Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Defensive Coaching Updates in Philly

This past week I've been covering the defensive shakeup in Philadelphia, and it's been a busy week for a team that's out of the playoffs. Defensive coordinators have been moving all around the league this week, but none have yet come to Philly. The Eagles have wasted little time hiring a replacement for their recently fired defensive line coach Rory Segrest. Jim Washburn, the defensive line coach for the Tennessee Titans, is the Birds' newest acquisition in this tumultuous offseason. The new coach promises to bring some much needed invigoration to the defensive line which may have been lacking in intensity this past season.

The Eagles were reported to have talked to Dean Pees, of the Baltimore Ravens, however Ravens head coach John Harbaugh stated that Pees has not been interviewing in Philadelphia.

With many defensive coordinator-candidates quickly being spoken for, and Jim Mora taking the year off from coaching, it seems to be coming down to candidates Bill Davis and Dick Jauron, though last night respected Eagles writer Les Bowen issued this cryptic tweet:

This has helped keep up the talk of a possible interview with the Jets' current defensive coordinator (and Philly native), Mike Pettine. While Pettine has denied the rumors of an interview when the Jets end their postseason, he has made some interesting remarks about wanting the head coaching job for his hometown team. With Andy Reid's contract up in 2013, you can bet these statements will be examined and dissected for a possible regime change.

If both the rumor and Pettine's denial are true, there is still a plethora of talent in the postseason coaching staffs. Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau would be an incredible addition to the coaching staff, despite rumors of his possible retirement. Bringing LeBeau in would also cement the rumor of the Eagles moving to a 3-4 defense. John Mitchell, the Steelers' defensive line coach would also be an ideal, but extremely unlikely candidate. A more likely name coming from the postseason is Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac. His name has been brought up as a good possibility to replace the ousted Sean McDermott, and it would not be his first go-around in Philly. Trgovac was Ray Rhodes' defensive line coach during Rhodes' entire tenure during the '90s. The other big names in the postseason are the Bears' Rod Marinelli, of the 2008 Detroit Lions head coaching fame (they went 0-16 that year), and the Packers' Dom Capers, though reports say he's staying put.

Although the Eagles still don't have a defensive coordinator, the fact that they were able to snatch up Washburn and the idea of courting a postseason defensive coach leaves many fans feeling hopeful, if not wary. We'll be following the developments and hope to bring you an updated situation Saturday night.

Update: Another unofficial name to toss into the hat would be the recently fired Chuck Cecil, former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator. And you thought it couldn't get any crazier.

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