By Peter Gleason
The Eagles search for a new coach to replace Chip Kelly, who was fired 16 days ago, is beginning to look desperate.
As other NFL teams fill coaching openings, the feckless Eagles front office, led by owner Jeffrey Lurie and glorified fantasy football junkie Howie Boy Roseman, is being rejected far and wide.
Howie Boy will not take on the general manager title he lost in a power struggle with Kelly last offseason, but it does appear he will handle most of the duties usually reserved for the general manager. Even if they hire a new GM, that person would likely just be an advisor for Roseman.
On the coaching front, the Eagles gave courtesy interviews to soon-to-be-former OC Pat Shurmur and longtime Eagles player and assistant Duce Staley, but they look to be heading in a completely new direction. That said, the coaching search has not been smooth.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin rebuked Philly early in the process. Bears OC Adam Gase was an early favorite, but he ended up in Miami. There were rumors of Jon Gruden being interested, but he has refuted those reports.
Lurie is reportedly smitten with John Harbaugh, but that is as fanciful as his love affair with Kelly three years ago. Giants OC Ben McAdoo was thought to be a favorite, but he is staying in New York as the head coach.
Philly has managed to interview Chiefs OC Doug Pederson and Bengals DC Paul Guenther for the opening. Panthers DC Sean McDermott has expressed interest, and Bucs OC Dirk Koetter is reportedly on the team’s “radar,” but he is almost certain to stay in Tampa Bay as the head coach.
In a more shocking turn, Philly was granted permission to interview ex-Giants coach Tom Coughlin. That meeting took place Monday. With Coughlin also a candidate in San Francisco, it is clear he is interested in returning to the sidelines, but it is unclear how much interest he has in the Eagles after he was somewhat critical of their decision to fire Kelly after three seasons.
MaAdoo and Pederson were thought to be the leaders in the clubhouse for the job, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter at one point calling McAdoo the “front-runner.” With McAdoo now off the board, it would seem Pederson is the easy favorite.