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Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Should the Eagles be in a bigger hurry?

By Dan Graziano

We live in impatient times, and these days I hear a lot about the idea that the Philadelphia Eagles might be moving too slowly in their search for a new head coach. Truth is they only fired the last one nine days ago, but in the era of instant gratification and 24-hour news cycles, nine days seems like nine years. They're missing out on the good assistants, some fear. They're letting the market direct them instead of vice-versa.

I think this is silly talk. The Eagles obviously wanted Chip Kelly and pursued him hard. Had he said yes to their offer instead of deciding Sunday to stay at the University of Oregon, we'd be talking about who he's hiring for his staff and what kind of offense he planned to run. The fact that he turned them down does not mean they should simply offer as much as possible to their second choice to get the thing over with. As GM Howie Roseman told the team's web site, the goal is not to do this quickly, but rather to do it correctly.

You can't fault the Eagles for being careful with this. They've talked to offense coordinators, defensive coordinators, special teams coordinators, college head coaches ... they're even talking to Lovie Smith, who has nine years' head coaching experience that includes a Super Bowl appearance. No reason not to turn over every stone. No reason to lock yourself into offensive coaches versus defensive ones. Fine the guy you think is the best leader and give him the responsibility for putting the proper pieces in place around him.

I understand impatience, but the fact is only two of the seven head-coaching vacancies that were created the day after the season ended have been filled. Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com was mentioning on Twitter earlier Wednesday that the timetable isn't unusual. Geoff points out that there were seven openings last season, and as of Jan. 9 only one of those had been filled -- by Romeo Crennel, who has since been fired as Chiefs coach and replaced by fired Eagles coach Andy Reid. Geoff writes that four of the seven teams that hired new head coaches last year hired them on Jan. 20 or later.

So I get that it feels slow, but I would submit that the Eagles didn't get their top choice (or choices, if you want to throw Bill O'Brien in there) and are regrouping, as they should, instead of jumping for a quick solution. In the end, when you look back, it won't feel as though it took that long. Especially if they end up with the right guy.