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Howie Roseman reportedly a significant reason why Brandon Staley turned down the Eagles

The presence of Philly’s GM apparently deterred a top coaching candidate.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Seven weeks through the 2021 NFL season, there’s an early favorite for Coach of the Year: Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. The latest odds from DraftKings Sportsbook reflect as much.

Staley has impressed both on and off the field.

He had the perpetually underachieving Chargers atop a very competitive AFC West entering Week 7 before LAC was on their bye and the Raiders won.

He’s also garnered a lot of praise for his press conferences, be it talking about the importance of running the ball ...

... or speaking on the Jon Gruden resignation:

The 38-year-old clearly comes off as a sharp dude. And it’s been fun to see how aggressively he coaches, which certainly paid off in a road win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

What isn’t so fun to think about is that Staley could’ve been the Eagles’ head coach. The Birds requested an interview with him after firing Doug Pederson.

But Staley didn’t get on the plane to interview in Philly. And part of the reason he turned the opportunity down is the presence of Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane reported as much in a Monday column. Bold emphasis is mine:

It starts at the top with owner Jeffrey Lurie, of course. He made the final call to hire Sirianni. Every major decision is made with his involvement in mind. Howie Roseman has survived more head coaching fires than any other current general manager partly because he has successfully managed up. And managing up, in this sense, is allowing for Lurie to be his football confidant. The owner can do so as he pleases. It’s his team. But his closest advisor is a sycophant.

The co-dependent relationship at the top clearly influenced the Sirianni hire, in that it needed a coach who wouldn’t block Lurie or force Roseman out. Brandon Staley had many reasons for taking the Chargers job — Justin Herbert being maybe the most prominent — but Roseman was a significant reason why he canceled a scheduled interview, two NFL sources close to the situation said. Lurie certainly didn’t want to bring in a failure. He has done fairly well in identifying unproven coaches. But he may have finally crapped out on his first roll.

Staley wasn’t the only top candidate that turned the Eagles down, either. Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll also reportedly wasn’t interested in coming to Philly.

The Eagles ultimately ended up picking between Nick Sirianni and Josh McDaniels. And, so far, the decision to go with the former isn’t looking so hot. There’s talk of Sirianni potentially being one-and-done. It’s not unreasonable given the extent to which he’s struggled.

But even if Sirianni is the root of the Eagles’ struggles, which he isn’t, where’s the faith that the team will be adequately able to replace him? As long as Roseman is around, there are serious questions about Philly’s ability to hire a top candidate. Why take a job with a team where you’re often held accountable for the general manager’s shortcomings?

All the more reason for Jeffrey Lurie to realize he probably needs to wipe the slate clean and start anew. New general manager, new head coach, new quarterback.

Of course, it’s hard to believe that much is even being considered until it actually happens. In fairness, Lurie’s loyalty to Roseman in the past paid off with a Super Bowl win. The owner seems to be confident Roseman can lead to glory once again. This despite the team’s ongoing struggles and undeniable downward trajectory since raising the Vince Lombardi Trophy.