The Eagles’ head-coaching search doesn’t seem to have an overriding plan. Unless, of course, the plan is to help current college coaches get raises to stay where they currently are.
That’s what happened with Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and Oregon coach Chip Kelly, both of whom interviewed with the Eagles before opting to stay put. Given the manner in which the flirtation between Brian Kelly and Philly emerged, it appeared that he’d quickly parlay the interest into more money.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, however, the Eagles want Kelly. And if the Eagles don’t get Kelly, there’s a sense that they won’t quite know where to turn next.
On Saturday, they’re interviewing Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Atlanta, where his current team is preparing to face the Falcons on Sunday. Other candidates include Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Falcons special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, and former Bears coach Lovie Smith.
As Adam Schefter of ESPN pointed out during Saturday’s pregame show, it’ll all come to a head soon between the Eagles and Kelly, who is in Connecticut on Saturday to attend the Walter Camp awards dinner. Kelly is expected to meet with his team on Monday, one week after absorbing a 42-14 thrashing by Alabama in the BCS national title game.
It’s unclear whether any progress or communication has occurred since Kelly and the Eagles met on Tuesday. According to Brian Hamilton, who covers Notre Dame for the Chicago Tribune, Kelly never actually was out of the country, contrary to multiple reports.If Kelly leaves Notre Dame, it’ll happen contrary to his own words. But if he makes the jump to the NFL, he won’t be the first football coach to have said one thing and done another. And he won’t be the last.
He’ll only be the most recent.