According to sources — reliable ones like ESPN's Adam Schefter — Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich is about to be the Colts new head coach.
Per source, the Colts' search is now focused on Eagles OC Frank Reich, and Reich has told friends he plans to take the job. (@mortreport/@AdamSchefter first on it.) Would be second assistant Philly's lost in a week.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 11, 2018
Schefter tweeted the following:
"Frank Reich has emerged as the favorite to become the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, who are hoping to hire the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator once they have negotiated a signed, sealed and delivered contract, per [Chris Mortenson] and me."
The news comes as a big blow to the Eagles as a confluence of recent events has taken a big chunk of talent from Doug Pederson's head coaching ranks.
First, quarterbacks coach (and the top man to replace Reich were he still in Philly) John DeFillippo was hired away from Philadelphia to replace Pat Shumur as the Vikings offensive coordinator earlier this week. Shurmur, of course is slated to take over the Giants as head coach.
Then, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels backed out at the last minute to be the Colts head coach, leaving Indianapolis without one with the NFL combine just around the corner. With the NFL's eyes on the Eagles after their defeat of the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII last week, Reich was a good candidate. He is a Super Bowl winning coordinator afterall.
Reich will leave Carson Wentz, a player he has helped mold into an MVP candidate over two seasons, and will join Andrew Luck in Indy.
What will happen to the Eagles now vacant offensive coordinator spot? Here are a few candidates to keep an eye on:
Duce Staley, Eagles RB coach
The top internal candidate is Staley, who was the mastermind behind one of the NFL's best running games last season. He's turned Corey Clement from undrafted free agent rookie one of the most feared pass-catching backs in the entire league (he had 100 receiving yards in the Super Bowl). He's ended questions about whether Jay Ajayi had a locker room problem, got a great showing out of aging LeGarrette Blount and overcame the season-ending loss of Darren Sproles early this season. He has been with the Eagles since he was a coaching intern in 2010 after an impressive playing career. He became the running backs coach in 2013. He interviewed for the Birds head coaching job in 2016.
Mike Groh, Eagles WR coach
Groh has an impressive resume as well. He coached at college football powerhouse Alabama before working his way up to wide receivers coach with the Bears — where he helped turn Alshon Jeffery into a household name. Following Jeffery to the Eagles last season, Groh helped oversee a receiving corps that caught 38 touchdown passes last season, four more than the second best team in the NFL. He has an NFL petigree — his dad Al was a trusted assistant for Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.
Dave Fipp, Eagles special teams coordinator
The Eagles have had one of the best special team units over the past five seasons — which happens to correspond to Fipp's time as special teams coordinator with the Eagles. He is another internal candidate. Familiar with the Eagles personnel, he has shaped the careers of several pro bowl players like Sproles, Chris Maragos and Donnie Jones. He also helped prepare rookie kicker Jake Elliott for success. A transition from special teams to offense is not uncommon.
Mike Kafka, Chiefs quarterbacks coach
One of Andy Reid's top up and coming coaches, Kafka served as a backup in Philadelphia when Pederson and Reid were coaching in the city. He is familiar with Pederson and could be a good fit in Philly.
Matt Rhule, Baylor head coach
Will the Eagles dip into the college ranks? If they do, Rhule, a onetime offensive line coach at the Giants as well as a former Temple head coach, has a great offensive mind and is an up and coming coaching talent. He reportedly interviewed for the open Colts position.