Jon Gruden allegedly spent Sunday Night meeting with Andy Reid.
Well, that's more of where we are at now. Where have we been the past day? Well for the past 24 hours, the questions has been more of where haven't we been. Sometime during the Super Bowl last night, a story that I was only made aware of after the Big Game broke. That story? Jon Gruden is replacing Andy Reid as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. After being taken somewhat seriously for the night, it got shot down quicker than a MLB video on YouTube by every Eagles beat writer and even national outlets like Adam Schefter and Pro Football Talk. And the Eagles themselves issued a formal denial.
That was 11 hours ago. Why is this still a story then, you ask? First of all, the Eagles have also told us this year that Kevin Kolb was their starter as late as the conclusion of the Week 2 win against Detroit, the Eagles have also told us that Sean McDermott was staying as defensive coordinator after the season ended, and the Eagles said they had no plans on trading McNabb last off-season. And that's all been in the past year. Suffice to say, they are not a primary, go to source for information at this point.
The real answer may seem unbelievable, but one journalist and blog writer, Cody Benjamin, has been in contact with sources he trusts and have steered him in the right direction in the past (Cody knew Dawkins was leaving for Denver 4 days before it actually happened), remain confident that after working the ESPN Pre-game show, Gruden flew up to Philadelphia where he ultimately spent the night. In the morning, shortly before every denial in the world, he was spotted at the Eagles' NovaCare Complex.
Two things two consider here. First of all, Cody allegedly got in contact with Gruden's people. Instead of issuing a flat out denial, instead of saying "what? You thought Gruden was in Philly? Nah, Jon's at home in Tampa," and ending this once and for all, Gruden's agent gave no comment. If this were the complete fabrication and joke everyone is saying it is, wouldn't Gruden's agent have said so?
Then, around an hour ago, the report from Cody that I started this post with came out. There was an initial thought that Andy Reid is unwell and needs to step down for off-the-field reasons. If Reid is unwell, he is not so unwell that he can't spend a night at Ruth Chris's Steakhouse. It could be two friends having dinner one night, but the sightings at the NovaCare Complex and the fact that common sense would dictate that Gruden flying to Philadelphia on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon to meet with Reid is aloof enough in it of itself to warrant speculation that something bigger is going on. For what it is worth, Reid and Gruden were sighted at said steakhouse a couple hours after they had closed to the public. As I have verified with my own research, you can book a private reservation their past the hour the restaurant closes to the public (9:00 PM on Sunday). Hell, you can book them as late as 12:45 if you want.
Is Reid stepping down? Is Reid stepping up into a front office role? If so, is Gruden the replacement? Is Cody, an aspiring journalist who is currently employed to two newspapers, has his own blog, and contributes to another being lied to? Just how crazy is former Eagles fullback Kyle Eckel, who fueled the rumor last night, said it was a joke this morning, said he was just being careless this afternoon and shouldn't have said anything, and told Cody to not pursue this any farther tonight? Are Adam Schefter, PFT, Les Bowen, Jeff McLane, Reuben Frank, and other Eagles beat writers about to be out-scooped?
I don't know for sure if Cody is right or not, but I can't wait to see how this ends.
Update, February 8, 2011, 4:25 PM: Here is a statement released by Cody on the report.