Chip Kelly, fired.
Feels like yesterday that Lurie and Co. sought out to replace the prolific Andy Reid. Now, the Eagles are again in the search of their next head coach.
Kelly drew very mixed opinions through out his short career in Philadelphia, but by the end most were very pleased to see the franchise move on. This may not have been the best move for immediate success; nevertheless, it has been made, and now the search for a replacement has begun.
There are multiple names being thrown around that are the possible candidates to be the “Next Man Up”. Coaches such as Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, Josh McDaniels, Teryl Austin, and Adam Gase have been talked about as possible interviewees for the vacancy in Philadelphia.
There has also been conversation of former Eagle and current Panther Defensive Coordinator, Sean McDermott. I personally belive that hiring him is the best course of action the franchise can take in hope for minimal transition and optimal return.
Before we talk about how McDermott’s career has blossomed with The Panthers, Let’s go over how he got there.
In 1998 McDermott was hired to the Philadelphia coaching staff and very actively worked his way up the coaching ladder.
From 2009-2010 Sean McDermott served as Defensive Coordinator for the Eagles after the passing of Jim Johnson. During that season, there were without a doubt struggles trying to fill the legendary shoes of coach Johnson, eventually landing McDermott on the chopping block. At the end of the season, McDermott was released and quickly hired by Carolina.
McDermott has been in Carolina’s system since 2011 and truly has done a great job fine tuning and implementing his system. After his first season in Carolina with his new players and team, McDermott’s defense was allowing 26.8 points per game.
Don’t get me wrong, this is nothing to write home about; however, by 2013 this number was all the way down to 15.1 points allowed per game. In a very short amount of time, McDermott was able to realize his mishaps, adjust and execute an effective defensive scheme. This something that we have not seen from Eagles current defensive coordinator Billy Davis. Davis starts out well, but his defenses have been problematic and lost effectiveness later in the season for multiple years. Even now in Carolina, McDermott is only allowing on average 19.9 points per game and boasting an impressive 14-1 regular season record. The statistics agree: under McDermott, the Panthers have been sixth in takeaways, fifth in points allowed, third in yards allowed, first in sacks.
With McDermott showing that he is able to scheme a very successful defense, and that his players obviously respond to his techniques speaks greatly to his work ethic and ability to lead. These are big speaking points and fit directly what the Eagles are currently looking for, as Lurie expressed when addressing the media about Chip Kelly’s release. Not only is there vast experience in NFL, but there is also vast experience in Philadelphia on McDermott’s side. Experience with the city, the fans, Jeffrey Lurie, and even with the VP of Operations Howie Roseman, who he interned and advanced through the company in the later half of the 90’s.
Other than the fact the McDermott fits the mold as far as knowing the city, being able to connect with the players and having a track record of success, there are other reasons why Philadelphia would benefit from bringing him in.
McDermott runs a base 4-3 defense which many would argue fits the Eagles personnel better then their current 3-4. The Eagles already have solid pure pass rushers like Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry, who benefit greatly from pinning their ears back and getting the quarterback. Them paired with Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan on the interior makes for a very powerful front four. Behind them would be rookie sensation Jordan Hicks at Mike(Middle Linebacker), Mychal Kendricks at Will (Weak Side Linebacker) and Kiko Alonso at Sam (Strong Side Linebacker).
As far as the secondary goes, McDermott would have Byron Maxwell and Eric Rowe outside at the corner back position with Malcolm Jenkins at strong safety and Walter Thurmond deep at free safety.
On paper this looks nice and all, and paired with the right head coach that truly understands the innerworkings of a defense, this team has the potential on that side of the ball to be ranked in the top five immediately.
McDermott would likely bring his own guy from Carolina to fill the defensive coordinator spot, and to help make sure that things go the way he likes as he would taking on a larger role. Who knows who that would be at this point, but my guess would be linebacker coach Al Holcomb.
In a perfect world, well my perfect world that is, the Eagles grab McDermott, switch to 4-3, keep Shurmur at offensive coordinator, and extend Sam Bradford.
This keeps the offensive growth intact while really getting the most out of the football team defensively. Clearly, McDermott checks off all the prerequisites, as well as some great extras that would ease the transition, making him the best possible option for the Eagles in their search for a new head coach.
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