The NFL head coaching fraternity is small by most standards, with just 32 members, but it is beginning to look like the Eagles are the Animal House of the group, with no potential candidate willing to pledge.
Day 8 of the head coaching search unfolded with the expectation that the Eagles were going to announce Josh McDaniels as their next head coach.
Late Monday night a source told me that the Eagles were going to hire him, and an announcement would come no later than Wednesday and possibly as early as Tuesday morning. There was no second source that would confirm that, so I chose not to run with that information based solely on one source.
Instead, Tuesday morning dawned and there was yet another out-of-the-blue candidate being interviewed, Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and there is an interest in interviewing Cowboys special teams coach John Fassel.
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There nothing wrong with doing due diligence on coaches, but it is beginning to appear as if nobody wants this job, even though there are just 32 of them.
Sirianni became the eighth potential candidate that has been known to interview with owner Jeffrey Lurie’s search party since Doug Pederson was relieved of duty on Jan. 11, joining Joe Brady, Robert Saleh, Arthur Smith, Jerod Mayo, Duce Staley, Todd Bowles, and McDaniels.
It’s a list that doesn’t include Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, who general manager Howie Roseman reached out to in hopes of luring him from Norman on the same day Pederson was fired.
There have yet to be any second interviews lined up, and maybe there won’t be.
Lurie said there would be no rush in the search when he spoke just hours after he fired Pederson.
Things have changed, though, especially with the NFL telling teams on Tuesday that the NFL Scouting Combine won’t be held in person this year, and that talent evaluations will be done virtually.
All-star games become even more vital now, and the Senior Bowl is right around the corner on Jan. 30. Having a new coach and staff in place in order to know what sort of scheme both offense and defense will utilize in 2021 would now seem to be of the utmost importance.
Brian Daboll would have made a nice candidate, given the work he has done with Bills quarterback Josh Allen and helping Buffalo reach this weekend’s AFC Championship Game. He had no interest in interviewing with the Eagles, preferring to return to Buffalo for another year as an offensive coordinator rather than joining the fraternity of 32.
The Eagles requested an interview with Kansas City OC Eric Bieniemy, but, so far, nothing has been arranged that anybody knows about. Could Bieniemy have declined to interview?
Then there’s McDaniels.
Maybe in the next 24 hours, he will be hired.
If not, well, then the question is, did the man who hasn’t had a known head coaching interview since stiffing the Colts for their head coaching job in 2018 decide the Eagles’ situation wasn’t desirable?
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And if that’s the case then that opens the Pandora Box of so many other questions, such as:
Is it the Eagles’ reported insistence on finding a way to “fix” Carson Wentz and what happens with Jalen Hurts?
Is it Roseman, who has not been held accountable, at least publicly by Lurie, and whose total control over personnel has either directly or indirectly has helped lead to the dismissal of both previous coaches, Chip Kelly and Pederson?
Is it Lurie, who has seemingly become more involved with the decision-making more than just his self-described involvement of simply asking questions?
Or was Lurie revealing that this is a rebuild situation scare anyone away?
The owner talked at length more than a week ago about how he believes his coaching vacancy is an attractive situation, ticking off a long list of reasons why. One of those was the quarterback situation.
“We've got two really interesting assets,” said Lurie. “They are both young. They are both hungry. They are terrific people, very different and terrific people. A coach is going to have options. A coach is going to have the ability to fix what he feels is necessary in our offense and have a potential star in Carson and a potential star in Jalen. That gives us an asset, also, so that if we end up deciding on one someday, the other is a really good asset.”
That may not be how the candidates view it.
Whoever the Eagles hire, they will be united in their stance that it was the guy they wanted all along and they wanted to get a sense of their team and give others a sense of what they expected in their next head coach.
Whoever the coach is, he will talk glowingly of the opportunity ahead, then go about proving that he was the right man for the job nobody seemed to want and get this organization out of double-secret probation.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out anything you may have missed pertaining to the Eagles by going to www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.