When news broke last summer that the Philadelphia Eagles' greatest Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson had tragically lost his battle with melanoma, everyone associated with the Eagles felt a sudden sense of sadness.
But the Eagles knew that through this period of sorrow they had to find the best candidate to replace the man the contributed 10 years of his life building one of the greatest defensive units in the NFL.
During Jim Johnson's time with the Philadelphia Eagles he had 26 Pro Bowl selections including Brian Dawkins (seven), Troy Vincent (five), Jeremiah Trotter (four), Hugh Douglas (three).
Others like Lito Sheppard, Trent Cole, Asante Samuel, Michael Lewis, Corey Simon, and Bobby Taylor have also been selected to at least one Pro Bowl under the late Jim Johnson.
Instead of bringing in a seasoned Defensive Coach from outside they decided that promoting Sean McDermott from within was the most viable option.
McDermott already knew the Eagles defensive scheme as he was Johnson's longest tenured defensive assistant coach. He has been with the Eagles organization for the last 12 years serving in multiple roles.
With his rookie season out of the way as a defensive coach, I believe his approach this season will be a go for the throat type season and this defensive unit will have an explosive play-making feel to them.
Eagles fans will see a lot of young faces making names for themselves in 2010—mark my words!
It may come at the start, middle, or the very end of the season but Eagles there will be some new names to remember once the 2010 season is finished with the relentless McDermott in control.
In 2008 McDermott had two defensive backs, Brian Dawkins and Asante Samuel, selected to the Pro Bowl and also SS Quintin Mikell earned 2nd team All-Pro honors.
He also improved almost every aspect in the pass defense category as the Eagles were ranked second in the league for net yards per pass with 5.08 yards.
In 2009, McDermott faced a challenge in the rash of injuries that occurred before and during the season.
McDermott's defensive unit overcame that challenge by posting 38 turnovers, which turned out to be the third best in the league. When he called a pressure package he unit notched a total of 44 sacks which also ranked third in the NFL.
Three members from his 2009 unit, Trent Cole, Asante Samuel, and Quintin Mikell all were selected to be members of the Pro Bowl as a result of McDermott's physical mentality and I don't expect to see much different in 2010.
With the additions of all the new defensive ends, Darryl Tapp, Brandon Graham, and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Eagles fans should expect a ton of production from the front four which in turn will allow to focus solely on their coverage.
I do expect the Eagles LBs to be much better in coverage in 2010 if the Eagles front four can get a good push and pressure the QB.
When the time is right, unleash a seven man attack that no offensive line will be able to stop!
In dedication to Coach Jim Johnsons life, I have started a Facebook group titled "Jim Johnson deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame". If you would like to support (cost's nothing) the cause and remember this great man as a person and mentor please join!
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