It’s only been a little over a week since the Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with Andy Reid, but somehow it feels much longer. Perhaps the fact that Reid was signed, sealed and delivered to Kansas City within the same week he found himself out on the street in Philly provided a somewhat unrealistic measure of comparison. After all, of seven head coaching vacancies in the NFL, only two have been filled.
The Birds’ coaching search took a surprising turn on Tuesday when it was announced that they will interview former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith on Thursday.
Has this been part of the plan overall, or are the Eagles in panic mode?
Smith was fired from the Chicago Bears after finishing 10-6 this sesaon and failing to make the playoffs. Like Reid, Smith is viewed as a good coach in the NFL with a good overall winning percentage (.563) but failed to deliver the ultimate prize to his city after taking them to the Super Bowl.
Unlike Reid, Smith is known as a defensive guy. The Eagles have seen a steady decline in the production of their D since the death of Jim Johnson in 2009. Though it’s widely speculated that Lurie seeks more of an offensive mind, it’s hard to imagine that a proven defensive mind wouldn’t be of some level of interest to Philadelphia.
Another name that has appeared on the Eagles list, Jay Gruden in Cincinnati, doesn’t seem to be a feasible option, as he has reportedly stated that he plans to stay with the Bengals but is interviewing simply so that teams will stop calling him. Um, eww.
If Philadelphia is serious about their interest in people like Atlanta’s Mike Nolan and Seattle’s Gus Bradley, in addition to Denver OC Mike McCoy, they may to wait a while for their man as these teams progress through the playoffs. And if their top choice makes it to the Super Bowl, then the Eagles could be head coach-less until February. An unsettling thought but one that could easily become the team’s reality.
Colts coach Bruce Arians is also in the mix, but at 60, his possible tenure with the Birds would be limited, which doesn’t seem to appeal to the Eagles.
So again we sit and we wait. Will other top prospects for Philadelphia be snapped up by other teams or decide to stay put where they are? Probably. As reminded by CSNPhilly’s Reuben Frank on Sports Rise, Andy Reid was the Eagles fifth choice when they last embarked on a head coaching search.
So there’s always that.