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Philadelphia Eagles To Go a Different Direction on Defense; Fire Sean McDermott

Mark QueenContributor IJanuary 16, 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

Less than a week after Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid said that defensive coordinator Sean McDermott would return in 2011, the Eagles have fired McDermott.

We all know when Andy Reid says something it's not a sure thing. If you didn't know, ask Kevin Kolb...he'll inform you.

A week after another Wild Card Playoff loss, the Philadelphia Eagles have identified the first of a plethora of problems that needed to be jettisoned. Defensive coordinator Sean McDoormat, as passionate Birds fans refer to the former coach.

McDermott, 36, came under heavy criticism in a season in which the Eagles allowed a franchise-high 31 touchdown passes and had the worst red-zone defense in the NFL. However, Reid said in a season-ending news conference McDermott would be retained.

Within three days of that declaration, sources say Reid informed McDermott he had changed his mind and would relieve McDermott of his duties after two years as the team's defensive coordinator.

McDermott replaced the legendary Jim Johnson, who died of cancer in 2009. He adapted Johnson's aggressive style of defense but injuries to key veterans forced McDermott to adjust his scheme in 2010.

The Eagles allowed at least 24 points in 11 games this season.

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The Eagles have not made a public announcement regarding McDermott's departure in hopes of allowing him to find another job.

ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported in October, McDermott's authority as defensive coordinator was in jeopardy.

The Eagles won the NFC East with a 10-6 record before losing to the Green Bay Packers 21-16 in a first-round playoff game last week.

My Analysis

McDermott started this season with the cards stacked against him. Looking over the Eagles defensive roster there were as many question marks as there were players. Relying heavily on the play of rookies Nate Allen and Brandon Graham, the defense never really got in sync this season as the statistics show. McDermott's fault? I have to give him 60 percent of the blame.

Yes, he didn't have a tremendous amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but they could have certainly performed better. When the skill isn't there it's my belief that you have to be flexible to change your scheme, and get the most out of the stud players you do have. McDermott did not feel the same way obviously.

Refusing to change the matchups the Eagles surrendered three touchdowns to the Titans' Kenny Britt, while All-Pro Asante Samuel covered the team's second and third-string receivers. Unacceptable. There are many other similar situations that are well chronicled, but time doesn't allow for us to delve into them. 

The Verdict: Good call by Andy & Co. Sean McDermott had to go.

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