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Short list of defensive coordinator candidates in Philly possibly sends bad message

Todd Grantham

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, right, instructs players during a drill at an NCAA college football practice in Athens, Ga., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Shirey)


Typically, an NFL team hires a head coach who then hires his staff. Sometimes (like in Oakland, when Al Davis owned the team), the team hires members of the staff before hiring the head coach.

Rarely does that approach work.

And so there’s another possible red flag when it comes to the Eagles’ ongoing search for a coach. An item posted on the team’s official website points to reports regarding the leading candidates to become the team’s next defensive coordinator: Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham (pictured) and Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

This creates the obvious impression that folks other than the next coach will be deciding who may be on the staff. Really, at a time when it’s unclear who the next coach will be, why should there by any favorites to become the next defensive coordinator?

It’s possible that the leading candidates for defensive coordinator are tied to specific candidates for the head-coaching job. Quinn, for example, has worked for Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Grantham has no obvious ties to any known candidates for the job, but it’s possible that, for example, Brian Billick or Ken Whisenhunt would want him.

Still, the idea that there’s an even narrower field of leading candidates for defensive coordinator than there is for the head-coaching job contributes to the unintended but palpable sense of confusion surrounding the Eagles’ head-coaching job, a sense that began with a trio of failed flirtations with current college coaches.