The Eagles list of Head Coaching candidates grew once again on Wednesday night when reports revealed the team interviewed their third College Football Head Coach.
Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly according to multiple reports, interviewed with the Eagles on Tuesday, the day after his Fighting Irish fell to Alabama 42-14 in the BCS National Championship Game.
Kelly, who’s stops previous to the Golden Domers include Central Michigan and the University of Cincinnati, has no NFL experience or pedigree. While both parties expressed mutual interest and plan on meeting again once the 51-year old Head Coach returns to the country from a family vacation, Kelly may take a similar track to Bill O’Brien and Chip Kelly who also interviewed for the Eagles job since Andy Reid was fired on New Years Eve after a 14-year tenure.
A Notre Dame source hinted to Taking It To The House that Kelly may be using his potential interest from NFL teams as leverage against the school to get either a pay increase or an extension.
“For me to say I’ll never coach in the NFL – I have no idea,” Kelly said on Friday. “I’m not trying to be evasive. It’s the truth of the matter. It’s all about timing.”
Kelly recently signed an extension with the Irish that keeps him in South Bend through the 2016 season.
The Eagles brass seems interested in finding the next in vogue Head Coach rather than hiring one with an NFL Head Coaching pedigree, as seen by their courtship of O’Brien, Chip Kelly and now Brian Kelly.
There does not appear to be a clear front runner for the job, either. Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski likely had Chip Kelly and Bill O’Brien as their initial leading candidates, but now it appears they’ll test the waters with any and all parties. Thursday, the team plans to interview former Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith and have expressed interest in both Gus Bradley and Bruce Arians, while already speaking with Mike McCoy last weekend for two hours.
As of Thursday, the Eagles are the only NFL team with plans to interview Bradley.
Should the Eagles make the move to lure Kelly from the college ranks, hiring experienced assistant coaches will be paramount. That fact could explain the interview scheduled with Smith, as he does not appear to be a hot commodity in the landscape of the five remaining jobs that are open.
With ten days gone in the team’s search, some are becoming wary of the process.
“The key is getting the right guy,” Roseman said on PhiladelphiaEagles.com Wednesday. “The key isn’t getting the right guy as quickly as possible.”