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Gus Bradley and Brian Kelly look like the Eagles' top target

jeff mclane inquirer

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:49 AM

McLane

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Gus Bradley and Brian Kelly look like the Eagles' top target

Jeff McLane, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013, 9:05 PM


Of the remaining candidates for the Eagles, Gus Bradley and Brian Kelly would seem to be the two that best fit the template Jeffrey Lurie set when he explained what kind of coach he was looking for to replace Andy Reid.

If it's Bradley or Kelly that they have narrowed their sights on, the Eagles could be very close to announcing their next head coach.

Bradley's Seahawks travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons in a divisional playoff game on Sunday at 1 p.m. If Seattle loses, the Eagles - or any team - would be free to hire the 46-year-old defensive coordinator.

If Bradley is the pick and the Seahawks keep winning, the Eagles could conceivably have to sit still until after Super Bowl XLVII.

While many expected the Eagles to ultimately hire an offensive-minded coach, and most of their attention has been in that direction, Bradley is viewed around the league as the kind of forward thinker Lurie said he was after.

"He's got a brilliant football mind," Seahawks coach Peter Carroll said to reporters in Seattle on Thursday. "He's got a way of reaching people and touching people and getting the best out of them, coaches and players alike. He's got everything that you're looking for."

The Birds aren't the only team interested in Bradley. He met with the Chargers on Thursday night, according to the NFL Network. The Eagles have yet to confirm when they plan to interview Bradley - if they haven't already.

Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman, and team president Don Smolenski could fly to Atlanta, ready to pounce on Bradley if the Seahawks lose.

The Eagles were in Miami following the national championship game waiting to meet with Kelly. They interviewed the Notre Dame coach on Tuesday before Kelly left for a brief vacation. The plan was to meet again, according to an ESPN report.

That meeting could happen very soon; Notre Dame is scheduled to resume classes on Tuesday, and Kelly is likely to meet with his players on Monday, according to reports out of South Bend, Ind.

There has been speculation that Kelly, 51, could be using the Eagles to get more money out of Notre Dame. After interviewing with the Eagles last week, Oregon coach Chip Kelly and Penn State coach Bill O'Brien reportedly got raises.

Brian Kelly is another of the innovative college coaches Lurie has focused on. Like Chip Kelly, he has never coached in the NFL.

If Brian Kelly elects to stay, and if Bradley still has games to prepare for or is snatched up by some other team, the Eagles have other interviews lined up. They confirmed on Friday that they plan to meet with Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Monday.

Gruden, 45, interviewed with the Cardinals on Thursday.

The Eagles also have Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, 60, on the docket. He is expected to meet with the Eagles on Tuesday. He has interviews lined up with the Bears on Sunday and the Chargers likely on Monday.

Reid takes from Eagles. As expected, Andy Reid poached from the Eagles to fill out some of his coaching staff in Kansas City. Doug Pederson, Reid's quarterbacks coach the last two seasons, was officially named the Chiefs offensive coordinator.

Joining Reid and Pederson will be David Culley (assistant head coach/wide receivers), Tommy Brasher (defensive line), Tom Melvin (tight ends), Matt Nagy (quarterbacks), Barry Rubin (head strength and conditioning), and Travis Crittenden (assistant strength and conditioning).

Reid's son, Britt, who has been a graduate assistant at Temple, will be a quality-control coach.


Jeff McLane INQUIRER STAFF WRITER