The Philadelphia Eagles aren't in a hurry to find their next head coach.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie, president Don Smolenski and general manager Howie Roseman already have interviewed five candidates and have met with at least four others before hiring Andy Reid's successor. There is a possibility the Eagles won't make their choice until after the playoffs.

"Jeffrey has been very adamant with us that the key is getting the right guy," Roseman said Wednesday during an interview on the team's Web site. "The key isn't getting the right guy as quickly as possible. So that's what we're going to do."

Of the seven teams that fired their head coach on New Year's Eve, only Kansas City and Buffalo have filled their vacancies. The Chiefs hired Reid to replace Romeo Crennel, while the Bills named Syracuse coach Doug Marrone to succeed Chan Gailey.

The Eagles are scheduled to interview ex-Chicago coach Lovie Smith today and also have plans to talk to Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

They already have met with Atlanta special teams coach Keith Armstrong and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Oregon coach Chip Kelly and Penn State coach Bill O'Brien. Kelly and O'Brien both decided to stay in the college ranks.

The Eagles also interviewed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, ESPN.com and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kelly coached the Fighting Irish to a 12-0 regular season record before losing to Alabama, 42-14, in the BCS championship game Monday night.

Armstrong also interviewed with the Bills and Chiefs. McCoy talked with the Bills and Cardinals.

"This whole organization is built to support a head coach and they know that," Roseman said. "Not only in actions but in words. All they have to do is call Andy Reid."

The interviews routinely last for hours. Reid reportedly had a nine-hour session with the Chiefs at a Philadelphia airport before taking that job. The Eagles' session with Kelly lasted almost as long.

Lurie took different approaches before hiring Ray Rhodes and Reid, respectively.

Rhodes was hired to replace Rich Kotite on Feb. 2, 1995. Tony Dungy, Mike Shanahan and Mike Stevens also were candidates. Lurie hired Reid on Jan. 11, 1999, just two weeks after firing Rhodes. They also interviewed Dom Capers, Jim Haslett and Willie Shaw.

"Being a head coach of a National Football League team, that's a big job," Roseman said. "You're a CEO, so you have to have a plan and know what you're doing in every area. You would be surprised in how detailed these people are, whether it comes to strength and conditioning or a training staff or equipment of video, they have the answers and it's very interesting to hear."

Contact David Weinberg:

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