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January 06, 2016

Eagles reportedly high on Gase, who will get second interview this weekend

Eagles NFL
010616_Gase-Adam_AP Jeff Haynes/AP

Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Have the Philadelphia Eagles already found the guy they want to succeed Chip Kelly as the team's next head coach?

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Jeffrey Lurie and the Birds like Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase so much that they would have hired him already if the Eagles owner wasn't worried about things like due diligence. At least that's what he said on Philly radio Wednesday morning, a day after Gase spent eight hours interviewing with the team.

Here's more, courtesy of Matt Lombardo of 97.5 The Fanatic and NJ.com:

"I do believe that Philadelphia is highly interested in Adam Gase," Schefter said Wednesday morning during an interview with Anthony Gargano on 97.5 FM The Fanatic. "I think that the Eagles are in a situation if it weren't for their past, it wouldn't surprise me if they wouldn't have already made a play to hire Adam Gase.

"I think what's going on there is the fact that they rushed to hire Chip Kelly. I think they don't believe that they spent as much time with him as they should have or spent enough time getting to know him as they should have. What you're wrestling with here is; you're trying to move quickly on a candidate before somebody else does, while still making sure you have a very good handle on the type of person he is and coach he will be.

"They don't want to make that same mistake they did the last time, but they don't want to lose a guy they really like. You never really know who a team really wants, but I do know that Adam Gase is very high on their wish list." [via nj.com]

The Eagles interest in Gase is not all that surprising; as Jimmy Kempski wrote the day after Kelly was fired, the Eagles would be wise to hire a "quarterback guru" as their next coach. But after only reportedly interviewing three candidates so far -- two of whom were in-house interviews (Pat Shurmur and Duce Staley) -- it is somewhat surprising that the team has seemingly already zeroed in on someone.

Gase had a lengthy interview with the Eagles on Tuesday. And now, it's being reported that he will be back in town this weekend for a second interview:

Part of the reason Lurie and his search committee are being so proactive is exactly what Schefter alluded to on the radio this morning; they don't want to wait and lose Gase to another team, especially one in their own division...

And if you don't know much about Gase, his history and what he could bring to the table -- don't worry, you're far from alone. That's how things usually go in these coaching searches. Luckily for us, we have the entire internet at our disposal. Here's a look at what they're saying about Chicago's offensive coordinator.

But wasn't the Bears offense pretty bad this year?

Zach Berman of The Inquirer has a great read on Gase's coaching background and more. Here's part of that story, specifically as it relates to what he was able to get out of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, despite the loss of leading receiver Brandon Marshall.

The Bears finished 6-10 and their offense was ranked 21st in yards and 23d in points, which pale compared to the Eagles under Chip Kelly. But it came with injuries at just about every offensive position on a team that was not expected to be much of a factor this season. If Gase gets a head coaching job, he would be the first hire from a team with a losing record since the Packers hired Mike McCarthy in 2006.

"He's done some really good things in this league, and they speak for themselves - whether it's Tim Tebow, Peyton, myself, or Kyle Orton," Cutler told reporters before Chicago's Week 17 game. "He's found ways to manage the system and make them successful."

Despite the Bears' record, Gase's candidacy was actually enhanced this season because of the work he did with Cutler. Gase has been a coordinator for only three seasons and is younger than Manning, so he's still considered precocious by NFL coaching standards. He has the benefit of experience interviewing with teams after last season. [philly.com]

Who else is interested in Gase?

We've already mentioned that Gase will be interviewed by the Giants later this week, but according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, here's a look at who has already interviewed the Bears assistant and which teams he plans to meet with later this week: 

•    His interview Tuesday with the Philadelphia Eagles went well enough that the club is planning to meet with him again over the weekend, according to NFL Network. 

•    Gase is scheduled to interview with the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday and the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, a league source said.

•    The New York Giants plan to interview Gase on Friday, Fox Sports reported. The Giants would be the fourth team known to interview him this week.  [chicagotribune.com]

So someone will definitely hire him, right?

Not so fast. Just because a team is interested in Gase doesn't mean that the 37-year-old coordinator will take just any old job according to Dan Cahill of the Chicago Sun-Times:

The taming of Jay makes for a good bullet-point on the resume, but since when is the coach-killer a coach-maker?

It’s not often you see the offensive coordinator of a 6-10 team on head-coaching short lists, yet Gase somehow has managed his way to the top of a few.

Former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt, once a short-lister himself, is one of the few insiders who believes Gase will be back with the Bears. The Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Score football expert has expressed a few times that Gase, though deserving, might have to wait another year or two.

And, he might want to wait. He did turn down the 49ers a year ago. [chicago.suntimes.com]

Is he more interesting than, say, Pat Shurmur?

Eagles offensive coordinator and interim coach Pat Shurmur is not the most interesting guy during interviews. Kelly wasn't much better, but he was certainly more entertaining than many coaches. Here's Gase doing a sit-down interview for the team's website. [Sorry, but they wouldn't let me embed it.]

I couldn't really tell if he was interesting or not because I couldn't get over how young he is, not that there's anything wrong with that... 


Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin