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Eagles en route to Arizona to continue interviews

Eagles en route to Arizona to continue interviews

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Eagles' search to replace Andy Reid took another twist Saturday with Chip Kelly still on the market and within their grasp.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and President Don Smolenski went to Arizona to continue interviews for the team's coaching vacancy, and the team released a statement naming three candidates.

``The Eagles are committed to finding the right fit for head coach and are heading to Arizona now to kick off a week of interviews with a variety of candidates including Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley,'' the statement said.

Two people familiar with the plans told The Associated Press that Kelly and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone also would meet with the Eagles. The team wouldn't confirm either interview.

Another person familiar with the negotiations told the AP on Friday that Kelly was nearing a deal with the Cleveland Browns. So, the Eagles continued with their plans to interview other candidates.

However, Kelly didn't finalize a deal with the Browns and he also interviewed with the Buffalo Bills on Friday before meeting the Eagles on Saturday afternoon. Kelly was expected to have dinner with the Browns, but there were reports he was still meeting with the Eagles late into the night.

Kelly had no reason to cancel interviews with teams interested in him, keeping his options open and probably driving up his price tag. It's likely his agent, David Dunn, used that as leverage for negotiations.

But the Browns may have gambled by not locking up Kelly and allowing the Eagles to possibly steal him away. There's a long history between Lurie and Browns CEO Joe Banner, adding a soap-opera element to this coaching drama.

Banner, a longtime friend of Lurie, spent 19 seasons with Philadelphia, the last 12 as president. He left the team last year after a falling out, and the Eagles could be using that in their talks with Kelly.

Banner had a knack for rubbing people the wrong away in Philadelphia, and wasn't popular in the locker room because of the way he handled contract dealings.

Former Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel was extremely critical of Banner last year, and former linebacker Jeremiah Trotter ripped Banner on a Philadelphia radio station Thursday.

``No player I played with trusted him,'' Trotter said.

Whether any of that plays a role in Kelly's decision remains to be seen.

The Eagles interviewed Penn State's Bill O'Brien on Thursday and met with Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong on Wednesday. O'Brien is remaining at Penn State.

The interviews with Arians and Bradley will likely take place by Tuesday.

Arians was 9-3 as interim coach in Indianapolis filling in for Chuck Pagano. He previously served as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator from 2007-11. The 60-year-old Arians is quite familiar with Philadelphia, having coached Temple from 1983-88.

Bradley is in his fourth season in Seattle. His defense finished first in the NFL in points allowed (15.3), fourth in yards (306.2) and tied for fourth in takeaways (31).

Marrone is 25-25 in four seasons at Syracuse. He previously served as the offensive coordinator in New Orleans under Sean Payton from 2006-08.

The Eagles' search could last until after the Super Bowl. There are several other coaches on playoff teams that could get interviews with Philadelphia, including Cincinnati's Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, Green Bay's Ben McAdoo, Seattle's Darrell Bevell, Washington's Kyle Shanahan and Houston offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.

Former coaches Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy - all Super Bowl winners - are not on Philadelphia's radar at this time.

The Eagles went to the playoffs nine times in Reid's 14 seasons, but not since 2010. They last won a playoff game in 2008.

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Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

The Wizards will catch a break on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Raptors in the second game of their regular season, as Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard is being held out due to rest.

Leonard, who has been dominant so far for the 2-0 Raptors, is being limited in back-to-backs after he missed 73 games last season due to a quadriceps injury. The Raptors played the night before against the Celtics.

With Leonard out, the Raptors will likely rely on C.J. Miles and O.G. Anunoby at the small forward position. Shooting guard Delon Wright is also out with a shoulder injury.

Though Leonard and Wright are out of the mix, Toronto still has plenty of talent including All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry is averaging 21 points, seven assists and 3.5 rebounds through two games. 

Serge Ibaka has been their third-leading scorer with 15 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds. They also acquired Danny Green in the Leonard deal and he's off to a strong start with 12.5 points and five rebounds per game.

Leonard's absence may be noticed more on the defensive end, as he is one of the best in the NBA on the perimeter. That could make things a bit easier for Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.

The Wizards and Raptors next play on Nov. 23. That game is in Toronto.

 

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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