One day after firing Greg Lewis, the Eagles reportedly have interest in a candidate to fill the team’s wide receivers coach vacancy. Philadelphia has “strong interest” in Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal, according to a report from NFL insider Adam Caplan.
Caplan notes Lal fits the Eagles’ desire for a more experienced coach. The 47-year-old first joined an NFL coaching staff 10 years ago when the Raiders hired him to be their offensive quality control coach. Lal was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2009 and lasted in Oakland until 2011. He held the same position with the Jets from 2012-2014 until he was hired by the Bills in 2015.
Buffalo leading receiver Sammy Watkins thinks very highly of Lal based on their time together.
“That’s the one guy I don’t want to leave,” said Watkins, via ESPN. “If he leaves, I don’t how my mindset would be, honestly. That’s a guy that kind of groomed me into running routes and doing everything the right way. Mentality, both mental and physical. If he leaves, that will hurt. Because that’s the guy that kind of helped this whole group form a mentality and shape us into professionals. He gave us the whole script, off the field, on the field. I think it’s helping this wide receiver group and helping the players. If he leaves, that will hurt.”
Lal’s current status is in limbo as the Bills are currently undergoing a search for a new head coach. The organization might want to keep him, especially given Watkins’ comments, but Buffalo also might want to avoid forcing assistants on their head coaching candidates. It’s worth noting Lal currently has one year left on his current contract.
What’s also interesting is that the Bills have a number of wide receivers scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this offseason. Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Percy Harvin, Justin Hunter, and Brandon Tate are slated to be available when the new league year starts in March. The Eagles desperately need help at receiver so Philadelphia could be a logical landing spot for at least one of those players.
Another interesting Lal connection is that he served as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach at Cal when impending free agent DeSean Jackson was still in college.
Stay tuned for more Eagles coaching rumors.