PHILADELPHIA - After finishing up a second interview with the New York Jets, Robert Saleh was reported to be on his way to interview with the Eagles for their vacant head-coaching position.
The interview, however, will not be down the New Jersey Turnpike. Saleh, the intense San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, will meet with Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman in Lurie's South Florida home.
Whether the in-person meeting foreshadows more serious undertones remains to be seen but it does seem somewhat promising for Saleh because the NovaCare Complex is so close to the Jets North Jersey home in Florham Park, NJ and the Eagles could easily get everything they need done in a virtual fashion.
Saleh will be the second candidate to officially interview with the Eagles after Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady finished up an interview earlier Wednesday.
One of the hottest names in this hiring cycle Saleh, 41, has had interviews with Atlanta, Detroit, Jacksonville, and the Jets while the LA Chargers have planned to interview him. When you add in the Eagles that makes six of seven teams in need of a head coach doing their due diligence on Saleh with the lone exception being the Houston Texans.
Over the past two seasons, Saleh's defense has been one of the tops in the NFL, ranking first in yards allowed and passing yards allowed.
While Lurie typically leans to offensive-minded coaches Saleh plans on bringing along 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur as his offensive coordinator. The Eagles had an interest in LaFleur, the younger brother of Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur, as a potential offensive coordinator last year but were blocked from interviewing him.
Philadelphia also plans to interview Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and in-house candidate Duce Staley.
The Eagles have also been at least linked to Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, who is believed to be staying with the Sooners.
Lurie has hired four coaches over his 25-plus years owning the Eagles and only the first of that group was defensive-minded, Ray Rhodes in 1995.
Lurie was asked about what he will be looking for in his next head coach on Monday when he confirmed the firing of Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson after five seasons.
"In terms of the characteristics, I'd rather not specify, but I can tell you no matter who we have, it needs to be a leader of coaches, a leader of players and someone who represents the organization in a great leadership way," Lurie said when asked about the characteristics of the new head coach. "We had a lot of that with Doug. Leadership is an important characteristic."
A fiery, energetic coach the first bullet point with Saleh is usually leadership.
Lurie's last three hires - Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, and Pederson - were offensive-minded, however, and the owner has consistently admitted offense is paramount in the modern NFL.
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"You brought up offense. I think there's a couple of ways to skin that cat," said Lurie. "You can hire somebody really steeped in offense or you've seen great offenses coached by head coaches coming from the defensive side.
"I don't think there's any predilection for one over the other, but I do think somebody that is constantly curious of where the league is headed and what you need to do to have really good units and again, without a really good elite offense, I tend to err on that side. But not that side of the ball for head coach. Doesn't matter."
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 email@example.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.