Philadelphia Eagles look to Lovie Smith as head coach search continues


Lovie Smith, the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles? Image via Lehigh Valley Live

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.

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3 Responses to “Philadelphia Eagles look to Lovie Smith as head coach search continues”

  • I really like Lovie but I’d much prefer him as a DC (HIGHLY unlikely) than a HC. However, I wouldn’t throw myself off a cliff if they hired him as HC. If he is hired I hope he brings a kick ass OC with him (let’s pretend those are easy to find.)

    I give a vehement NO to Gruden (and despite Vermeil’s endorsement I’m not particularly on board with Jon either.)

    I’m not thrilled with Arians’ age but I don’t think it should be the ultimate reason for not hiring him. Coughlin was no spring chicken when the Giants hired him and we all know how that worked out. I hate the giants.

    I think my top choice continues to be McCoy.

    Really though, I’m along for the ride no matter what. If the eagles fly, I fly. If the wheels fall off and the motor explodes all while careening out of control down a mountain slope as the car is engulfed by flames then I’ll be in the back asking for forgiveness for my sins while visions of missed tackles and blown time-outs flash before my eyes.

    • Sorry for the late reply but this may win as my favorite comment ever. Very well said. Whatever happens, I’m along for the rie as well.

  • I am starting to wonder if we’ll be able to find anyone who hasn’t interviewed with the Eagles. My guess is the stumbling block is the youthful GM with the annointed public power. Experienced NFL coaches know the challenge in working with even the most experienced GM’s. College coaches are still trying to get their head around not being able to run the whole house as it were. While many NFL assistants look to move up and say they’ll just be happy being the coach…they may be finally wising up as the years go by and understanding it’s not such a happy situation when you don’t have the ultimate say in who is on your team.

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