Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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The national media has been having some fun with the Eagles over the past couple weeks working off the assumption that every time they've talked to a college coach, that guy must be their #1 target and that none of them have really had interest.
Of course, this isn't really based on anything and ignores the fact they even as they talked to these college guys, interviews with NFL assistants were scheduled at the earliest possible date. Ian Rapoport was a guest of
"Well it's not like they were waiting around for Brian Kelly, who became the 3rd college coach to spurn the Eagles, they were moving on with their search and met with Seahawks defense coordinator Gus Bradley last night. They've got Jay Gruden set for Monday and Bruce Arians for Tuesday."
Rapoport said he talked to a "high ranking" Eagles source for some prospective on their search.
"We wanted to speak to the top minds in and out of the NFL," said the source. "Whatever it would come to."
The source said that they knew Bill O'Brien had a huge buyout at Penn State, they knew Chip Kelly had not won a national championship and they weren't quite sure about Brian Kelly because they hadn't met with him for very long after the BCS title game.
The source told Rapoport that as of yesterday, many of the assistants they wanted were still in the playoffs and "we are where we thought we'd be."
Some may say the Eagles are just spinning here to save face, but really the evidence can fit any narrative you want to make up. Do you want to say they were after these college coaches and that was their top priority? Ok, they did meet with these guys at the first opportunity and at least with Chip Kelly spent significant time.
But do you want to believe what the Eagles say? Well, while they were meeting with the college guys, they had already set up their NFL interviews and have met with the guys in the playoffs at the very first opportunity.
Do you want to believe that Gus Bradley is their #1 guy? Well, they met with Bradley as soon as they could. Assistants on teams who played on wildcard weekend can interview during the week prior to to the divisional round. If they go on to hire Bradley, the evidence would certainly fit the narrative that he was their top guy.
The reality is, once they make the hire... none of this will really matter.