Eagles Wake-Up Call: Good-Will Gus

Gus Bradley has been called “the nicest man ever to lead a pack of cutthroats.” It has been written that his “blood type is sunshine.”

Pete Carroll lauded Bradley as the best teacher that he has ever been around.

Safe to say he has built up some good will over the years, and it might just come in handy.

No one speaks more highly of  the 46-year-old than Monte Kiffin, who helped discover Bradley and worked alongside him in Tampa Bay.

“He reminds me of (Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin. We hired Mike at 29-years-old out of the University of Cincinnati. It didn’t take long to know that Mike was special, and I knew from Day 1 that Gus was special. He’ll be a head coach in the NFL. He’s got no panic. Some people do, it doesn’t mean they’re not really good coaches, but Gus, he’s special. When he interviews, he’ll knock your socks off. I’m not trying to pump him up, but I know what he is. He’s put it on tape up there.”

Birds 24/7 learned through conversations on Monday that Jon Gruden is also very high on Seattle’s defensive coordinator. Bradley served under Gruden from 2006-08, first as a quality control coach and then a linebackers coach. (Maybe it will provide the Gruden fanatics a little peace of mind knowing that their guy at least endorses Bradley’s candidacy.)

It stands to reason that Gruden and the rest of the Bradley supporters could be valuable assets if he is in fact tabbed to be the Eagles’ next head coach (though Kiffin might have to lay low, seeing as he is now the defensive coordinator of the Cowboys). Connections are key in the NFL, especially if you want to build yourself a quality staff. Bradley appears to have that going for him.

Between the rave reviews, the fact that he is a defensive guy and, of course, this video,  those positive vibes have found their way into Philadelphia. Bradley has quickly gone from virtual unknown to a popular candidate. There are plenty of fans hoping that he comes in for a second interview Tuesday and never leaves.

You get the feeling that they just  might get their wish.


Some details on Bradley as he gets set for his second interview.

The Eagles spent part of their day Monday interviewing Ken Whisenhunt and Jay Gruden.

Howie Roseman got beat up a bit in a piece by Jason La Canfora. I offered a couple thoughts.

Sheil looks at the playoffs through the green lens.


Instead of the normal national roundup, figured we’d show you some fan tweets in reaction to Bradley being brought in for a second interview by the Eagles.


The end of the coaching search?

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Chip Won’t Commit

Chip Kelly was the story.

There is no name this side of Jon Gruden that would have stirred imaginations and debate quite like the Oregon coach. Training camp would have been overflowing with fans dying to get  an up-close look at this new breed of football. Debate would rage over whether he could thrive in this environment, on this level. Kelly and his Eagles would be talked about across the league.

As we now know, Kelly chose the Ducks over the Birds Sunday, and this will not come to pass. And maybe that’s OK.

Being the most interesting team certainly doesn’t mean that you will be the most successful, as the Eagles have learned in recent years. From the Michael Vick signing to the big free agency splash of 2011, they have dominated their share of national headlines. Yet the results on the field haven’t been there.

Maybe Kelly would have been a game-changer. Maybe the Eagles were this close to holding the future of the NFL in their hands.

Or, perhaps his system would have proven to have been a gimmick after all. It’s possible that his lack of experience on this level would have limited his ability to assemble a quality staff of assistants and made it difficult for him to adjust.

It could have gone one of two ways. There seems to be very little gray when it comes to Chip Kelly.

If you are going to take such a risk, it’s key that the man you’re taking the risk on is invested in the mission. He has to be committed; needs to have his heart in it.

Kelly backed out of agreement with the Bucs last year to return to Oregon. This time around he did some heavy flirting with the Eagles and Browns before again opting to stay. There is something in him that isn’t allowing him to pull the trigger.

Kelly isn’t sold on the NFL. It’s better for everyone’s sake, then, that he didn’t say yes to the Eagles. As we learned from that 2011 offseason, big names are great and exciting, but only if those big names are a fit.


Details on Kelly staying put and what’s next for the Eagles.

Doug Marrone agreed to become head coach of the Bills.

Sheil explains why turning Vick into an option quarterback — for Kelly or otherwise — probably wouldn’t end well.

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


Mike Florio gives his thoughts on Kelly opting to stay at Oregon.

It’s the second straight year that Kelly nearly has left Oregon for the NFL, and the question becomes whether the NFL opportunity will keep knocking.  At some point, NFL teams won’t waste their time trying to hire him.

At some point, Kelly’s Favre-ish indecision could impact recruiting in a negative way.  For now, Kelly’s choice to stay in Oregon will surely help seal the deal for the coming class who will be able to sign their letters of intent early next month.

For now, some league insiders believe that Kelly and his agent, David Dunn, overplayed their hand and were forced to save face.  Others believe Kelly simply wasn’t ready to leave the college game.  If he isn’t ready now, he may never be.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post believes Matt Flynn could be on the move.

One name who could spice up the veteran quarterback market is Matt Flynn. We’ve heard Flynn could be on the move for the second time in as many seasons, this time via the trade market. Given that Russell Wilson has established himself as the clear No. 1 in Seattle, the Seahawks likely will listen to offers. And given there are more teams in need of quarterbacks than there are attractive, available veterans, it is likely John Schneider’s phone will be ringing. In fact, if a team is willing to take on Flynn’s big contract, it wouldn’t be surprising if they could get the former Packer for reasonable trade compensation.


Phase II of the coaching search gets underway.

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