Gus Bradley leaves Philadelphia without deal with Eagles, heads to Jacksonville
Gus Bradley left Philadelphia for Jacksonville to meet with the Jaguars early Wednesday morning, according to an ESPN report.
Bradley met with the Eagles brass for estimated seven hours on Tuesday to discuss the team's head coaching vacancy. It was the Seahawks defensive coordinator's second interview with the Eagles, but the team considered it more of an extension of the first one that was briefly held Saturday in Atlanta.
Still, there was a feeling as Bradley met with the Eagles at Jeffrey Lurie's Wynnewood mansion that something could be finalized by Tuesday and that the owner wouldn't allow the 46-year old to leave for Jacksonville. It was still unclear if the Eagles even offered Bradley the job.
Many around the NFL considered him the leading candidate with former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt trailing in second. Whisenhunt met with the Eagles on Monday for a shorter interview, although both parties characterized the meeting as very productive.
Whisenhunt, 50, was fired after six seasons in Arizona on Dec. 31. He is not considered a contender for the Jaguars vacancy.
After the Bears hired CFL coach Marc Trestman early Wednesday morning, there were just three teams still searching for head coaches -- the Cardinals, Jaguars and Eagles.
The Eagles have interviewed at least 11 coaches to replace Andy Reid. Bradley has been the only one to meet with them for a second time. Whisenhunt had not been contacted for a second interview as of last Tuesday night.
Former Ravens coach Brian Billick, former Bears coach Lovie Smith and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden interviewed and were also considered still in the running.
Bradley's departure should not be taken as the end of his candidacy with the Eagles. He had yet to interview with the Jaguars. He had also met with the Chargers on Thursday, but they hired Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Tuesday.
In Bradley and Whisenhunt, the Eagles have two very different candidates. Aside from a four-month stint at Fort Lewis College in the mid-1990s, Bradley has never been a head coach. He's been the defensive coordinator in Seattle for four seasons, but many consider the Seahawks defense the brain child of head coach Pete Carroll.
The offensive-minded Whisenhunt, on the other hand, was vastly more NFL coaching experience than Bradley. He won a Super Bowl with the Steelers as their offensive coordinator in 2005. Two years later he got the Cardinals job and returned to the Super Bowl before losing to Pittsburgh.
After reaching the playoffs in two of his first three seasons, however, Whisenhunt's Cardinals went 18-30 over his final three years.