Just five days after head coach Andy Reid gave his defensive coordinator the vote of confidence, saying he would be back next season, multiple reports surfaced that the Eagles have fired Sean McDermott, two years after he took over for the late great Jim Johnson.
One report even indicates that McDermott was fired Monday, the same day Reid told the media that he would be back next season.
McDermott has been with the Eagles since 1998 working as various positions before taking over as defensive coordinator during 2009 Training Camp when his longtime mentor Johnson passed away.
McDermott just couldn’t seem to patch things up especially down the stretch of this season when it mattered most. As the Eagles defense just could not stop opposing offenses and get off the field.
This past year the Eagles finished 12th overall in yards allowed and top ten in takeaways and sacks. But as Johnson once put it, the most important stat for a defense is points allowed and the Eagles had their struggles in that category. The Eagles were in the bottom third of the league as they gave up 23.6 points a game which was good for 21st in the NFL.
What really cost the Eagles their red zone defense as they had the worst team defensively inside the 20 yard line in over 20 years. When opposing team offenses got in the red zone it was pretty much automatic that they were going to get a touchdown as the Eagles gave up a league worst 76.7% of the time. But a lot of it wasn’t completely McDermott’s fault.
It was a young defense that relied heavily on a lot of plays by young players to step in for guys with injuries. And they need time to develop so a lot of it had to do with personnel and lack of depth at certain positions like in the secondary. A lot of the blame should go to management as well not giving the team the right arsenal of weapons on defense instead they relied too heavily on rookies and inexperience players. But for the most part they did well and that experience will help them down the line.
Now comes the waiting game, while the Eagles begin their search for a new coordinator. There was a lot of speculation and rumors that the firing happened because of the interest from the Browns for defensive back coach Dick Jauron and the Eagles were afraid of losing him. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reported that the Eagles top candidate to replace McDermott is former Falcons’ and Seahawks Head Coach Jim Mora Jr.
Mora Jr. coached the Seattle secondary for a few seasons before getting hired by Seattle as their head coach but was fired after one season. There is also a lot of speculation the reason to bring in Mora Jr. is because of the relationship he has with Eagles QB Michael Vick and trying to get him to defiantly sign an extension with the team. He is also good friends with Reid.
Reid is currently unreachable to reporters and out of the country. The team has yet to officially fire McDermott via statement or news conference. Once a new coordinator is named the Eagles will once again have to wait as free agency and mini camps cannot be held until the CBA is signed.
The Eagles also fired defensive line coach Rory Segrest Sunday after two seasons with the team.