Eagles Wake-Up Call: Courting Chip Kelly

The Eagles’ lunch with Chip Kelly lasted a bit longer than your usual meet and greet at Chipotle.

On Friday evening, the Browns and Kelly were said to be close to a deal, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. But as we’ve discussed in this space, “close” and “done” are two different things – especially when it comes to the hiring of coaches.

So Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski took their best shot at Kelly in Arizona on Saturday, trying to lure him in as the next head coach. From Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer:

The Eagles’ had a lunch meeting with Kelly in Arizona that’s stretched into the dinner hour. The Browns were set to meet with Kelly over dinner, and hoped to hammer out a deal, but he’s been tied up with Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, president Don Smolenski and general manager Howie Roseman.

The meeting finally ended after midnight (EST), and this was not expected to be the end of the communication between the two sides, according to Mike Garafolo of USA Today.

The Eagles are clearly in a battle with Joe Banner and are putting on the hard sell. They have other interviews lined up, but are apparently targeting Kelly as their No. 1 option.

Who will the Oregon coach choose? We’re still waiting for an answer. But we do know that sources told Rapoport the Browns are trying to decide between Kelly and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone. You could take that at face value. Or you could take it to mean Banner has an inkling that he might lose out on Kelly and is trying to save face with the old We didn’t want him [Kelly] anyway strategy.

There’s also the possibility that Kelly decides to stay put and coach Oregon.

As for the Eagles, they are scheduled to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday. They’re also expected to interview Marrone, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

Will all of those interviews end up taking place? Or will we be preparing for Kelly’s introductory press conference this week? We should find out shortly.

WHAT YOU MISSED

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The Eagles are expected to interview Jay Gruden. Would he be a good candidate?

The Eagles are also taking a look at Doug Marrone.

Our coaching tracker has every interview for every team listed.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com doesn’t know why Andy Reid was considered a hot commodity on the open market:

A high percentage of Eagles fans believes Reid hasn’t been right since his defensive coordinator Jim Johnson died of cancer in 2009. Reid hasn’t won a playoff game since Johnson passed.

My issue is the last two years. The Eagles were the “dream team” in 2011 and Super Bowl favorite. They went 8-8. They had to win their final four games to reach 8-8. To the utter shock and surprise of no one not named Andy Reid, the decision to promote longtime offensive-line coach Juan Castillo to DEFENSIVE coordinator blew up in Reid’s face. In their eight losses, the Eagles surrendered an average of 29.8 points.

The Eagles spent millions of dollars building a dream team, and Reid turned his defense over to an offensive-line coach on a whim. This is like getting a date with Beyonce and consulting with Ike Turner on how to romance her.

History says Reid might not win big in Kansas City, writes SI.com’s Don Banks:

But historically speaking, the Chiefs probably aren’t buying themselves a great shot to scale the NFL mountaintop and win a Super Bowl with Reid. While seven “re-tread” coaches have won Super Bowls in their second NFL gig after not doing so in their first job — including another former Eagles coach, Dick Vermeil — none have done it while staying in their first job for anywhere remotely as long as Reid’s 14 seasons in Philadelphia.

COMING UP

Think it’ll be quiet today? Yeah, neither do we.

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