‘Gase-ing’ on What Could Have Been
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The conventional wisdom is that the Eagles wanted Ben McAdoo to be the successor to Chip Kelly forcing the New York Giants to act up the Turnpike and promote their then-offensive coordinator to replace Tom Coughlin.
The reality is that McAdoo was likely the fallback to Adam Gase, by far the hottest name on the 2016 coaching market.
It was Gase who was brought in to the NovaCare Complex first but the Eagles felt they needed to be cautious after the Kelly era ended in such a disappointing fashion.
According to one NFL source, Jeffery Lurie wanted to give the impression he was doing his due diligence and was intent on going through the entire interview process before circling back and landing on Gase, who was coming off a strong year as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator.
Problem is, others were on different timetables and when the Miami Dolphins got Gase down to Davie, they made sure the young offensive prodigy didn't leave.
Back in South Philadelphia for a pair of joint practices in advance of Thursday's dress-rehearsal preseason game between the Eagles and the Dolphins, Gase spoke about what went on during the 2016 hiring cycle.
While Philadelphia was the first organization to talk with Gase, he had three other interviews already lined up.
“It was (the Eagles) and then I had three other interviews by the end of the week,” Gase admitted on Monday. The Eagles were still in the interview process and I got offered the job (with the Dolphins).”
The weather, friendly tax environment and better quarterback situation at the time (the Dolphins had Ryan Tannehill and the Eagles had yet made their move to Carson Wentz) pushed Gase south where he led the Dolphins to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth during his first season in charge.
The Eagles, of course, eventually landed on Andy Reid disciple Doug Pederson and finished 7-9.
“It was a good experience," Gase said of his interview with the Eagles. "I knew (Eagles executive vice president of football operations) Howie (Roseman), but meeting a lot of different people from the organization. Just the questions they were asking, kind of the culture they were looking to re-establish, and just a good day to have a conversation about all those types of things. I thought they asked a lot of good questions and it was just a good conversation going back and forth.”
When pressed if the Eagles had already offered the second interview, Gase joked: "I’m not saying that."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen