Monday update on the Eagles' coaching search: Have to think Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley look like the top candidates now.
But if you want either of those guys hired anytime soon, you'd better hope the Seahawks lose to the Falcons this coming weekend, or the Broncos are upset by the Ravens. The rules say that while there are interview windows for coaches still involved in the playoffs, "no contract shall be executed, and no agreement to execute a contract, or an announcement of a contract or of an agreement for employment, shall be permitted until after the conclusion of the employer's playing season."
The intent of this rule is to not mess with teams still in the playoffs, which is laudable. However, it creates a frustrating situation. Theoretically, the Eagles could have decided during their Sunday interview they wanted McCoy to be their coach, and he could have decided that was what he wanted. But there is no way for either party to move forward on that. Presumably, the Eagles would have to continue to conduct a sham "search" until the Broncos are done, which very well could be Feb. 4, the day after the Super Bowl. That's nearly a month from now, the Daily News has learned.
Of course, there is Jay Gruden, the Bengals offensive coordinator whose offense looked pretty sad in last weekend's loss to the Texans. Cincinnati still hasn't granted permission for the Eagles to talk to Gruden, as far as we know. But theoretically, he's available. and there's 60-year-old Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, whose team also is out.
It's interesting to note that nobody has waited around until after the Super Bowl to hire a coach since Kansas City waited for the Cardinals to lose so the Chiefs could hire Todd Haley in 2009. (THAT worked out well.)
Hiring a coach in February puts you bebind on many levels. For one thing, the assistant coach market is really picked-over by then. For another, your coaching staff misses Senior Bowl week, the best way to evaluate draft-eligible talent between the end of the college season and the draft. A team with the fourth overall pick, like the Eagles, and of course early picks in subsequent rounds, needs all eyes on the prospects as soon as possible.
You also are behind other teams in evaluating the talent on your roster, in terms of who stays and who goes, and on evaluating the free-agent market.
Can a coach hired in February be successful? Sure. But it isn't the best setup, by a long shot.