We haven't gone through a search since 1999 and the world has changed a lot since then. There was no Twitter, and the idea of text messaging was a distant thought. Back then, when Jeffrey Lurie was looking for the next head coach of the Eagles, the media did their work on the telephone or they simply staked out for long, boring hours at Veterans Stadium trying to get a small piece of information.
Now, of course, we have the ability to provide a virtual play-by-play account of just about everything. Gus Bradley's flight lands at this time. Then he's going there. And after that he is scheduled to be ...
I can just imagine the media frenzy trying to track down the story and the goings-on and then, ultimately, when the Eagles make the decision to hire a head coach, whomever that may be. Heck, there are already "rumors" that become "reports" that become "facts" that Bradley is a done deal when, in fact, he is not.
All we know is this: Bradley is due for a second interview with the Eagles today (Tuesday). He is the first second interview in the process to find the next Eagles head coach. That is a significant gesture, understood, but it does not represent a "done deal." Boy, if the reporting during the NFL's wide-spread coaching search since the end of the 2012 regular season has taught us anything, it's that a deal is not "done" until it is officially, signed-on-the-dotted-line done.
I will say, though, that I thank all of the fans who have followed this step-by-step search so eagerly, and that I urge you all to hang in there. I can't give you a timetable on what's to happen next. The Eagles have conducted about as thorough a search as I have ever seen, and I'm not ruling out anything.
Make no mistake, though, Bradley is the immediate focus. He's an impressive candidate, coming off a season in which Seattle's defense was such a force. The Seahawks played defense the way you want -- aggressive coverage by their physical cornerbacks, a strong-but-not-great pass rush and a scheme that took the ball away. Seattle allowed the fewest points in the league in 2012. Bradley had a lot of success working with his players there, who performed with great enthusiasm and who completely bought into the system.
You're going to see a lot of movement around the NFL in the next couple of days. Already, the Chargers have reportedly hired Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who interviewed with the Eagles as part of the initial wave of talks began. Arizona is looking for a coach, as is Chicago and Jacksonville.
The race is on, in more ways than one.
From Twitter, 11:39 a.m. on Tuesday: I heard from someone that front office would be deciding & hiring Coordinators, not the head coach. Tell me this is false?
From Twitter, 11:42 a.m. on Tuesday: Do you believe the rumor of Gus as HC an (sic) Brain (sic) Billick as OC???
And on and on it goes. Rumors, reports "I heards" is everywhere. It's almost impossible to stay up with everything that is going on, even when nothing is really happening at that very moment.
My perspective is that the Eagles are closer to the end than they are to the start of the search for a new head coach. I know that's really not going out on a limb, but I'm going to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. I'm not going to overreact. I'm going to take the conservative approach and let it all play out at its own pace.
Then again, why is that stretch limo parked outside the NovaCare Complex at 11:48 a.m.? I need to get back to Twitter right now ...