The last 18 months have not been pleasant for the Philadelphia Eagles or their fans. However, with the franchise cutting ties with stale pieces from the past, this was supposed to be an exciting month in the City of Brotherly Love.
This was the month in which the Eagles were going to put a new, promising coaching staff in place, painting a whole new picture after back-to-back failed seasons with the same old faces.
Yet, from the outside looking in, it appears the team has botched the initial step in the makeover process.
I gave them the benefit of the doubt for two solid weeks, but I've lost patience and many fans have, too. They're once again losing credibility in the eyes of the public and the media, and believe it or not, that matters. It matters when you're trying to lure in certain coaches and free agents.
Optics matter. Image is important.
The Eagles have swung at and whiffed on three big-name college coaches, and now they've expanded their search to include a slew of offensive guys, defensive guys, big names, relative unknowns and retreads.
There's nothing wrong with deliberately casting a wide net, but owner Jeffrey Lurie entered the offseason saying he had "a very defined" list of candidates. Therefore, the natural assumption is they've just been getting rejected so much that the interview list is expanding well into the double digits. They no longer know what the hell to do.
There's a perception that general manager Howie Roseman—whose responsibilities have increased drastically in the last few months—is in over his head.
Maybe it's the way in which Roseman seemed to get played by NCAA-level hotshots Bill O'Brien, Chip Kelly and Brian Kelly.
Maybe it's the report on the team's official website that was already speculating on a short list of defensive coordinator candidates before a head coach has even been hired. Interestingly, that article has now been removed. It's possible someone in the organization caught wind and feared more damage would be done if people found out the Eagles were putting the cart before the horse again. We all know how that panned out when they hired defensive line coach Jim Washburn before making Juan Castillo the D-coordinator.
Maybe it was Roseman's inability to wrap up perceived favorite de jour Gus Bradley, who came for a second interview Tuesday but escaped town before signing on any dotted lines.
It's likely a combination of all of the above. Of the seven teams that fired their head coaches on Dec. 31, all but Philadelphia and Arizona have filled their vacancies. Waiting several weeks isn't necessarily a detriment, but it's the way in which the Eagles have appeared to conduct their business in that period of time that is concerning.
This front office had so much time to get out ahead of this. The writing was on the wall for Andy Reid months ago, and the team was out of contention before December arrived. They had an opportunity to gain an edge on their competitors by hitting the ground running with all of that preparation time, and they've failed to deliver.
They've lost any possible edge now, and it's unclear who wants to work for Roseman in the post-Joe Banner, post-Andy Reid era.
"I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me one esteemed coach or another advised one of the Eagles' top candidates not to take the job precisely because of Roseman's presence there," wrote CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora this week, adding that "the rumblings about Roseman lacking nuance and foresight, about him turning people off with how drunk with power he's become, only grow louder as his coaching search grows stranger."
This might all work out in the end. They might wind up with the right coach and the right staff and they might be contenders sooner than the naysayers now expect. But right now, the Eagles are losing the faith and confidence of their supporters.
Right now, I feel like I'm rooting for a blind-folded 7-year-old to pin the tail on the donkey.
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