Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Latest Coaching Buzz

Let’s start this morning with a roundup of the latest coaching buzz around the league.

SI.com’s Peter King thinks Jon Gruden could end up in Dallas:

I think, with all the talk about Jon Gruden’s coaching candidacies, remember these things:

a. ESPN would feel betrayed after clearing Ron Jaworski out of the three-man Monday night booth this season if Gruden left. Not that this would prevent Gruden from taking a great job in the NFL, but simply a point to keep in mind. He wouldn’t go with ESPN’s blessings, regardless what the PR spin is when he leaves.

b. Gruden’s going to have to have a veteran quarterback who’s smart enough to process and execute the whims of his offense, and to be flexible. A Tony Romo, for instance, or Philip Rivers.

c. I would not be at all surprised if the Cowboys have a bad final three weeks if Jerry Jones goes after Gruden hard.

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News talked to a couple league executives about potential head-coaching candidates:

I asked each for a list of four candidates. Interestingly, both lists included two of the same names – Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, brother of Jon. One list also included Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. The other had Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and Bengals defensive lieutenant Mike Zimmer.

Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe reports that Joe Banner could hire Michael Lombardi as his GM. He thinks Lombardi could target Nick Saban, Chip Kelly or Josh McDaniels to coach the Browns.

Saban could well be looking for his next/final NFL opportunity if he wins his fourth national championship next month in the BCS title game against Notre Dame. If the Browns (Saban is from northern West Virginia, played for and coached at Kent State, and was a Browns assistant under Belichick) and Lombardi are dangled, he may indeed take the plunge again.

Despite Saban’s personality and his issues in Miami, an NFL owner would be a fool not to make a run at him. He’s a phenomenal coach if he can figure out the personnel and get the right quarterback. And if you want Saban, you need Lombardi.

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan could get another look as a head coach, writes Dan Pompei of the National Football Post:

Front office men are taking another look at Mike Nolan as a serious head coaching candidate, and many have come to the conclusion he deserves a second chance. Nolan’s body of work as the Falcons’ defensive coordinator this year is pretty impressive. He has had five games against top 10 quarterbacks this year (two against Drew Brees, on against Robert Griffin III, one against Peyton Manning and one against Philip Rivers). Their cumulative passer rating against the Falcons is 61.3. Manning threw three interceptions. RGIII threw for 91 yards. Rivers didn’t throw a touchdown pass but threw two interceptions. Brees had the only good game against the Nolan defense, but in the second meeting between the teams Brees was picked off five times. And Nolan has not accomplished this with an all-star cast. It’s a tribute to his coaching.

A reminder that you can find all of the latest coaching buzz in our special section.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy are close to returning to practice. Tim’s got all the details.

The offensive line struggled Sunday. Here is my game review.

After a two-month drought, the Eagles finally found some joy on Sunday.

Here’s my game review of what we saw from Nick Foles.

An update on where the Eagles would draft if the season ended today.

Todd Bowles is in the mix for the Temple job.

A look at Eagles snap counts from Sunday – from Dion Lewis to Brandon Graham, and others.

Foles is earning the confidence of his teammates.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

SI.com’s King offers his take on the Eagles’ win:

I think — and I don’t care how much of an Eagles homer this makes me sound like — I was happy to see the delight on the Philadelphia sideline as the seconds ticked off on the win in Tampa. That’s not an eight-game-losing-streak team, and it doesn’t mean Andy Reid is suddenly a lousy coach. It’s football. And it’s good to see the seeds planted with a young quarterback like Nick Foles bear fruit — he improvised on the winning drive, inventing a fourth-down-conversion pass in the huddle.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports lists five potential homes for Michael Vick in 2013: the Bills, Browns, Jets, Cardinals and Eagles:

The final school of thought is that Vick ultimately won’t go anywhere. More likely, it will be Reid who gets let go first and then the decision on Vick will be left to Reid’s successor. If the successor is Oregon coach Chip Kelly or former Tampa Bay and Oakland coach Jon Gruden, Vick’s chances of staying increase exponentially. Vick would fit Kelly’s high-tempo offense (assuming Kelly wants to run that attack in the NFL). As for Gruden, the last thing he has ever done as a coach is develop a young quarterback. Vick, who is 32, fits into Gruden’s model of an older guy who knows the playbook already.

COMING UP

With a Thursday night game, the Eagles have a full practice today. We’ll have everything covered.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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