Josh McDaniels Would be Shortsighted for Eagles

Is the longtime New England Patriots offensive coordinator and one-time Denver Broncos head coach really an option for the Eagles?
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PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles have cast a wide net in their coaching search with the two members of Bill Belichick's coaching staff being interviewed this weekend serving as the opposite ends of a very diverse spectrum.

Jerod Mayo, the 34-year-old Patriots' inside linebackers coach who probably could still suit up in case of emergency, got his first-ever head-coaching interview on Friday at Jeffrey Lurie's Palm Beach estate.

Sunday it was Josh McDaniels' turn, the former Denver head coach and long-time New England offensive coordinator, who typically gets more interviews than the average Hollywood starlet in advance of an expected blockbuster.

McDaniels, however, is no longer Margot Robbie. He's not the A-lister these days and at least some of that is self-inflicted.

McDaniels, now 44, rehabilitated himself from a disastrous first opportunity at the big chair in Denver and was ready for another swing when he left the Indianapolis Colts at the altar after the 2017 season.

Ironically that resulted in the Butterfly Effect of Frank Reich leaving the then-Super Bowl champion Eagles as Indy's consolation prize, fresh off Reich and the Birds beating McDaniels and the Pats in the big game.

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Lurie, a New Englander who once tried to buy the Patriots before securing the Eagles actually referenced that sea change during his recent 42-minute press ordeal after firing Doug Pederson.

“We didn’t know we were going to lose Frank Reich,” Lurie said when asked about being prepared for curveballs when it comes to coaching, “but suddenly it happened when Josh turned that job down and set off a whole — so you have to be aware. You have to always have your plan ahead.”

Could that plan really be McDaniels, who has always been a bit of a lightning rod when it comes to NFL coaching searches?

Some swear by McDaniels as an offensive genius and others will point to his immaturity in Denver during an 11-17 stint that didn't even last two seasons when he was just 34 and then the 180 on the Colts as examples of why you don't want to be in business with a guy who's really only excelled with Tom Brady as his quarterback and the greatest coach of all-time as his dampener.

In many ways you can quickly ascertain McDaniels' plan for Sunday's interview, pitching the Eagles' search committee on fixing Carson Wentz, the latest in a long line of apparent litmus tests for Philadelphia coaching candidates.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that Lurie doesn't want to consider his one-time franchise QB as a sunken cost and has been telling candidates that the organization believes Wentz is "fixable," according to NFL Media, just as more reports of Wentz's stubbornness and disdain for coaching surfaced in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Since the Denver debacle in which McDaniels was the living manifestation of what Mike Lombardi once accused Pederson of being as perhaps the least-prepared head coach in history, McDaniels has interviewed for 12 different openings, for the most part always eschewing the outside interest with some assuming he's the heir apparent to the 69-year-old Belichick.

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The Colts' dalliance changed things on multiple fronts because it was a clear indication McDaniels wasn't so sure about that future with the Pats while also highlighting that perhaps he hasn't matured as much as some have tried to spin.

With Brady in Tampa Bay and the New England offense a disaster in 2020, McDaniels is no longer the belle of any ball and the Eagles are the only team to request an interview in this cycle, at least to date.

Conversely, McDaniels will surely see the impatient fan base and organization that has gone sideways in record time.

McDaniels has been recruiting assistants in case he gets the job and Lurie may finally get to return to his cherished New England roots.

That's a marriage of convenience doomed to fail before it even starts.

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Tuesday and Thursday on "The Middle" with Eytan Shander, Harry Mayes, and Barrett Brooks on SportsMap Radio and PhillyVoice.com. He’s also the host of Extending the Play on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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.