It was a question that was asked repeatedly by the media and the fans: Why didnt the Eagles consider Jon Gruden?
During a two-week process, the Eagles interviewed 11 different candidates: Chip Kelly, Brian Kelly, Bill OBrien, Brian Billick, Ken Whisenhunt, Lovie Smith, Jay Gruden, Mike Nolan, Keith Armstrong, Mike McCoy and Gus Bradley.
It was a lengthy list. Did the Eagles also interview Jon Gruden without anyone knowing?
No. Not at all, Jeffrey Lurie said. I dont think Jon is coming back to the NFL this year at all. I respect him and his opinion and we talk a lot.
Gruden, who was the Eagles' offensive coordinator under former head coach Ray Rhodes, served as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001. In 2002 he left to become the head coach in Tampa Bay. That season, Gruden and the Bucaneers won the Super Bowl. As every Eagles fan remembers, Gruden and the Bucs advanced to the Super Bowl by defeating the Eagles in the NFC Championship in the final game at Veterans Stadium.
Grudens last year with Tampa Bay was 2008. Since then, hes served as a color analyst for Monday Night Football and his name is regularly mentioned when teams throughout the league have head coaching vacancies.
I talk to Jon a lot, Lurie said on Thursday after the team announced it had hired Chip Kelly to replace Andy Reid. Were very close. Im always in touch with Jon.
If Lurie talks to him that often and has such glowing things to say about Gruden, why didnt the Eagles interview him when they met with 11 other candidates?
Jon made it clear hes not coming back to the NFL this year, Lurie said.
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