Jan 11, 2013, 1:06 PM EDT
It’s probably fair to say we didn’t know quite what to expect. We’ve
seen NFL head coaching searches play out before, but always from afar these last 14 years. Now the Eagles are embroiled in one themselves, and after 12
days everybody is starting to get just a little fatigued.
Every name that pops up, we dissect as if Jeff Lurie had
just offered that man the job. Every day that passes without a hire, somebody
questions the attractiveness of the destination.
Let’s get something straight about that right there. If any
of these vacancies were so inviting, none of those eight teams – eight now
that Jacksonville fired Mike Mularkey – would have felt the need to fire their
head coach in the first place. That’s sort of the point behind almost any of
these changes each winter, is it not?
Look, five out of eight have yet to hire a replacement. Of
the three that have made hires, two picked coaches that were not even on Philly’s
radar. Cleveland announced they went with Carolina offensive coordinator Rob
Chudzinski on Thursday night, and Kansas City moved quickly to take Andy Reid
off our hands.
In other words, it’s not like the Eagles are the only team
standing pat. Most teams are going through the same process, and the reasons
why are simple.
Number one is it’s a big decision, and there is no need to
rush, nor cause to write anybody off. Absolutely no harm can come from talking
Number two, a lot of the top NFL assistants either haven’t
even interviewed yet or are still coaching in the playoffs.
It would be nice, if only for our state of mind, if the
Eagles would move faster and pounce on one of these guys, but the fact is they
haven’t had a chance in many cases. They were able to interview the ones whose
clubs had first-round byes, but are unable to reach a formal agreement anyway. Teams with no bye and still alive, like the Green Bay Packers, their people haven’t had the opportunity at all.
And as for the two they plan to meet with from teams that were eliminated, Bruce
Arians was in the hospital earlier this week, and Jay Gruden insists he’s
staying in Cincinnati anyway.
Now, is there some truth to the idea Lurie has been spurned
by a few candidates? It would appear so, particularly by Chip Kelly. But Chip
doesn’t seem overly eager to jump into the professional ranks with anybody, as
he’s turned down offers for the second straight year. Bill O’Brien never seemed
to seriously consider leaving Penn State at all.
And these coaches who turned down the Eagles aren’t just skipping
over Philadelphia – they’re walking away from everybody.
Yeah, maybe the Eagles aren’t appealing to Jon Gruden, or
Bill Cowher, or whichever Super Bowl-winning head coaches are too comfortable
in their climate-controlled studios to accept anything less than full control
of a ready-made contender and the owner’s first born. If that’s the case, we
don’t want them, either.
Anybody else has no other choice but to give the Eagles
serious consideration if they aspire to be a head coach in the NFL – and trust
me, most of these people want nothing more.
Everybody needs to take a deep breath and chill. A lot of us
didn’t come into this with a full understanding, or at least not first-hand
knowledge, of how these searches work. It could be another week or two yet until
the Eagles formally announce a hire, but that doesn’t automatically indicate
there’s a problem. It simply means they are waiting for the right person.
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