- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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I believe I mentioned this idea a month or so ago in a Blogger Blitz video about Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians as the kind of coaching hire that might generate positive vibes among the Philadelphia Eagles' fan base. Arians went 9-3 this year as the interim head coach of the Colts while Chuck Pagano was receiving treatment for Leukemia, and that performance has enhanced Arians' status in the eyes of NFL teams looking for head coaches. The Eagles have received permission, they announced, to speak with Arians as well as Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Since the Colts and Seahawks have wild-card-round playoff games this weekend, they are not permitted to interview until next week.
Mike Sando has a nice breakdown of what might appeal to the Eagles about Bradley, and he's surely an interesting new name. But the name of Arians, who's 60 years old and has 20 years of NFL assistant coach experience but no head coaching experience until this year, is intriguing in a different sort of way. The feeling around the league is that the Eagles will hire an offensive-minded coach, and Arians is that. And clearly, he's shown an ability to lead men to success even in trying circumstances.
It'd feel weird for the Eagles to hire a 60-year-old coach who said he he planned to retire last year after the Steelers let him go. Arians doesn't fit the profile of the young, up-and-coming innovator Eagles fans may have in mind, and hiring a 60-year-old doesn't scream "long-range planning." But if you think about it, 60 isn't that old in NFL coaching circles. We see coaches coach into their 70s, and Arians is still 10 years away from that. Could be he's a guy who should have got a chance a long time ago and is just now getting a look because of the extraordinary circumstances that took place in Indianapolis this year.
Anyway, it seems at least worth checking out. Tapping into some of that good Colts karma isn't a bad idea for an Eagles franchise that feels as though it's under a cloud these days. Philadelphia is casting a wide net in its coaching search, and it's probably a good idea to consider a wide variety of candidates.