It was just one word, but it’s a word that gives us some interesting insight into who the Eagles’ next offensive coordinator might be.
Even though Joe Banner is eight years removed from his 18-year career in the Eagles’ front office, he remains very close with a lot of current Eagles executives. He worked with several of them and actually hired a few of them.
So when Banner chimes in about the Eagles on Twitter, which he often does, he’s not just guessing. He’s generally doing it with at least some insider knowledge.
On Wednesday, Banner was asked by a Twitter follower if he thought the long period of time that’s passed since the Eagles fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh means they have their sights set on a specific person.
“Yes,” was the full extent of Banner’s response.
It’s been 22 days since the Eagles fired Groh after two years as offensive coordinator. They fired wide receivers coach Carson Walch the same day. They also fired defensive line coach Phillip Daniels, and they haven’t filled any of those openings.
The Eagles have been linked with a few candidates for the opening, including USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell and Ravens QBs coach James Urban, who both actually interviewed for the position.
But while the nine other NFL teams in the market for offensive coordinators have already filled those vacancies and intriguing candidates such as LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady, former Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and one-time Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo are off the market, the Eagles appear to be in no hurry to do anything.
If Banner is correct, and there’s no reason to believe he’s not, that means it’s not likely the new offensive coordinator is an internal candidate, such as Duce Staley or Press Taylor, or somebody who’s currently unemployed, such as Jim Caldwell.
If it were, that hiring would already have been announced.
The only reason to wait right now is if the coach the Eagles plan to hire – or desperately hope to hire – is still coaching.
That leaves a small number of people.
We know Andy Reid wasn’t letting Mike Kafka interview here. And none of the Chiefs’ other offensive coaches – Greg Lewis? Tom Melvin? – seem like plausible candidates.
So that leads us to the 49ers.
And Mike LaFleur and Mike McDaniel.
LaFleur is the 49ers’ passing game coordinator and McDaniel is running game coordinator. Both worked under Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland in 2014 and in Atlanta in 2015 and 2016 and followed him to San Francisco in 2017.
Both are young, both come from outside the Andy Reid/Doug Pederson school of offense and both would bring fresh ideas to the table.
If the Eagles are set on hiring LaFleur or McDaniel, why haven’t we heard yet?
It could be as simple as both sides agreeing to keep this very close to the vest so the 49ers don’t experience any distractions during Super Bowl week.
Generally, this stuff is leaked to national media, but not always. And if it doesn’t benefit either side – or the agent – then it’s possible the decision has already been made, it just hasn’t gotten out yet.
And the Eagles historically like to announce all this stuff at the same time.
Howie Roseman said three weeks ago the team would be announcing some front office changes soon, but that hasn’t happened yet. And it’s been almost a week since it was reported that Marquand Manuel would be the Eagles’ new secondary coach, and the Eagles haven’t announced that either.
There’s a flurry of hirings looming on both the scouting and coaching staffs, and they’ll likely all come as part of the same announcement.
It really does add up.
The Eagles’ lack of urgency three weeks after Groh’s firing strongly indicates that they already know who they’re going to hire.
There’s a perception that they’re scrambling, and maybe that is the case.
But it’s much more likely that they’re actually just waiting.
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Eagles inactivity on OC coaching hire points to one place originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia