With the exception of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are on the verge of hiring Urban Meyer as their next head coach, all of the NFL’s current openings are still just that. A total of franchises have not yet reached that same point as the Jaguars, including one that has set its sights on a member of the New England Patriots’ coaching staff.
The Philadelphia Eagles, as was reported earlier this week, are expected to bring Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo in for an interview. While it remains to be seen how he fares snd whether his relative lack of experience hurts his chances — Mayo is coming off just his second season as an NFL-level coach — an interview is still an interview, and a chance to recommend oneself for other challenges.
While this is in itself a noteworthy development, Mayo is not the only coach tied to the Eagles’ search process: a total of 10 men are reportedly on the team’s radar, either through concrete interview requests or merely some reportedly expressed interest. Who are those others?
Let’s find out, via our friends at Bleeding Green Nation.
Jerod Mayo falls under this category
Joe Brady, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator: The 31-year-old is a fast riser in NFL coaching circles, and after just one year in Carolina has already seen interest from four teams other than the Eagles. It seems inevitable that Brady will eventually become a head coach, the question is whether or not a team will offer him the position as early as this year.
Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator: The former New York Jets head coach has done a good job with the Buccaneers defense and is therefore now a possible target for three teams in total. Bowles does have a history with one of them, though: Bowles worked in Philadelphia during the 2012 season.
Kellen Moore, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator: The Eagles are the only team to request an interview with Kellen Moore so far, but the Cowboys’ offensive play caller is another young up-and-comer. The question is whether or not he would actually leave Dallas to go to the team’s division rivals.
Robert Saleh, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator: One of the hottest names on the coaching market for a second straight year, Saleh has been in contact with six of the seven teams searching for new head coaches. While some have been more aggressive than others — the New York Jets have already interviewed him twice, the Los Angeles Chargers plan to do so — the Eagles also want to get into the mix.
Arthur Smith, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator: The long-time Titans assistant is getting plenty of head coaching love this year. The Eagles are joined by four other teams talking to him about their head coaching gig. He already had two interviews with the Jets and Atlanta Falcons before even talking to Philadelphia, but a meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday.
Duce Staley, Philadelphia Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach: In case the Eagles want to promote internally, Doug Pederson’s former assistant is right there for them: the team has spoken to Duce Staley about an interview, and it seems as if he will get a shot at the position as well.
Brian Daboll, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator: Long-time Patriots assistant Brian Daboll returned to the NFL in 2018 and has been instrumental in the development of the Bills’ offense and quarterback Josh Allen since then. Daboll’s play-calling and development has helped Allen turn from inconsistent youngster to serious franchise quarterback, which makes it unsurprising that two teams have already spoken with him so far.
Ryan Day, Ohio State head coach: Despite coming fresh off a loss in the National Championship Game, Ryan Day could be a candidate for an NFL coaching opportunity. His former team — he worked as the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach in 2015 — appears to be a realistic landing spot if Day decides to leave Ohio State.
Mike Kafka, Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator: While no team, including the Eagles, has yet scheduled an interview with Kafka, the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach would be a natural fit. Kafka spent the first two years of his playing career in Philadelphia. He also had a quick offseason stint with the Patriots, by the way.
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma head coach: While the Eagles did reach out to him, Riley is reportedly “content to stay” at the University of Oklahoma.
Ultimately, it would not be a surprise to see the Eagles go with a coach other than Mayo. Not only are the other candidates bringing more experience to the table, some of them — Brady, Moore, Smith — would also likely be key to the development of quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts. While stranger things have happened in the NFL, Philadelphia bringing the Patriots assistant on board would qualify as a massive surprise.