Philadelphia Eagles Fire Sean McDermott: Scapegoat or Justified?

TCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - 2007:  Sean McDermott of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for his 2007 NFL headshot at photo day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Getty Images)
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A change in staff had to be made.  It was inevitable after a disheartening finish to an otherwise exciting season.  Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott paid the price for his defense's shortcomings over the course of the 2010 season by being relieved of his duties as the man in charge of the Philadelphia defense.

However, despite coach Andy Reid's statement that McDermott would be retained, it appears that McDermott has been made out to be the scapegoat for much more than the team's defensive shortcomings. 

Thrust into this role prior to the 2009 season after the death of Jim Johnson, McDermott has had to do plenty of on the job training over the course of two seasons.  Not to mention, the lack of talent to achieve the level of success that his predecessor accomplished over the course of 10 years. 

This blame lies squarely at the feet of Reid, President Joe Banner and General Manager Howie Roseman for setting up the young apprentice to fail miserably.

Granted, the defense was an abysmal failure—see the red zone statistics—but another coach has been given a leash six times longer than McDermott received.  Andy Reid has been given opportunity after opportunity only to achieve the same result.  How are McDermott's failures greater than that of a coach who will not change his philosophy despite his actions resulting in the same frustrating finishes? 

If Reid does not want to become a casualty next offseason, he must hire a capable defensive coordinator and not just another fall guy to uphold his stranglehold on the head coaching position further into this decade.  Promoting from within is just another regime-stabilizing tactic to keep this organization in a perpetual dead end.