"Is the Rooney Rule a ruse?"
"Consider Lovie Smith. His Chicago Bears went 10-6 and he was fired," Bunn writes. Smith led his team to the Super Bowl more recently than Reid, whose team went 3-13 in 2012. "But Smith still has no job offer, while Reid is putting together his staff with the Chiefs. In fact, Smith interviewed with Buffalo, but the Bills hired Syracuse's Doug Marrone to fill its vacancy. Seriously."
The Eagles have reportedly interviewed at least five candidates, including University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, and requested interviews with at least two more.
But only one interviewee, Levittown-raised Keith Armstrong of the Atlanta Falcons, is African American, and as a special teams coordinator, he's a longshot to become head coach.
The NFL's dearth of black offensive coordinators may be a major factor, since the Eagles seem keen on landing an offensive innovator.
Asked for comment, Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko responded simply, "The Eagles fully support and have complied with the Rooney rule in their search for a new coach in 2013."
Armstrong's interview with the Chiefs also reportedly satisfied their Rooney rule requirement.
"Why is it ... that college coach Chip Kelly was wined and dined by two NFL teams?" asks Bunn. "His Oregon squad was beaten by Stanford, which is coached by David Shaw, who is black and whose team just won the Rose Bowl, making him 22-4 in his two years in Palo Alto. Shaw - 40, smart, talented, successful - has not been mentioned by anyone as a young coach who is NFL-ready. But Kelly is?"
Shaw, however, signed a long-term contract extension with Stanford last month, and he already had two more years on his deal.
Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, now an analyst for the NFL Network, recently suggested the Birds find a defensive expert, like Smith or Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, but suspected they'd be longshots, too.
"I don't see that happening. They'll bring them in for the Rooney rule, but they won't hire them," he predicted.
Then again, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie did hire an African American defense-oriented head coach in Ray Rhodes, Reid's predecessor.
Following Monday's firings of Smith and the Chiefs' Romeo Crennel, the NFL league now has three black head coaches - Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis, and Minnesota's Leslie Frazier - and one Hispanic head coach, Ron Rivera in Carolina.
The ranks have declined in recent years.
After the 2011 season, which featured nine black head coaches, three were canned: Oakland's Hue Jackson, Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris, and Indianapolis' Jim Caldwell. Todd Bowles, now Eagles defensive coordinator, served as interim head coach for Miami's final three games. Crennel went from interim late in 2011 in Kansas City to the head coaching slot last season.
A request for comment from the NFL was not immediately returned this morning.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.