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An Update: Waiting Into Night

Posted Jan 15, 2013

If you have seen the commotion when Gus Bradley landed at the airport in Philadelphia, you understand the intensity of the scrutiny: The sense of anticipation is great out there ...

As everyone rushes in before anything has truly happened, let's pause for a reality check: Gus Bradley arrived in Philadelphia for a second interview after meeting with the Eagles over the weekend for a grand total of a reported 90 minutes. It's very difficult to hire a head coach for your franchise after meeting for less than two hours, so the Tuesday conversation was seen as a more in-depth fact-finding mission.

Now, could something beyond a second interview develop? Of course. Bradley is a fine candidate, an excellent coach and a future head coach. Whether that happens with the Eagles for 2013 remains to be seen.

But as evening settles into night and beyond in Philadelphia, there is nothing new to report. Secrecy has settled over the situation after the madness that Bradley's arrival spurred: A television helicopter was among the media chasing Bradley's vehicle as he was driven from the airport to the undisclosed location for his meeting with the Eagles.

Bradley is reported to have a meeting scheduled on Wednesday in Jacksonville, so something is going to happen one way or another in the next day or so. Stay tuned.

What's known is that the Eagles, after reportedly interviewing 11 candidates, have moved into the next phase of their coaching search. Bradley is the only one who to date has been asked to have a second interview, so take that for what it's worth.

Who is Gus Bradley? He's a former player at North Dakota State whom the locals rave about. He worked his way up the coaching ladder before landing in the NFL as a linebackers coach with Tampa Bay. Then Bradley moved to Seattle as the defensive coordinator, where he has coached the last four seasons. In 2012, Seattle allowed the fewest points in all of the NFL.

The credentials, then, are worthy. Bradley is a fiery, intense coach and a superb tactician, and he adapts well to his players' strengths. Seattle's defense has reacted extremely well to Bradley's methods and his X's and O's.

Beyond that, we don't know a whole lot about Bradley. Who is he bringing to the table in his interviews when the conversation turns to his coaching staff? What kind of offensive scheme does he prefer? How about the defense? What is Bradley's personality with the media?

Bradley earned his coaching bones at Fort Lewis College after a brief spell at North Dakota State serving in a graduate assistant coaching capacity. At Fort Lewis, Bradley was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach before moving to the head coaching job for four months in the offseason.

North Dakota State came calling with an offer to join the coaching staff on a full-time basis, and Bradley was on the move up the charts.

Now he's meeting with the Eagles in an intense fashion, seeing if the fit is right.

I'm not camping outside the meeting room. I'm going to wait to see where the conversations go and then move from there.

What happens next? We wait. It may take another hour from when you read this. It may take another day. In the next 24 hours, I'm saying, we'll have a very strong idea of what happens with Bradley and the Eagles. Should Bradley leave Philadelphia and go to Jacksonville for his reportedly scheduled interview, well, take your cue from that. If there is no Bradley meeting in Jacksonville, then the picture become more in focus the other way.

It's been a day of great excitement as the Gus Bus lands in Philadelphia and rolls into a long, deep interview with the Eagles. From here on out, we have a sense that the end of the coach search is closer than was the beginning.

 

 

 

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