SO IF JEFFREY Lurie crafts a help-wanted ad based on some of the successful recent coaches, it might look a little like this:
Wanted: Head coach for highly successful yet frustrated franchise. Candidate must be highly motivated and a background in offense is preferred but not mandatory. Candidate should be in his mid-40s and come from another NFL team.
The Daily News looked at the 13 coaches to lead their teams to conference championship games since the 2008 season, the last time Andy Reid and the Eagles advanced that far, and came up with a number of nuggets:
-- Eight of the 13 had backgrounds in offense. But the three who made two trips to conference title games, John Harbaugh, Rex Ryan and Mike Tomlin, rose through the ranks as defensive assistants. The last three to win the Super Bowl - Tom Coughlin, Mike McCarthy and Sean Payton - had offensive backgrounds.
-- The only one of the 13 whose previous job was in college is San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh. Everyone else came from an NFL job.
-- A stellar playing career is neither required nor desired. Jim Harbaugh spent 14 seasons as an NFL quarterback and is easily the most accomplished player of the 13. Only two others played in the NFL; one was Ken Whisenhunt, the other was Sean Payton, who was a scab in 1987.
-- Payton is the only one of the last four Super Bowl winners to play in the NFL. Coughlin's highest level of play was at Syracuse. Tomlin played at I-AA (now FCS) William & Mary, and McCarthy played at NAIA Baker University in Kansas. The most accomplished coach on this list, Bill Belichick, played at Division III Wesleyan (Conn.).