According to ESPN's Chris Mortenson, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid has fired defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
The news comes just a few days after Reid announced that McDermott would be back for the 2011 season, and just a day after reports surfaced that Reid would not consider demoting McDermott in order to promote defensive backs coach Dick Jauron.
So either McDermott was staying, or he was going to be heading elsewhere. Fortunately for unhappy Philly fans, he'll be heading elsewhere.
Under McDermott this season, the Eagles defense was historically bad. The team allowed opposing offenses to score nearly 80 percent of the time they reached the red zone—the worst mark the NFL had seen in about a quarter century—and allowed over 30 passing touchdowns.
The skill on the defensive side of the ball wasn't great this season, and the team did fight through a few injuries, but the team was a lot better than McDermott made them look. He played a lot of soft coverages and at times flat-out refused to blitz even when it was working.
He played not to get beat rather than to win. He completely abandoned Jim Johnson's way of thinking and was not yet refined enough in his own ways to make them work.
Everyone talked about McDermott as a JJ disciple, but the truth is that distinction belongs to current St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, not McDermott.
Next step for the Eagles is finding a new coordinator. The most likely candidate right now is Jauron, as he's already on the staff and Reid has continuously shown that he loves having his old buddies alongside him on game days.
Linebackers coach Bill Shuey could also get some consideration for the job, but it would likely take Jauron accepting an offer elsewhere for him not to be the Eagles' defensive coordinator in 2011.
Under Jauron the Eagles will run a defense much closer to what Johnson ran. Jauron likes to play an attacking, hard-nosed defense that will really help a guy like Trent Cole. Cole will not be asked to play as much coverage as he was under McDermott and will instead be allowed to go after the quarterback on nearly every play.
That attacking style should also help the secondary bounce back from a tough season. Dimitri Patterson is likely not the answer as the starting right corner, but he could be a perfect backup for a guy like Nnamdi Asomugha.
Hey, my dream of seeing McDermott fired has happened, so why not?
The next step for McDermott will obviously be finding a new job. What he needs is a couple years to learn under a guy like Rod Marinelli or Bill Belichick. Both guys will do their fair share of blitzing, but for the most part they like to sit back in the zone and confuse opposing quarterbacks that way.
That's clearly McDermott's style and learning as a position coach under one of those guys for a few years could actually turn him into a decent coordinator.
Until then, this was the right move for the Eagles in the short term and McDermott in the long run.
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