There are few things more exciting in sports than speculating on a man's replacement before said man is even fired. With Eagles coach Andy Reid off to a 3-6 start (and mired in a five-game losing streak) in the 14th season at the helm of the franchise, there is no better time than the present to handicap the favorites in the race to replace him:
(To read Jeff McLane's story on the candidates to replace Andy Reid, click HERE.)
Jon Gruden (2-1): You all are aware of Howard Eskin's report earlier this week. Gruden's undying love for any player to ever play on Monday Night Football could make it difficult to make training camp cuts however. This guy could be your new head coach.
Chip Kelly (7-1): The only college coach on the list, Kelly's Oregon offense rattles plays off quicker than Reid can say "Time's yours." You'll rarely have to worry about a Kelly offense using a needless timeout.
Brian Billick (12-1): Billick's name has not been mentioned too much in the past few years after being fired as the Ravens' coach in 2007. The current FOX color guy was an offensive coordinator before being hired by Baltimore, but hardly showed a knack for finding quarterback talent with the Ravens. Would he be a good fit for Nick Foles or another young passer?
Bill Cowher (15-1): Cowher's tenure with the Steelers served as the model for what we all hoped Reid would be this season - finally triumphant in his 14th year as the head coach of the same team. Fair to question if he would be as driven as a coach after spending the past six seasons in television. But what a scowl!
Sean Payton (20-1): Want to put money on this one? Jonathan Vilma, Gregg Williams and Scott Fujita don't know anything about it. Payton likely stays with the Saints.
Perry Fewell (20-1): Not only would hiring Fewell help the Eagles as well as hurt the Giants, the current New York defensive coordinator has seven games of head coaching experience, having served in an interim position with Buffalo in 2009 after Dick Jauron was fired. Fewell also has a Super Bowl ring, and that's all that counts, right?
Rob Ryan (25-1): If only to improve the crop of vans in the Jetro lot on Sundays, the Eagles should poach the Cowboys' defensive coordinator. Ryan was a much ballyhooed hire in 2011, but the Dallas defense has not been particularly impressive in the season-and-a-half since his arrival.
Winston Moss (30-1): A guy the Eagles probably should have hired as their defensive coordinator prior to last season, Moss is the Green Bay Packers' inside linebackers and assistant coach. He was reportedly considered for the Oakland head coaching position this offseason, but would the Eagles consider hiring someone who has never even been a coordinator at the professional level?
Todd Bowles (35-1): If we're considering Bowles, why not Juan Castillo? Oh yeah - because neither has shown they deserve the shot.
Tony Dungy (40-1): Hard to see Dungy coming out of retirement, but if he did return to become head coach of the Eagles, would Michael Vick remain with the team? Dungy served as Vick's mentor following his release from prison in 2009.
Marty Mornhinweg (100-1): Just kidding.