It had to be done. The Eagle defense was never the fearsome unit that it was under the late Jim Johnson. Sean McDermott didn’t have that playcalling magic or a very good feel for the game, to be quite honest. The kiss of death may have been Andy Reid assuring the media that McDermott would be returning in 2011. This is the right move, and this could mean that the Eagle defense will undergo significant changes. Could they even be transitioning to a 3-4 defense potentially?Who are some candidates to replace McDermott?
The obvious frontrunner has to be Dick Jauron, the former head coach of the Bills, who is currently the Eagles’ defensive backs coach. Cleveland has expressed interest in bringing Jauron as defensive coordinator, so Andy Reid may be offering a promotion to keep him in town. This certainly makes a lot of sense, and Jauron definitely is qualified and has a ton of experience with a 4-3 scheme. He, like McDermott and Johnson, places a premium on speed, but does not blitz as heavily. The Eagles would probably play more zone and focus on the back seven, where the WILL and RCB positions will receive the most immediate attention.
Mike Singletary, after a miserable tenure as head coach for San Francisco, could be perfect in the right role. In Philadelphia, he would not spend all of his time trying to sort out a messy quarterback controversy, but would actually focus on his areas of expertise. He would be the best man to turn young linebackers Jamar Chaney, Moise Fokou, and Keenan Clayton into solid starters in the league. However, he just does not seem like a good fit with Andy Reid’s finesse system.
No matter who is the defensive coordinator, the players will end up being the difference makers. They need to take better angles, wrap up, be more disciplined in terms of their run gap responsibilities, and add speed to match up with quicker receivers split out over the right corner spot. I’m still very interested in who the potential hire will be. The Eagles may even give a coveted free agent veto power, say Nnamdi Asomugha. The offseason is heating up…