Andy Reid's Decisions: Why It Was a Bad Idea to Bring Back DC Sean McDermott

Bryn Swartz@eaglescentralSenior Writer IIIJanuary 10, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach Sean McDermott directs the defense  against the Dallas Cowboys November 14, 2005 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.  The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 21 - 20.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Following yesterday's disappointing 21-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Andy Reid announced that defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will return next season.

McDermott's defense has been under scrutiny all season. They allowed 377 points, the 21st total in the league and the second most allowed by an Andy Reid team.

They allowed 31 passing touchdowns, the most any Eagles team has allowed with Reid.

And their red zone defense was among the worst in the history of the National Football League.

Yes, one of the single worst ever, and the worst since 1988.

In 43 trips into the red zone, opponents came away with 33 touchdowns and nine field goals.

That's a 75 percent touchdown rate and a 98 percent scoring rate. The only stop was when the Jaguars, trailing 28-3 late in the fourth quarter, missed a 4th-and-6 opportunity that could have easily been a field goal if needed.

In the postseason, the Eagles' defense was brutal.

It won't show on the scoreboard, as the Eagles allowed just 21 points. Before the game, I would have been pleased with 21 points.

But not the way it happened.

Aaron Rodgers wasn't pressured at all until the fourth quarter. He finished with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He should have had four touchdowns, but James Jones dropped what would have been a 67-yard touchdown late in the second quarter.

Running back James Starks dominated the Eagles, rushing 23 times for 123 yards. That's 5.7 yards per carry.

I don't care if the Eagles didn't expect Starks to be in the game and didn't game-plan for him. That's not an excuse. You need to prepare for every single player on the roster, and the fact that Starks carried 29 times during the season showed that the Packers did use him, even if it was a very limited role.

The Packers' run game is brutal and I just can't believe how dominant they were.

McDermott's defense was terrible this season.

The Eagles allowed 24 or more points 11 times. They allowed the sixth most points in franchise history.

Had the offense not set a franchise record for points in a season, McDermott's defense would have received way more criticism than it did.

However, the fact that the Eagles' offense was so great shouldn't save McDermott. HIS job involves the defense, and they didn't get it done this year.

Yeah, they had injuries. The loss of Nate Allen and Brandon Graham at the end of the season hurt. So did losing Ellis Hobbs and Stewart Bradley. Brodrick Bunkley missed a couple of games and so did Asante Samuel.

But every team goes through injuries. It's never an excuse, and the Eagles really didn't have as many injuries on defense as you may think. Nobody missed more than a quarter of the season. It's not like the Eagles lost Cole and Samuel for the season back in September.

Simply put, McDermott wasn't able to get the job done. He couldn't do it this season and he didn't last year.

In fact, when you think about it, McDermott probably isn't completely ready to be a defensive coordinator. He was named the team's defensive coordinator after the tragic illness and eventual death of Jim Johnson.

I mean that in no disrespect to McDermott. For all I know, he may have been ready to leave the Eagles and join another team as a defensive coordinator.

But I don't think he was quite ready to be the Eagles' defensive coordinator, and after two seasons, he hasn't improved the way he should have.

So do I think McDermott should lose his job?


But I would keep him on the team.

McDermott has been with the Eagles since 1998. During that time, he coached the secondary and the linebackers.

I would demote him to the secondary coach. After all, the secondary probably needs more help than any other part of the defense.

McDermott has had tremendous success in the past, helping with Pro Bowl (or All-Pro) players like Brian Dawkins, Sheldon Brown, Michael Lewis, Lito Sheppard and Quintin Mikell.

Former Buffalo Bills head coach Dick Jauron coaches the secondary. Why not name Jauron the new defensive coordinator and move McDermott into Jauron's place?

Jauron does have experience as a defensive coordinator. He worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995 to 1998 and the Detroit Lions from 2004 to 2005.

And if switching McDermott and Jauron doesn't work, I think the Eagles should get rid of McDermott and bring in someone like John Fox, the former head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Fox is a defensive machine, having worked with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1994 and 1995 and the New York Giants from 1997 to 2001. The Giants appeared in the Super Bowl following the 2000 season.

Either way, I think it's time to call the Sean McDermott experiment a disaster.

Football is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately game and McDermott hasn't done anything lately.

Therefore, I think he should either be demoted or fired.

To read more Eagles articles, click here.


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