Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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Eagles owner Jeff Lurie hasn't hired a coach in 14 years. That fact that makes it hard to know what his thinking is and tough to guess in what direction he'll go. The NFL has changed so much in the past decade and a half, the criteria he used in hiring Reid is probably out of date. You may remember that the Eagles actually commissioned an academic study on where to look for the best head coaching candidate.
Plus, Lurie has shown some unpredictability in the past. His first ever hire was Ray Rhodes, which was a pretty typical NFL move. Rhodes had played in the league, then worked his way up through the coaching ranks & had a few successful stops as a coordinator with successful organizations. He was not unlike most of the hot assistant names we've profiled in the past week.
The Reid hire however, was out of the box. Andy had never even been an NFL coordinator and was working as a QB coach for the Green Bay Packers at the time. Lurie was blown away by Andy's preparedness and plans at the interview and a guy who was seen as a dark horse suddenly jumped to the top of the list. In fact, it was reported that when Andy showed up for the interview he had his entire first training camp mapped and out and scheduled to the day.
Two guys don't really make a trend and especially two guys that don't share a whole lot in common. Both worked in Green Bay, but otherwise they were from different sides of the ball, had vastly different personalities and levels of experience.
The one common thread you could point to was that they had NFL experience. However, Lurie was quick to say today that he would not rule out looking at college coaches.
"I think right now, the NFL tends to borrow more from college than the other way around, but I think it's more about leadership," Lurie said. "Some of these coaches in college are outstanding leaders, and they just go from a younger roster to a slightly older roster -- still the average age is 26, 27 in the NFL, they're dealing with 19-year-olds, it's not that big a difference. There's no question I'm not the only one who thinks college coaches are well trained and have experienced tremendous pressure and can handle it, and are smart. On the other hand, that's not to diminish, most of the successful coaches come from the coordinator ranks, and some ex-NFL coaches as well."
Lurie didn't names, but said he would leave "no stone unturned" and that the team has a "target list, and it's from all sides."
The most popular name amongst the coaching ranks is Oregon's Chip Kelly, whose innovative style and legendary organizational skills would certainly fit the mold of the guy Lurie described. Among other names that have been speculated about would be Washington's Steve Sarkisian, who has NFL experience as a player and is seen as a leader and "program builder" that could interest Lurie.