AP source: Eagles interview Notre Dame’s Kelly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly for their coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press.

Kelly was the third college coach Philadelphia interviewed since firing Andy Reid on Dec. 31. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information, said the Eagles met with Kelly on Tuesday.

Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and Oregon’s Chip Kelly interviewed with the Eagles last week, but chose to stay at their schools.

The Eagles have interviewed six candidates and plan to meet with four others.

Kelly recently called coaching Notre Dame his “dream job,” but he wouldn’t be the first to explore his options, perhaps even to get a raise to stay put.

News of the interview comes just two days after Notre Dame lost to Alabama in the BCS national championship game, a 42-14 Tide blowout that was a sour ending to the Fighting Irish season.

Notre Dame had won its first 12 games, raising hope among its fervent fans that the program was back among the elite after years of mediocrity.

Just a year ago, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick gave Kelly a two-year contract extension to keep him with the Fighting Irish through the 2016 season. Terms have not been released.

Kelly was hired in December 2009, getting a five-year deal. He left an undefeated Cincinnati team that was ranked No. 4 at the time. Fans liked his approach and his resume, which included improved records at Division II Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati.

He has done the same thing in South Bend, begging the question of whether he is ready so soon to make a fresh move, this time to the NFL, or is perhaps trying to parlay a better contract out of Notre Dame.

It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened to the Eagles during this search.

Regardless of any candidate’s intentions, the Eagles have proceeded slowly.

General manager Howie Roseman, owner Jeffrey Lurie and president Don Smolenski plan to meet with former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith on Thursday.

“Jeffrey has been very adamant with us that the key is getting the right guy,” Roseman said in 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.”

They met Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday and plan to interview Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

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