Inside The Birds: Joe Brady’s “All Star” Coaching Staff List
The Eagles find themselves behind the curve in the head-coaching search, but that hasn’t stopped the team from casting a wide net to find Doug Pederson’s replacement.
In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Eagles insiders Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan provide intel on several of the candidates on the Eagles’ wish list.
Caplan: “I still believe the Eagles are very interested in him. It’s just a situation – he’s really young; he’s just 34. He hasn’t been coaching for very long … you just have to take a leap of faith. He’s super smart – if they’re gonna hire an offensive coach, it’s gotta be someone who’s a progressive coach with the passing game. He fits that profile … and they know the guy. Look, Doug Pederson, they knew the guy.”
Mosher: “Yes, the Chiefs have an analytics department. It’s a part of what they do on-field … not be-all-end-all. Andy has always been a gut coach, first and foremost, and I don’t think it’s incorporated in their draft at all. So, then we get back to the question of: ‘Does Mike Kafka buy into what’s going on here with the Philadelphia Eagles?’”
Caplan: “Yes. I talked to someone close to him, there’s mutual interest here. We’ll see how this goes. You gotta take a leap of faith if you’re hiring him this early. At the very least, they should talk to him.”
Caplan: “There are a lot of people around the league who believe that the Eagles are doing this more for intel on Dallas’ offense. I’m not saying that’s why they’re doing it, but there are people I’ve talked to that believe that’s why they’re doing it. This is a common tactic – Al Davis used to do it, when he’d bring in people he had no interest in hiring or guys he was interested in but it was more because he wanted intel and what they thought of the team. He wanted to learn more about them and what they do.”
Mosher: “It’s not like he comes out of nowhere. His offense has done well when Dak’s the quarterback and his college wanted to hire him.”
Caplan: “He is really smart. One of the Cowboys’ former assistants told me two years ago, he goes, ‘Kellen’s only been coaching for a little bit of time here, but he’ll be a head coach someday.’ I was surprised the guy said it, but he’s one of my trusted Cowboys sources. He goes, ‘I’m tellin’ ya, this guy’s gonna be a head coach someday,’ because he’s got great command – he’s not the biggest guy physically in the world – but he’s got a good presence, he’s super smart, and he’s very well organized. So, that’s important — and I’m sure he embraces analytics.”
Mosher: “As of Thursday night, you have not heard Lincoln Riley come out and publicly say, ‘I’m staying at Oklahoma.’ I think that’s interesting because I think last year after the flirtation with Dallas, he came out and said ‘I’m committed to Oklahoma, it’s not time for me yet.’ As I understand it, he’s kind of in between deciding whether he wants to commit to Oklahoma or take an interview. When I say commit to Oklahoma, just mean like, stiff-arm the NFL and just say I’m going back to Oklahoma or take this interview that the Eagles want to have. I would have thought that if the Eagles were completely shut out, that he would have already done the ‘I’m going back to Oklahoma’ public talk. Maybe he’s said it privately, but it’s not out there publicly – ‘I am going back to Oklahoma, no doubt about it.’ So, I find that interesting.”
Caplan: “I do believe, if he takes an in-person interview – not a Zoom – the chances would significantly increase. They’d have a much better chance. I’m not saying he would do it, but I think it goes from small chance, to ‘OK, this thing’s in play.’This has got a real chance to happen.’ Because really, why go through this if you don’t have a real interest in doing it?”
Caplan: “He’s believed around the league to be the No. 1 candidate right now, the best [overall] candidate – now that Urban Meyer’s off the board, he went to Jacksonville. Arthur Smith is the guy right now, he is the ‘Belle of the ball’ right now around the National Football League.
One little thing on Arthur Smith, a coaching note: I’m told a guy he’s super high on – so if he gets a head coaching job, he’s almost certain to be on the list – is Dave Ragone, who is the passing game coordinator for the Bears.”
Mosher: “That’s another guy, though, that by the time the Eagles are done interviewing candidates – and they’ve already interviewed him – you wonder if they can get that second interview, or double back, or convince them to hire him – or if it’s going to be too late.”
*Smith interviewed for the coaching vacancy on Thursday evening and has reportedly been offered the Falcons job.
Caplan: “Yeah, Brian Daboll, the only issue there is – is he willing to leave an unbelievable situation? This is one of the all-time jobs coaching a quarterback; they’re going to be a Super Bowl team if not this year, then next year.
The intel I got on him, is that he’s absolutely ready to be a head coach. He has to decide whether he wants to do it.”
Caplan: “The Jets, there’s a reason why they were so bad from a front office perspective, because the setup was terrible. Todd had no chance, he was set up to fail. It’s never a good thing – because the GM didn’t know any better – he started signing a crazy amount of free agents and they got to be 8-8 I think, his first year. It was just a disaster. Todd is certainly worth talking to, gotta see what his plan is for development. As I said on our last show, [John] DeFilippo was on his list – he was gonna hire him as his OC with the Jets, but DeFilippo was blocked. You wonder if he’s on his list this time.”
Caplan: “Here’s the thing with Jerod Mayo – he’s only been coaching for like three years, but he’s kinda like Mike Kafka. Yes, Mike Kafka is not the OC, he’s the passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, but he’s basically their OC Lite. Unbelievably detailed in game planning and the passing game. He is the guy who puts together their passing game concepts. He’s really, really good at it.
Jerod Mayo is super smart, he’s more of like an assistant defensive coordinator, but he too, like Kafka, they’re very young in coaching.
Mosher: “I keep trying to envision one of these guys coming into the locker room after a tough loss and speaking to the heart of the entire team at 34 years old. It’s just not something you commonly see.”
*Mayo interviews with the Eagles on Friday.
Caplan: “Joe Brady they talked to, he’s really young. Word around the league is that he’s probably not ready, but I have not heard from Eagles sources where they thought he was.
More from Caplan: “I’ve heard Joe Brady through the coaching grapevine around the league, just talking to guys this week he’s put together an all-star cast of guys he wants on his list. I don’t know if he’s going to get it. But talked to two or three coaches who know him who say this list is phenomenal. Again, you better have a detailed list, because you can’t get everybody you want.”
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.
Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here: