Candidates emerge for Eagles coaching job
PHILADELPHIA - January 2, 2013 (WPVI) -- Jeffrey Lurie's search for the Philadelphia Eagles' next coach began before he fired Andy Reid and could last until the Super Bowl.
While the Eagles were struggling toward a 4-12 finish, Lurie "meticulously and in great detail" researched potential successors to replace a coach that won more games than any other in franchise history.
Reid, however, didn't win a Super Bowl and the team still is seeking its first NFL title since 1960. Lurie considers the Vince Lombardi Trophy his "obsession."
So, the pressure's on to find a coach who can deliver that elusive championship.
"The important thing is to find the right coach, not to make the fastest decision," Lurie said. "That's our priority."
The Eagles were set to interview two assistant coaches on the Atlanta Falcons: Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coach Keith Armstrong.
Armstrong is a local product who played at Temple and Bishop Egan in Levittown.
An interview with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter had been planned, but he pulled his name out of the running, reportedly signing an extension to stay with the Falcons.
The Falcons (13-3) are the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and have a bye this week.
The Eagles are also going to interview Denver's Mike McCoy.
Other NFL assistants that are likely on Lurie's "very defined list" include San Francisco's Greg Roman and Vic Fangio, Cincinnati's Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, Seattle's Gus Bradley, Green Bay's Ben McAdoo, and Arizona's Ray Horton. Bruce Arians, who was 9-3 as interim coach with Indianapolis, is another candidate.
Oregon's Chip Kelly may be the most sought-after coach from the college ranks, and he's said to be atop Philadelphia's list. Penn State's Bill O'Brien would be more attractive if it weren't for the $9 million buyout in his contract.
"I think the most important thing is to find the right leader," Lurie said. "I'm not one who wants to buy schemes, wants to buy approaches that are necessarily finite. What you've got to find is somebody who is strategic, somebody who is a strong leader, somebody who is very comfortable in his own skin. That, to me, is probably one of the one or two top traits because players today see right through if you're not. If you're a salesman coach, that's not going to work."
Fans hoping the Eagles make a big splash and hire a high-profile coach like Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden are probably going to be disappointed. Lurie downplayed "famous" names and pointed to Reid as an example of an unknown coach who had tremendous success after getting his first chance.
When Lurie hired Reid in 1999, he was never a coordinator. Reid coached quarterbacks and offensive linemen in Green Bay under Mike Holmgren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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