January 12, 2013, 9:49 am
The Eagles will meet with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Saturday in Atlanta, one day before the Seahawks meet the Falcons in a conference semifinal playoff game, a league source said, confirming an NFL.com report.
Bradley will be the eighth coach the Eagles have interviewed to fill their head coaching vacancy.
Bradley has emerged as quite possibly the top candidate for the Eagles in their search to replace Andy Reid, fired last week after 14 seasons. The other leading candidates are believed to be Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
The Eagles announced last week they had been granted permission to interview Bradley. Word of specifics of the meeting was first reported by NFL.com.
Bradley is in his fourth year as defensive coordinator with the Seahawks, the first under Jim Mora and the last three under Pete Carroll. The Seahawks had the NFL’s No. 1 defense during the regular season, then blanked the Redskins over the final minutes in a come-from-behind wild-card win last weekend.
In an informal Twitter poll, 132 fans said they hope the Eagles hire Bradley, and no other official candidate received more than 23 votes.
“He’s got a tremendous personality, he’s got a great work ethic, he’s got a brilliant football mind, he’s got a way of reaching people and touching people and getting the best out of them, coaches and players alike,” Carroll said. “He’s got everything that you’re looking for.”
The Chargers have already interviewed Bradley for their head coaching position. The Eagles and Chargers are among five NFL teams still searching for head coaches. The Chiefs and Bills are the only teams among seven that fired their head coach last week to fill the spots so far.
Bradley told reporters covering the Seahawks in Seattle on Thursday that any head coaching interviews he does won’t become a distraction for him or the team.
"Well, it's flattering, [but] we’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and our whole message to our team is keep raising the bar and keep getting better and better every week, and they're talking that and we're talking that, so it's easy to stay focused on it,” he said. “It's flattering, like you've all heard before, but really our whole focus is on Atlanta and trying to do all we can to get one step closer."
The Eagles have already interviewed college coaches Brian Kelly, Chip Kelly of Oregon and Bill O’Brien of Penn State, Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coach Keith Armstrong, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and former Bears head coach Lovie Smith.
They are scheduled to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and Arians, the Colts’ offensive coordinator and interim head coach, next week.
Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone and Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter were also candidates at one point for the job, but the Bills hired Marrone and Koetter signed a contract extension with the Falcons and announced he was returning to Atlanta.
Chip Kelly and O’Brien have already announced plans to return to their college jobs, leaving Nolan, Armstrong, McCoy, Smith, Bradley, Arians and Gruden as officially known available candidates.
E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com