The Eagles and Bears won’t stop until they’ve interviewed all of the coordinators, and all of the assistants, and also possibly several well renowned league janitors and raffle ticket sellers. I suppose in hindsight we should have expected this since these are two franchises in a very unfamiliar position, and they’re trying to replace two head coaches who had lengthy tenures. That especially applies to Andy Reid in Philly, who was canned after 14 seasons.
But while the Bears are simply casting a wide net (at last count they had interviewed 13 candidates, a very Al Davis approach), the Eagles have been repeatedly spurned. They can’t hand money to anyone named Kelly, because for both Brian Kelly and Chip Kelly, staying in college and moulding America’s fine young football bodies seems to be infinitely more appealing than pursuing a Super Bowl, and having to do it in Philadelphia. Don’t you dare disrespect Rocky like that, Kellys.
There was also speculation about Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone, with the latter going to Buffalo, and the former staying at Penn State. Repeatedly, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has given it the good ol’ college try, and repeatedly, that’s failed.
Jason La Canfora wondered if Roseman is the problem:
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me one esteemed coach or another advised one of the Eagles’ top candidates not to take the job precisely because of Roseman’s presence there. Roseman isn’t the general manager they should tie their wagon to. It’s clear Chip Kelly wasn’t leaving Oregon for anywhere unless he had a large measure of control over the organization, and owner Jeffrey Lurie has already entrusted that to Roseman. There has been trepidation by some candidates to go all-in given the questions about this existing power structure.
Confidence in the course of a vessel is difficult to have when the man at the rudder is widely perceived as being inexperienced due to his ill-advised decisions. This is the same general manager who gave Michael Vick– an aging, notoriously brittle quarterback — an $80 million contract in the fall of 2011. He also committed to Nnamdi Asomugha as his free agent splash that same summer, and a 31-year-old who’s due $15 million next season was beaten frequently this year, becoming the goat of a regressing Eagles secondary.
So when you’re no longer attractive to the rock star-ish names on the market, settling for retreads may eventually be the only option. Enter Ken Whisenhunt.
The Eagles announced earlier today that they interviewed the ex-Cardinals head coach, which is possibly a sign of their desperation. Remember, we’re discussing the same team that’s giving Brian Billick serious consideration, as over the weekend we learned that he was interviewed, and he’s considered a “serious candidate“. You’ll have to be patient with Billick if he’s hired, Eagles fans. It takes him time to learn names. Like maybe the name of his team.
Whisenhunt is an odd fit, and by that I mean he really isn’t a fit. Sure, he’s led a team to a Super Bowl, riding on the aging bones of Kurt Warner, and at the time one of the league’s best wide receiver duos in Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. But since Warner drifted off into a life of talking head purgatory, an offensive-minded head coach has failed dramatically in his attempts to both judge quarterback talent, and develop it. The Kevin Kolb trade continues to be a black eye on the Cardinals’ organization that could take years to heal, and both John Skelton and Ryan Lindley were worse than, I dunno, Trent Edwards.
That’s not a highly desirable background for a franchise who will ask its next coach to either develop or discard Nick Foles. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
And more spinning…
- The Eagles will also interview Bruce Arians tomorrow, which seems like a much better fit after his work with Andrew Luck.
- Oh, and they interviewed Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley over the weekend, bringing the total number of candidates to 13.
- You should really start clearing space for Mike McCoy rumors in your life, because they’re about to accelerate quickly now that the Broncos are out of the playoffs (also, Peyton Manning is the worst). Denver’s offensive coordinator is reportedly set for a second interview with the Cardinals, but that will come after his first interview with the Chargers.
- Right now all we know about the Marc Trestman to Chicago rumors is that he has NOT been eliminated, according to Ian Rapoport, emphatically. So…yeah.
- The Jaguars will interview Mel Tucker — their current defensive coordinator — today, and Brian Schottenheimer tomorrow.