Coaching Buzz: Bill O’Brien Reportedly On Eagles’ Short List

Add one more name to the list of potential Andy Reid replacements.

According to ESPN’s’ Chris Mortensen, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien is on the Eagles’ short list. O’Brien spent five years on the Patriots’ coaching staff, including one as offensive coordinator. Under trying circumstances, he led the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 (6-2 Big Ten) record in 2012.

An obvious question is: Why would O’Brien have taken the Penn State job if he planned on bolting for the NFL after one season?

“Sources say teams that have gauged his interest have been informed that when O’Brien accepted the task of being the late Joe Paterno’s successor, he was told by school officials that the Jerry Sandusky scandal was a criminal matter, not an NCAA concern,” Mortensen said on TV Sunday morning. “That proved to be bad information, as sources say O’Brien would consider a very short list of NFL opportunities.”

A few notes here. First of all, O’Brien’s contract contains a buyout. But new information from Mortensen:

Sources that he has a significant buyout in the neighborhood of $9 million but it is unknown whether it pertains to an NFL opportunity. The NCAA sanctions that O’Brien did not anticipate also could become a point of contention as it relates to a buyout, sources added.

And remember, owners have shown they are willing to shell out big bucks to get the right coach in place.

There is also the argument that Bill Belichick’s disciples often leave New England and fail. But O’Brien could be an exception. He went elsewhere and already had success, showing great leadership in one season at Happy Valley.

Mortensen also reported that O’Brien is on the Browns’ short list. Can you imagine a scenario where Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman are going up against Joe Banner for the same candidate?

Just another example of how competitive the coaching marketplace figures to be in the coming weeks.


Meanwhile, Reid has already started to call around the league to assemble a coaching staff, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Per Schefter, the Chargers might not be a likely destination for Reid. But the Jaguars and Cardinals could both be interested.

As always, our special section is your one-stop shop for the latest coaching buzz.

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