthy 4-12 record, after starting the year with very high hopes at 3-1.
While Reid picked up a new head coaching gig with the Kansas City Chiefs within a week of his firing, the Eagles have interviewed a truckload of candidates, but still have yet to pick their guy.
The stagnant vacancy is certainly not because of a lack of trying, being that owner Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles have interviewed over a half-dozen candidates already, with even more on their agenda.
The Eagles’ attempts at trying to lure two high-profile college coaches to Philly failed, as both Chip Kelly and Brian Kelly decided to remain at the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame, respectively.
Lurie and the Eagles also reached out to a couple of NFL head coaches that were canned just this year, in ex-Chicago Bears front man Lovie Smith and former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. As of now, the Eagles have looked past Smith, while Whisenhunt is allegedly still a front-runner.
There was originally great speculation that the Eagles would go after current Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl champion head coach Jon Gruden, who was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator from 1995 to 1997.
But while Jon never got a call from the Eagles, his brother, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, did meet with the Eagles regarding the head coaching vacancy.
Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is making a trip to Philadelphia today for his second interview with the Eagles, in what some reports are saying is a meeting to finalize a contract. The Eagles also reportedly cancelled an upcoming meeting with Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in light of Bradley’s follow-up visit.
Lurie and the Eagles know that they can not haphazardly leap at signing a head coach who is not going to be a perfect fit in Philadelphia for years to come.
With some of the most critical and animated fans in all of professional football, the Eagles will also have to pick a head coach who is capable of handling plenty of pressure and criticism. The Eagles may pick their next head coach this week, or they may let the process drag on until after the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVII.
But no matter when the final decision is made, the Eagles’ organization has an obligation to its fans and players to select the best guy for the job, regardless of how many dollars they’re forced to shovel over.
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