NFL Rumors: Ranking Top Candidates to Succeed Andy Reid as Eagles Head Coach

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 31, 2012

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 30: Coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs play against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on November 30, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

After 14 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid was fired on Monday. Now the franchise must move ahead to a new era following a disastrous 4-12 campaign.

There are already several intriguing candidates for Philadelphia's head coaching vacancy, including a well-known Super Bowl winner.

Let's take a look at the top three candidates to replace Reid in Philly.


3. Bill O'Brien, Head Coach, Penn State

Bill O'Brien made waves this season in his first season as head coach of Penn State, leading the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record (6-2 Big Ten) en route to being named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

The former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots may be on the short list of the Eagles, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

While it doesn't appear he will jump at any opportunity in the NFL (he turned down the Jacksonville Jaguars' offer in January), that doesn't mean he won't head to the pros. After the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State reportedly told O'Brien that it was a criminal matter not pertaining to the NCAA, but then Penn State was given a four-year bowl ban with scholarship sanctions after he was hired. That could be a point of contention.

It makes sense that the Eagles would inquire about O'Brien, given he was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Patriots, but he also doesn't have any head coaching experience in the NFL. That makes a potential hire a bit risky.


2. Chip Kelly, Head Coach, Oregon

The Eagles averaged 17.5 points per game this season, the fourth-worst mark in the NFL.

A lot of that ironically had to do with the quarterback situation. Michael Vick struggled with turnovers and rookie Nick Foles was inexperienced.

The Eagles are reportedly looking at Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, according to Jason La Canfora of

Oregon has averaged 50.8 points per game this season under Chip Kelly's guidance, second in college football. Kelly is widely regarded as one of the brilliant offensive minds in the collegiate ranks and many NFL evaluators believe his system could translate to the pros.


1. Jon Gruden, Former Head Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders

OK, you knew this was coming, right?

Jon Gruden has been talked about more these days than Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

The former NFL head coach who won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may consider coming back to the pros after a four-year hiatus, according to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post.

Pompei wrote, "People close to him think he has a good chance of landing" in Philadelphia.

Gruden, who has a 95-81 career head coaching record in the NFL, would be the ideal candidate to replace Reid. His experience as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach would be a good fit for the Eagles given their current predicament.


What are your thoughts?

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