What Happened to Gus?

I agree with Tommy Lawlor. This is an unfortunate development:

I do think there was some type of breakdown. The Eagles aggressively brought in Gus for the second interview. I realize that the first one was short and they knew the least about him, but the way they did this made it feel as if he was the guy they wanted. If the Eagles loved everything they heard on Tuesday, I guarantee you they’d have made him a strong offer and he’d be the coach.

Does Gus leaving mean he’s done as a candidate? That’s a tough question. I think it would all boil down to whether there was a dispute with the Eagles or whether he simply gave answers they didn’t like. A dispute can be settled. If he scared them off because he gave bad answers, that is something that probably can’t be fixed. Who knows, though. Maybe Howie and Lurie will step back and discuss the situation and still feel that he’s the best guy, even with whatever flaw they’re worried about.

There's no more due diligence to do on Bradley. Either Lurie likes him or he doesn't. And letting him fly out to Jacksonville gives a pretty clear signal.

Why Not Jon Gruden?

File this one under "Wish I had written it." Sheil Kapadia does a great job raising the question of Jon Gruden. When you've gone as far as having interviewed Brian Billick, Gruden starts to look very attractive:

If the Eagles looked into the Gruden possibility and decided against it, that’s OK. Maybe there are issues from when Gruden was the Eagles offensive coordinator back in the 90s. Maybe he’s making unreasonable contract demands. Maybe he wants full personnel control. Or maybe the story of how things fell apart in Tampa is even worse than we know. After all, it hasn’t been just the Eagles. No team has expressed interest publicly in Gruden this offseason. If Lurie and Howie Roseman did their homework and decided Gruden would be a bad fit, that’s fine...

Considering his comments at the beginning of the search and the nature of the process, Lurie would be making a mistake if he didn’t at least look into Gruden as an option somewhere along the line.

I Have a Coaching Favorite, and His Name is Gus Bradley

Lovie Smith interviewed with the Eagles on Thursday and left without a contract. At this point, unless there's a mystery candidate out there that we haven't heard of, it seems likely that the team is waiting on one of the playoff coordinators. Among that group, the guy I'm by far the most excited about is Gus Bradley, the Seahawks defensive coordinator. We've already read some of Monte Kiffin's praise for his former assistant. Here's more:

"He really is exceptional," Kiffin, now USC's defensive coordinator, said in a phone interview. "You could tell. He's not just a really, really smart coach; he's got a great personality. He connects with the players really well.

"He reminds me of (Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin. We hired Mike at 29-years-old out of the University of Cincinnati. It didn't take long to know that Mike was special, and I knew from Day 1 that Gus was special. He'll be a head coach in the NFL. He's got no panic. Some people do, it doesn't mean they're not really good coaches, but Gus, he's special. When he interviews, he'll knock your socks off. I'm not trying to pump him up, but I know what he is. He's put it on tape up there."

Let's go Falcons, let's go!