It was an eventful weekend in the NFL’s coaching carousel that ultimately left the Philadelphia Eagles exactly where they started–still in need of a head coach.
On Friday, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was said to be close to a deal with the Cleveland Browns, but everything changed when he met with the Eagles brain trust for a lengthy nine- hour meeting on Saturday.
Was Jeffrey Lurie about to steal the #1 choice of his once close friend and former business partner Joe Banner and the Browns? It seemed like it could happen. But Kelly never hid his lack of enthusiasm for joining the NFL, and ultimately the trio of Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski knew that any decision would have to outweigh Kelly’s love of coaching at Oregon.
For the second year in a row, that did not happen. On Sunday, Kelly decided that he would stay in the college ranks.
So what now? The Birds were all-in on Kelly. Who do they turn to now?
The Eagles had requested an interview with Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, but that won’t be happening as he was signed on to coach the Buffalo Bills.
After the lengthy meeting with Kelly on Saturday, the Birds held a three-hour interview with Mike McCoy, the Broncos’ offensive coordinator on Sunday. Philadelphia will also speak with Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator of the Colts as well as Gus Bradley, the Seahawks defensive coordinator this week. The Eagles have also requested permission to speak with Jay Gruden, the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals
While rumors about interest in Kelly by the Eagles swirled for months preceding Andy Reid’s firing, I was surprised that the team truly had so much interest in a candidate with no experience in the NFL. Mike McCoy and his demonstrated ability to effectively adjust his offense to the abilities (or lack thereof) of a given quarterback would be quite an asset to a team like the Eagles with more questions than answers surrounding the QB position. Will he now move to the top of Philadelphia’s list?
As we move into the second week of the search process, one thing is for sure–there is never a dull moment.