Eagles may not want Gus Bradley to leave Philly
Is the bus slowing down?
While the Eagles are set to meet with Gus Bradley sometime this afternoon and could conceivably come to an agreement to name him their next head coach today, a source close to the situation said that a deal was not imminent.
The Eagles met with Bradley in Atlanta on Saturday for a first interview, but the meeting lasted only approximately two hours because he was still preparing to face the Falcons the following day in a divisional playoff game. The Seahawks lost, however, and the Eagles are now considering the second interview an extension of the first, the source said.
Bradley is scheduled to land in Philadelphia around 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. He will sit down with owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and team president Don Smolenski. Bradley also interviewed with the Chargers on Thursday, but San Diego came to terms with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy today.
While the team has one less suitor to compete with if they indeed have set their sights solely on Bradley -- and the scuttlebutt around the NFL is that they have -- he does have another interview scheduled with the Jaguars on Wednesday.
It may be within Lurie's best interest to not allow Bradley to leave Philadelphia without signing a contract. That being said, the process could take longer than expected if there is a snag in negotiations. The Eagles have turned over a number of stones in their two-week long search for Andy Reid's replacement.
So what's another few days?
They have already interviewed Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong on Jan. 2, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien on Jan. 3, Oregon coach Chip Kelly on Jan. 5, McCoy on Jan. 6, former Ravens coach Brian Billick on Jan. 7, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Jan. 8, former Bears coach Lovie Smith on Jan. 10, Bradley on Jan. 12, former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Jan. 14.
Those are just the confirmed interviews. Bradley is the only one that has had a second meeting. The Eagles were granted permission to meet with Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, but that interview has yet to be scheduled, according to a NFL source.
The Eagles opened their search intent on snaring an innovation college coach like Chip Kelly or O'Brien. When both elected to stay at their schools, Lurie and company moved onto the next phase. Brian Kelly was in the mix, but he, too, chose to stay at his university.
Even before the Eagles met with Bradley, he was considered a serious contender. The second interview confirms that he is a finalist, at the very least. Whisenhunt, Gruden and Smith are legitimate adversaries. They may not get a follow-up interview, however, if the Eagles seal the deal with Bradley over the next 24 hours.
Until then, hang on for the rest of the ride.