Let’s run through them all:
- UPDATE: ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports “multiple sources connected to the Eagles’ coaching search believe Josh McDaniels is a prime candidate for the HC job.”
- The Eagles interviewed McDaniels in person on Sunday. John Clark reports the meeting lasted “from mid-morning into the evening past 9:00 PM.” A long interview doesn’t necessarily guarantee a hire, to be clear. But it’s clear this wasn’t just some courtesy meeting. McDaniels is a serious contender. UPDATE: John Clark says he was told McDaniels “did very well” in his interview.
- McDaniels has links to Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman. Lurie is a Boston native and has always been fond of the Patriots. Lurie also curiously referred to McDaniels on a first-name basis during his post-Doug Pederson firing press conference. Context:
“We didn’t know we were going to lose Frank Reich but suddenly it happened when Josh turned that job down and set off a whole — so you have to be aware.”
Roseman was college roommates with Jedd Fisch, who worked with McDaniels as New England’s quarterbacks coach in 2020.
- Peter King dedicated an entire section to the Eagles’ interest in McDaniels in his weekly FMIA column. Perhaps he knows something?
10. JOSH MCDANIELS. When I heard the New England offensive coordinator would be interviewing with Eagles brass on Sunday, I loved it for three reasons. One: The Eagles’ interviews are notoriously all-day suckers; I hear Robert Saleh and Joe Brady each spent more than seven hours in the interview chair. So Philly’s interviewing people the franchise is interested in—and not in a check-the-box kind of way. Two: I like organizations that don’t look at what everybody else is doing. Clearly there’s residue from McDaniels backing out of the Indy job two years ago, and it’s understandable. But two years ago, the Colts might have been the best job out there, and Andrew Luck hadn’t walked away yet, and they had a smart and progressive GM in Chris Ballard, and the Colts picked McDaniels over Mike Vrabel. McDaniels didn’t take dumb pills since then. Good for Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman judging the 44-year-old McDaniels’ body of work instead of passing judgment on a bad 2020 alone. In 12 of his 13 seasons as New England offensive coordinator, the Patriots have had a top-10 scoring team. And three: The Eagles clearly want to save Carson Wentz. McDaniels knows how to coach quarterbacks and coach them hard. We’ll see what happens. Who knows who the Eagles will hire, with Staley now off the market. But credit to the Eagles for cross-examining McDaniels.
- The sports agency that represents Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, whom the Eagles reportedly want to interview, seems to think that McDaniels is getting the job in Philly:
On MLK Day...the @NFL should be ashamed that...at this point with only 2 jobs remaining (one after Eagles hire JM) ... zero black coach hires or even 2nd interviews. No coaches coaching in conference championship games are currently connected to either of these 2 jobs.— Goal Line Football (@GoalineFootball) January 18, 2021
- There’s buzz from local reporters about McDaniels to the Eagles:
But he also has a strong personality and would want influence in personnel. He coaches hard and would be opposite, in ways, to the emotionally intelligent Pederson. Has CEO vibes.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 18, 2021
With other candidates out and the #Eagles not considering others, McDaniels seems to me the leader. https://t.co/C7UAZbR0Eh
Geoff Mosher on today’s ITB: “one of my better sources around the league said [Josh] McDaniels to Philly, there’s a lot of buzz about that. There’s people who think this thing could really happen.”— I’m just riffin baby (@GoBirdsGoSixers) January 18, 2021
- Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio indicated an Eagles hire could happen as soon as this week. The Eagles can’t hire a coach who’s currently in the playoffs. McDaniels is not in the playoffs.
“Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics of the search, there’s no specific timetable for making a hire — but it could end sooner than later, and quite possibly this week.”
- The Eagles have been prone to over-correct. Prime example: the team didn’t have enough speed in 2019, so they went out and forced a first-round pick on Jalen Reagor (instead of taking the best available player in Justin Jefferson) due to “fit.” From a coaching perspective, the Eagles used “emotional intelligence” as a reason for replacing Chip Kelly with Doug Pederson. Perhaps now they view Pederson being too lenient (especially in the case of Carson Wentz) and want someone who will coach harder.
So, Eagles fans, it just might be time to brace yourselves for McDaniels being Pederson’s replacement. Not going to be a popular hire, if it happens:
Elsewhere, in Eagles coaching buzz ...
- The Eagles are reportedly interviewing Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Monday. But wait. How are they meeting with him if the Bucs are still in the playoffs? Apparently, candidates can circumvent NFL rule and still interview if granted permission by ownership.
- The Los Angeles Chargers hiring Brandon Staley after previously being linked to Brian Daboll had some (myself included) thinking the Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator might be a strong contender for the Eagles’ job. But it seems like Daboll might be staying in Buffalo:
Source close to Brian Daboll “He’ll be the big name for head coach next year”— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) January 18, 2021
I sense from talking to agents and other candidates tonight —this was a “surprise pick” by the Chargers