The Eagles have already interviewed two candidates for their head coaching vacancy and will conduct two more within the next few days (Chip Kelly and Mike McCoy).
So where does that leave them? Not much further than where they were Monday after firing coach Andy Reid and preparing to start their first head coaching search in 14 years.
Team chairman Jeffrey Lurie said Monday he has a very, very defined list of candidates and mentioned NFL guidelines that prevent teams from interviewing coaches from playoff teams except for teams with playoff byes.
The Eagles do intend to interview some assistants who are currently coaching for playoff teams that play this weekend, according to a league source familiar with the Eagles coaching search.
Seattle, Minnesota, Green Bay, Washington, Cincinnati, Houston, Indianapolis and Baltimore each play this weekend, and there are plenty of assistants from that pool of teams who the Eagles could be eyeing.
The Eagles have received permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley (see story). The interviews cannot take place until after their games end Sunday (the Colts face the Ravens and Seahawks play the Redskins).
Whenever you talk about the Eagles and their head coaching search, you have to consider super-agent Bob LaMonte, who has an excellent relationship with Lurie. LaMonte represents Eagles general manager Howie Roseman along with Reid and several other coaches and executives who came through the Eagles.
Four coaches represented by LaMonte who are in the playoffs are Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and linebackers coach Paul Guenther and Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo and wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett.
Lurie has talked about finding the same qualities in his next head coach as he discovered in the little-known Reid in 1999 -- a visionary with strong leadership tactics and unique passion for his craft. Gruden, 45, and McAdoo, 35, are both regarded for their football intellect and considered rising stars in their respective positions.
Guenther, 41, is from the Bucks County suburb of Richboro, Pa. He works closely with Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer -- another potential candidate -- on the Bengals blitz techniques and third-down strategies. The Bengals have placed in the top five of the NFL in sacks each of the past two years.
The Eagles have already interviewed one LaMonte client -- Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, on Wednesday night -- and are scheduled to meet with another, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, on Sunday.
While in Atlanta, they also interviewed special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, a Bucks County native. Armstrong is black, so the Eagles are already in compliance with the Rooney Rule that mandates teams to interview a minority before hiring a head coach.
In addition to Bradley and Arians, other coaches involved in the postseason who are often mentioned as potential head coaches are Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell; Packers linebackers coachassistant head coach Winston Moss; Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan; Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer; and Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.
Two assistants that can probably be scratched off the Eagles list are 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Neither has reportedly interviewed with the Eagles this week despite the 49ers having a first-round bye.
Of course, its always possible that interviews are done covertly and the names you hear in the media are smoke screens intended to throw off other teams that could be interested in the same candidates.
Before the trio of Lurie, Roseman and president Don Smolenski interview McCoy, Eagles brass will first meet with Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who will also interview with Browns CEO Joe Banner, a former Eagles president.
The media has billed these meetings as a precursor to a potential bidding war between former business partners for Kellys services, but the same source said the Eagles have several candidates and arent fixated on Kelly.
In his press conference Monday, Lurie suggested that the coaching search would move deliberately, not hastily.
I think its better to find the right leader than it is to make the fastest decision, he said. The important thing is to find the right coach, not to make the fastest decision. Thats our priority.