After the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets announced their new head coaches last week — Urban Meyer and Robert Saleh, respectively — the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers followed suit over the weekend: the Falcons hired Arthur Smith, the Chargers will move forward with Brandon Staley. And given that the Detroit Lions are on the verge of hiring Dan Campbell, only two vacancies remain.
The Houston Texans and the Philadelphia Eagles. While the former have already added former New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as their new general manager earlier this month, the latter have also set their sights on members of the most successful organization of the past two decades: after already interviewing inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo last week, Philadelphia also spoke with Josh McDaniels.
The Patriots’ long-time offensive coordinator flew to Florida on Sunday to spend a day with the Eagles’ decision makers. It was his first interview of this year’s hiring cycle, and while he did leave without receiving a straight-up offer McDaniels (just like the less experienced Mayo) is certainly a name to watch over the next few days and weeks.
With that said, let’s find out who McDaniels is competing against for the vacant spot (via our friends at Bleeding Green Nation).
Josh McDaniels 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.
Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots inside linebackers coach: Mayo spoke with the Eagles last week, but it would be a surprise to see him get hired considering his comparative lack of coaching experience: he is coming off just his second year as an NFL assistant coach. That said, Mayo being invited speaks for how highly he is seen in the league and that he certainly is a coach on the rise.
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.
The Eagles have also interviewed Robert Saleh and Arthur Smith, but they have since taken the vacant jobs in New York and Atlanta
Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator: One of the hottest name on the coaching market this year, as opposed to other coaches Bieniemy won’t be able to come aboard until his team’s playoff run is over. That said, his body of work with the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes certainly speaks for itself and makes the 51-year-old a viable candidate for on of the two remaining jobs.
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.
The Eagles were also scheduled to interview Brandon Staley, but he has since taken the Chargers’ head coaching gig.
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.
Given the Eagles’ apparent commitment to quarterback Carson Wentz, McDaniels seems to be a realistic candidate to be offered the job: the long-time Patriots assistant has worked as in a dual role as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach between 2012 and 2019, and has had tremendous success with Tom Brady. While Wentz is no Brady — nobody is — Philadelphia could very well identify him as the man to help salvage the former first-rounder’s career.