Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly is in Alabama this week, checking out the talent on display at the Senior Bowl; but the one question on everyone’s mind right now—particularly Georgia Bulldog fans—is when will Kelly hire a defensive coordinator and whom will that person be?
More specifically, will that guy be Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham?
Plenty of names have surfaced over the last week or two in regards to the Eagles’ DC position —Kirby Smart, Ray Horton, Todd Grantham, and recently Jim Hermann—but no hire has been made and Kelly continues to be adamant that he’s in no hurry to make a decision. As a matter of fact, Kelly seems willing to let this particular hire take at least several weeks to be made because he insists he’s looking for the the right man for the job.
That said, could that particular man be coaching in the next month’s Super Bowl?
…Donatell, a former Packers and Falcons defensive coordinator who was with Green Bay during the infamous 4th-and-26 playoff game at the Linc, wouldn’t be able to discuss the opening with Kelly until after the Super Bowl.
The Niners, who beat Atlanta 28-24 Sunday in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome, pitched a second-half shutout against the Falcons, which became even more relevant for the Eagles after Kelly provided further insight into what he’s seeking from his defensive coordinator.
“I’ll give you a new word — ‘shutout-ability.’ That would be the one overriding quality,” Kelly said, half-joking. “And I have no idea how we can define that, but that’s actually a pretty good word right there. I’m going to tell everybody, ‘If you have shutout-ability, then I need to talk to you.’”
…“I don’t have a timetable on it,” he said. “My biggest thing that I’ve talked to everybody about is it’s kind of like when we were in recruiting [at Oregon]. I’m not worried about who we don’t get; I’m worried about who we do get. And I want to make sure that person is the right fit because I don’t want to be like, ‘God, I wish I had spent a little more time and investigated this.
’“So I’ve been pretty thorough unless it’s somebody that I’ve either coached with or have a real good working knowledge of. But it’s been fun. It’s talking football, and talking philosophies and talking strategy. It’s stuff I love to do anyway. To me, that’s not work.”
Last week, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, a Nick Saban disciple, surfaced as a possible Eagles defensive coordinator, but Grantham’s buzz has died down over the past few days.
It doesn’t sound like Kelly has made a decision on anyone as of yet, but it is worth noting that the Eagles were seriously looking at linebackers coach Jim Hermann (New York Giants) before he decided to remove his name from consideration; that said, if Grantham is on Kelly’s short list, he’s hardly his first or even his second option at the moment.
Part of me is inclined to agree with the writer of the quoted article above who states that Kelly’s hire of his defensive line coach, prior to the hire of his defensive coordinator, might be holding things up a bit; when it was announced that Kelly hired Jerry Azzinaro (is defensive line coach at Oregon) to do the same for him in Philadelphia, it occurred to me that such a decision might make it difficult for him to find a defensive coordinator; I mean, don’t coordinators usually like to have some input into the guys they’ll be lording over?
Whatever Kelly is planning to do, he’s keeping it close to the vest; but, I am less concerned about the guy he’s covering for being Grantham than I was a few days ago.