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Eagles have date with ex-Bears coach Lovie Smith

bob grotz delco times

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:01 AM

Grotz

Eagles have date with ex-Bears coach Lovie Smith

Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013

By BOB GROTZ
bgrotz@delcotimes.com
@BobGrotz



The Eagles plan to meet Thursday with Lovie Smith, fired recently as head coach of the Chicago Bears after failing to lead them to the playoffs in five of the last six seasons.

The interest in Smith is another sign the Eagles’ head coaching search is in a state of flux after they were stiffed by Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien. Both coaches decided to stay put.

Smith, 54, is a defensive guy through and through. The offense let him down annually despite his best efforts changing coordinators and quarterbacks, the latest the fragile Jay Cutler.

The Bears won 10 games this past season, yet missed the playoffs after a 7-1 start.

The Eagles interviewed Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for roughly three hours Sunday. Barring a lengthier follow-up interview, the interest on both sides doesn’t appear to be significant.

Since the Bears also got together with McCoy, one of the last remaining hot coaching candidates, the Eagles might be gauging their counterparts’ interest. Certainly questions will be asked of Smith about his staff, some of which remain under contract to the Bears, including who he would want to bring along if he’s offered the Eagles’ job.

Smith also could be asked about his interest in joining the Eagles as a defensive coordinator should he come up empty in his bid to remain a head coach.

The Eagles have permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, but aren’t ready to announce when those interviews might take place.

Arians, 60, spent the Colts’ playoff opener in the hospital after he became ill before the game Sunday.

Gruden is the younger brother of Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden. Jay Gruden, 45, told Bengals media he anticipates staying put in spite of the interview requests.

Bradley, 46, fits perfectly with the defensive philosophy of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

Smith is the first African-American head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl, hours ahead of Tony Dungy, whose Indianapolis Colts won the AFC championship game later that day in the 2007.

With Rex Grossman at quarterback, Smith and the Bears were beaten, 29-17, by Dungy, Peyton Manning and the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.

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The Eagles Tuesday signed receivers Nick Miller and DeMarco Sampson to two-year contracts.

Miller (5-9, 180) played in 17 games with the Oakland Raiders (2009-11) and St. Louis Rams (2011). A Southern Utah product, Miller produced four receptions worth 48 yards and averaged 8.9 yards on 45 punt returns, including an 88-yard touchdown.

Sampson (6-2, 204) is a 2011 seventh-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals. The San Diego State product contributed three catches for 36 yards in 12 games as a rookie.