The Eagles apparently like what they’ve seen from the 13-3 Falcons this season.
Birds 24/7 has confirmed that the team has asked for permission to interview Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong.
Nolan is looking for a second head-coaching opportunity. The 49ers were 18-37 in three-plus seasons under his direction from 2005 to 2008. Nolan has served as a defensive coordinator for seven different teams: the Falcons (2012); Dolphins (2010-2011); Broncos (2009); Ravens (2002-2004); Jets (2000); Redskins (1997-1999); and Giants (1993-1996).
The Falcons are fifth in scoring defense, allowing 18.7 points per game, and rank 11th in Football Outsiders’ defensive rankings.
Nolan was 35 when he first became a defensive coordinator and is now 53.
Armstrong, 47, has been the Falcons’ special-teams coach for the past five seasons. His units have produced up-and-down results, per Football Outsiders’ rankings: seventh in 2008, 22nd in 2009, third in 2010; 22nd in 2011; and 16th in 2012.
Prior to joining the Falcons’ staff, Armstrong served as special-teams coach of the Dolphins from 2001 to 2006 and Chicago’s special teams coach from 1997 to 2000. Armstrong was Atlanta’s secondary coach in 1996 and the Falcons’ safeties coach in 1994 and 1995. He played his college ball at Temple from 1983 to 1986 and served as a graduate assistant with the Owls in 1987. He’s originally from Levittown.
The Rooney Rule stipulates that teams must interview at least one minority candidate. Armstrong would qualify.
Because the Falcons are in the playoffs, Eagles brass are scheduled to travel to Atlanta to interview all three candidates on Wednesday, according to the report.
MORE COACHING BUZZ
Andy Reid will be one of three candidates to interview with the Cardinals, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
Reid has remained committed to coaching somewhere in 2013. The Arizona gig would reunite him with Kevin Kolb, the quarterback he selected in the second round of the 2007 draft. The Cardinals have an elite wide receiver in Larry Fitzgerald and several talented pieces on defense like linebacker Daryl Washington, defensive lineman Calais Campbell and cornerback Patrick Peterson.
The other two candidates interviewing for the job are current Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
* It looks like we might have to pump the brakes on the Jon Gruden rumors:
Hearing Jon Gruden now is leaning hard to staying at ESPN, turning down coaching feelers.
— Dan Pompei (@danpompei) December 31, 2012
Pompei, a columnist for the National Football Post and Chicago Tribune reported Sunday that Gruden was looking to return, suggesting the Eagles could be a likely landing spot. Either Gruden didn’t receive any offers he liked, or this flip-flopping will continue. Not ready to rule anything out yet.
* The Chip Kelly/Eagles buzz continues.
The Browns and Eagles will both pursue Chip Kelly aggressively. Eagles also high on Jay Gruden. Both like Bill O’Brien as well …
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 31, 2012
Jay Gruden cannot interview with teams this week since the Bengals take on the Texans on Saturday.
* And finally, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is staying put.
Though he’d like to be an HC again one day, Pats OC Josh McDaniels notified teams Monday he will remain in NE, not interview for HC jobs now
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2012
As always, catch all the latest coaching buzz in our special section.