As the Eagles press “reset” again on their coaching search, they’re not surprised by where they currently are — and they’re undeterred by their failure to persuade one of three college coaches to seriously consider the job.
Per a source with knowledge of the search, the Eagles are precisely where they suspected they would be after 12 days of their search. They knew that Penn State coach Bill O’Brien had a significant buyout, they realized that Chip Kelly would be pushed to stay at Oregon and try to win a national title, and they didn’t spend enough time with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly to know whether he’d leave Notre Dame. Besides, most of the NFL assistant coaches in which they’re interested aren’t available to be hired because their teams are still alive, like Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
Still, the feeling is that the Eagles swung and missed with three separate college coaches. Even if they didn’t believe any of them would make the jump, talking to them and having them announce they’re staying in college creates the impression that the candidates affirmatively chose not to choose the Eagles.
Though it’s unclear why the Eagles looked initially at college coaches, there’s a concern in some NFL circles that owner Jeffrey Lurie and G.M. Howie Roseman are regarded as too close, that Roseman is running the personnel department despite not being a traditional “football guy,” and that Roseman will be insulated from blame if the next coach fails to turn the team around. Fair or not, that perception could make it more challenging to attract coaches with options — unless the Eagles end up offering a lot more money than the other teams still looking for head coaches.