Eagles Interview Ken Whisenhunt, Jay Gruden

And the search goes on.

The Eagles announced today that they’ve interviewed former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt’s teams went 45-51 in Arizona. They made the playoffs twice and advanced all the way to the Super Bowl in 2008, beating the Eagles in the NFC championship game.

But things turned ugly the past three seasons, largely because of the team’s inability to find a quarterback. The Cardinals went 18-30 from 2010 to 2012. Last season, they started out 4-0 before dropping nine in a row and 11 of their last 12.

Whisenhunt has drawn interest from the Bills, Browns and Chargers. Buffalo and Cleveland, of course, have already filled their vacancies. Whisenhunt reportedly interviewed with San Diego on Tuesday.

Prior to landing the Cardinals job, he served on the Steelers staff for six seasons – three as tight ends coach and three as offensive coordinator. He also spent time with the Jets (2000), Browns (1999) and Ravens (1997-98).

As for Jay Gruden, he’s spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals. You can find more about him here.

For those keeping track at home, here are the candidates the Eagles have interviewed so far: Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, ex-Bears coach Lovie Smith, Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Falcons special-teams coach Keith Armstrong, Oregon’s Chip Kelly, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.

Kelly, Kelly and O’Brien are no longer candidates. Bradley is expected to get a second look.

The Eagles are expected to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians this week.

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Gus Bradley Has “Great Interview” With Eagles

Gus Bradley‘s interview with the Eagles on Saturday went very well, according to Jay Glazer.

“He had a great interview with the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Glazer. “If the Seahawks lose [to the Falcons] look for the Eagles to bring Bradley back in.”

The Seahawks did lose to Atlanta, making Bradley available. While a second interview is certainly possible, it had not yet been scheduled as of Monday morning, according to a league source.

Glazer also reports that Mike Nolan, who interviewed with the Eagles early in the process, plans to stay in Atlanta.

“Before Cleveland hired Rob Chudzinski they really wanted to bring Nolan in there – they were hot for him. Nolan told me, ‘Listen, I’m very happy where I am with Mike Smith and Tom Dimitroff. Unless it’s a great job, I love being here in Atlanta.’”

Meanwhile, a couple other assistants the Eagles have targeted are drawing attention elsewhere.

The Eagles met with Brian Billick on Monday, a source confirmed. Billick has not been linked to any other teams. Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski are slated to meet with Jay Gruden Monday and Bruce Arians Tuesday.

Be sure to check out our coaching tracker for all the latest.

 

Eagles To Meet With Jay Gruden Monday

The Eagles will interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Monday, according to multiple sources. The Eagles have since confirmed the date.

The younger brother of Jon Gruden sat down with the Cardinals on Thursday. While he is honoring teams’ requests to meet with him, he does not sound like he is itching to get out of Cincinnati.

“I got called to interview for these jobs. I figure I better say yes or they’ll quit asking me,” Gruden told the team’s website.

“I think it will be a great experience and it’s exciting. I have every intention of coming back here. We’ve got a great group of guys here. We’re excited for the future here.”

As we detailed a couple weeks back, Gruden isn’t quick to uproot his family but would likely do so for the right opportunity.

The 45-year-old Gruden was a quarterback both at the University of Louisville and later in the World League and AFL. He was an assistant for the Bucs from 2002-08 and won a Super Bowl coaching under Jon in Tampa. He also won two AFL titles as head coach of the Orlando Predators.

“I’ve been a head coach before for a while,” Gruden said. “I know it’s a different league and it’s not the NFL, but I’ve handled people and handled organization, handled salary caps, done all the things necessary to be a head coach. I understand the game and I think it would be a good fit.”

Gruden says he got some good advice from big brother before starting the interview process.

“Jon’s always got his two cents to add. He can talk with the best of them,” Gruden said. “And he’s been around the block a few times. He’s been to interviews and knows how the process works and been a big help. So I picked his brain a little bit and he’s been excellent in the process, as usual.”

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Coaching Buzz: Moves That Impact the Eagles

Things have been relatively quiet with the Eagles today, but there has been plenty of movement around the league that could impact the Birds.

Here’s a roundup of what’s going on:

* Let’s start in Cleveland where Joe Banner and the Browns are interviewing Ken Whisenhunt for a second time, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain-Dealer. The Bills expressed some interest in Whisenhunt before hiring Doug Marrone, but no other teams have interviewed the former Cardinals coach.

* The Jaguars joined the party late, firing Mike Mularkey today after one season. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they’ll take a look at 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Surprisingly, Roman has not had a single interview up to this point.

* Jay Gruden is currently interviewing with the Cardinals, and he told reporters the plan is to meet with the Eagles next week.

* League sources tell ESPN’s Ed Werder that the Cowboys, who fired Rob Ryan this week, have focused their defensive coordinator search on 72-year-old Monte Kiffin. Kiffin’s age apparently is not scaring teams off. SI.com’s Peter King reported earlier this week that Kiffin could be on Andy Reid’s radar in Kansas City. As for an Eagles slant, the team is expected to interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Bradley coached under Kiffin for three seasons with the Bucs, and Kiffin apparently thought Bradley was a “once-in-a-lifetime” coach. Perhaps the mentor wouldn’t mind running the protege’s defense if he gets back in the league? Just a thought.

* Multiple reports indicate that Doug Pederson will be Reid’s offensive coordinator in Kansas City. The former Eagles QB coach drew some pretty high praise from former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah:

* There was a report Wednesday night that the Bears were also interested in Brian Kelly, but Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times says that’s not the case.

* Bruce Arians told a San Diego radio station that his interest in the Chargers job has increased now that they hired Tom Telesco as their GM:

“I think so much of [the] success that teams have are great relationships between general manager and head coach,” Arians said, per SportsRadioInterviews.com. “And it’s not who has control of the roster, it’s how do we get the best players? … I had the opportunity to work for 12 weeks as a head coach this year with Ryan Grigson and Tommy Telesco, and it was a fantastic relationship. And I wouldn’t want to work in any other situation as a head coach, unless it’s that type of relationship where nobody’s got a power player [and] we’re all in this together trying to win.”

Arians is expected to interview with the Eagles.

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Coaching Buzz: The Latest On Roman And Pettine

One name that’s been on our list of coaching candidates from day one is Greg Roman.

But somewhat curiously, the 49ers offensive coordinator and Ventnor, N.J. native drew no reported interest last week when teams were free to interview him.

However, that could change.

According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, Roman could get a look in Jacksonville or San Diego because of his existing relationships with their decision-makers. The Jaguars have hired Falcons director of player personnel David Caldwell as their new GM. As Maiocco explains, Caldwell and Roman were teammates and roommates at John Carroll University. Tom Telesco, who is in the mix for the Chargers GM job, also attended John Carroll and knows Roman.

The 40-year-old has never been a head coach at any level and has two years of NFL coordinator experience. He also worked on Jim Harbaugh’s staff for two years at Stanford.

As of this writing, the Eagles have not shown any interest in Roman. But as we’ve seen, the list of candidates can change on a daily basis.

PETTINE TO BUFFALO

Mike Pettine won’t be coming home.

The Doylestown native will join Doug Marrone’s staff as the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, according to Chris Mortensen.

It’s wise for the Eagles to be thorough in their coaching search, but the one disadvantage is that you can miss out on some top-level assistants like Pettine, who find jobs elsewhere.

JAY GRUDEN STAYING PUT?

The Eagles are expected to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden at some point. But he doesn’t exactly seem eager to leave Cincinnati.

“I got called to interview for these jobs,” Gruden said, per the Bengals Web site. “I figure I better say yes or they’ll quit asking me.

“I think it will be a great experience and it’s exciting. I have every intention of coming back here. We’ve got a great group of guys here. We’re excited for the future here.”

But he explained that he does want to be a head coach – eventually.

“When you enter the coaching profession you necessarily don’t do it to be an assistant your whole life,” Gruden said. “Eventually you’d like to be top dog and run your own ship. When the time’s right. Every team has their issues and their problems. That’s why they’re looking. Eventually when the time is right, hopefully I’ll get a chance. If not this year, or next year, or the year after. I’ll be happy here because it’s a great place.”

MIKE NOLAN UPDATE

Mike Nolan has already interviewed with the Eagles. He talked to reporters about how the meeting went.

“Like I said, it’s flattering when someone wants to talk to you, at least I think so, and especially someone like Philadelphia, which is a great organization,” Nolan said, per Fox Sports South. “They have a tremendous owner, much like we do here. Whoever ends up with that job is going to do a good job and I also appreciate the fact that it is a great organization. They don’t change coaches very often. It’s been 14 years since they changed the last time and that’s a credit to the entire organization, not just Andy, who I think is a hell of a coach.

“It’s a real credit to them. So all I really say is for someone, it’s going to be a great opportunity to be with a great organization, a great owner and all those good things. Hopefully, we’re still playing so we keep on playing.”

And finally, the Chargers have contacted UCLA coach Jim L. Mora, according to the Los Angeles Times, but he’s expected to stay put.

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