Morning Chat With G. Cobb: Eagles Defensive Coordinator Candidates

For the rest of the week Andy Reid and the Eagles front office will be focused on hiring a defensive coordinator.  We have heard about three names,  Dick Jauron, Billy Davis, and Jim Mora Jr.,  that the Eagles are considering but thanks to our knowledgeable readers, I have been made aware of quite few more names that could and should be considered.

The son of famed Central Bucks West legendary head coach Mike Pettine Sr..  Mike Pettine Jr. followed his father into coaching and has the title of defensive coordinator for Rex Ryan’s New York Jets.  We all realize that Ryan is really the team’s defensive coordinator, but Pettine is probably ready to go on his own after working under Ryan in Baltimore and in New York.  He’s been a lot of credit for developing some of the young linebackers in Baltimore and New York.

Green Bay Packers linebackers coach Kevin Greene was a beast when he played and he’s been doing a great job of coaching another beast of a linebacker, Clay Matthews.  I don’t know how long Greene has been in Green Bay but he played for Dom Capers, now he’s coaching for him.  If he can implement some of Capers magic, he would be an ideal coach for the Birds.

Mike Trgovac is the defensive line coach for the Packers.  He was the defensive line coach for the Eagles during Ray Rhodes’ tenure here.  During his time here in Philadelphia, his defensive lines were amongst the league leaders in sacks and they led the league in sacks with 43 in 1995.  Trgovac has also been defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers.  During his time there the Panthers were fifth in the league in defense.

I didn’t realize but after looking at Trgovac’s resume, I discovered that he and I had played against each other in a couple of Rose Bowls, USC vs. Michigan, when we were in college.

Another name which Paulman mentioned was former University of Miami head coach Randy Shannon.  He did a great job with a number of University of Miami defenses which helped the school compete for a number of national championships.

I played with Shannon in Dallas for a couple of years and he didn’t have the physical skills to succeed in the NFL but he had great instincts and great knowledge of Jimmy Johnson’s defense.  He’s an outstanding teacher and he does a great of job of relating to and motivating young football players.

Provided by Paulman:

He was on the Defensive Staff/LB Coach for the Dolphins 1998 theu 2000 and then was hired as
Mimi’s DC in 2001 by then U of Miami Cocah Larry Coker and in the 6 Years he was D/C
the Miami Hurricaines were ranked in the Top 7 in Defense for 5 of his 6 Years He was DC
Take a list of some of the Defensive players he helped recrui & coached

Safety Postiion — Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Kenny Phillips,Andre Rolle & Brandon Merriweather
CB Postion – P Buchannon, M Rumph, J Joseph,
LB Postions – J Vilma, DJ Johnson,R McIntosh, J Beason,
DL POsitons – V WIlfork, C Campbell, A Dixon,B Pata, J McDougle, J Green

One of our loyal readers Reberson makes a good point in saying we should take a look at the Steelers assistants:

Football, at times, really is s simple sport. Ideally the Eagles should look around the league at teams that YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT field top level defenses (i.e. Ravens and Steelers) and hire one of their defensive assistants.

The Steelers, in particular, have two guys (LB coach Keith Butler and DL coach/assistant head coach John Mitchell) who have been a part of the defensive system there for 9 yrs. and 19 yrs respectfully. When the Eagles hired Andy Reid he had not even been a coordinator in the NFL and they made him Head Coach!

The bottom line for me is that they need a fresh start philosophically and hiring a highly touted defensive assistant from a team with a history of fielding a good aggressive defense is the way to go. Forget Jim Mora Jr. and the possibility that he could take over for Reid at some point. This team set a record (for the third year in a row mind you!!) for points scored. They can win a championship with this regime and this offense, but it’s time for a change in philosophy on defense. Jim Johnson was GREAT but there will never be another like him.

Who should be the Eagles new defensive coordinator?

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49 thoughts on “Morning Chat With G. Cobb: Eagles Defensive Coordinator Candidates

  1. G,

    Just wondering if anyone has notice that the majority of the teams that made the playoffs this year and in the previous few years have head coaches that are defensive minded. They served at some point as defensive coordinators somewhere. And the head coaches that are offensive ones usually have a very good defensive coordinator e.g Sean Payton and Greg Williams, Mike McCarty and Dom Capers. But I just thought it was interesting to note that. It seems that in many cases, in big games, Andy is either matched up against a defensive minded head coach or a very good defensive coordinator. More recently, not matched up with an offensive minded coach who has a “so-so” coordinator. We usually meet those teams in the regular season. Beat them and lose to teams structured around defense. What do you guys think? Just a coincidence?

  2. Eric mangini……. I think with him and the Slim Fast plan by the way……. he can come here and change this teams strategy…….. We get a big NT…… Perhaps Nagata in free agency……… make Dixon your second NT…….. make trent cole be the pass rusher like Demarcus Ware…….. Trent cole doesnt need to be always in a three point stands often……. He’s too good…. make graham stand up as well….. He can be a gary Brackett type player with his size and stature to rush the passer (Michigan anyone…… Use him for his knowledge of knowing the system)…… Didn’t maryland play 3-4 defense???? if so fouko has some knowledge of the 3-4…….. We have speed at linebackers…… Clayton Chaney, and Bradley…….. IDK about Sims?????? Thats if he returns…… But my guess if where going to change….. We might as well go for gusto….. Go to 3-4 and get this team rolling……. 3-4 i think is the best defense in the NFL……. Look at the teams who have current success!!!!!

  3. I’d love to switch to a 3-4 defense but with without a CBA in place, teams will not have a lot of time to practice together during the offseason; which will make it extremely difficult to try and switch to a 3-4. Mix that in with a new defensive coordinator and it’s way too much change in such a short period of time; however, it’s not like the defense can really get much worse. Bottom line is that we all get on here every single offseason and talk about things we want that we think will make this team better and we never get them (outside of TO back in 2004). Last year it Julius Peppers; 2009 it was TJ Housh, 2008 I think it was Javon Walker. This year it’s probably Nnamdi that everyone wants and we all know it’s not going to happen.

  4. jroc, 3-4 sounds good in theory and I like it but it will take probably 2-3 seasons to have the personnel for that. Look at Washington. Top defense in the 4-3. New coach comes in with the 3-4 and they stink. It would take a couple of seasons to get the personnel ready. Our problem is that if Andy is still in charge of picking the defensive personnel then we are in trouble whether we run a 4-3,3-4, 1-5-5 or 4-6.

  5. G-Man,

    Here’s another Coach I have been reaading up on.. John Marshall , who was just let go from the Oakland Raiders whose been around for while and started with the 49ers back in the late 90’s as a DC and has also been the DC with the Panthers,Lions,Seahawks and was the Radiers DC the last 2 Season..I understand his area of expertise is the LB position… Maybe the Eagles can bring him in for that if they chose another DC, I believe he even played at USC with you or close to your time there… Can you shed any insight into John Marshall.. thnx

  6. Hey G- what do you make of Andy being on vacation while all of this is going on? Since he would have been still playing if we had beaten the Packers, he cannot say that it was a scheduled trip.

    Other coordinators are being signed, and our headcoach / gm is on vacation. What do you think of that?

  7. No doubt the 3-4 is an aggressive defense. But I think it depends on the coach whether it will work. We can’t just say, switch to a 3-4 and everything is fixed. It takes personnel and coaching as well. Of the last 5 Super Bowl champs:

    Saints
    Steelers
    Giants
    Colts
    Steelers

    Only the Steelers ran a 3-4. And 4 out of 5 teams that lost the Super Bowl ran a 4-3

    Colts
    Cardinals
    Bears
    Seattle

    If it’s good enough to get you there. It’s good enough to win.

    Personally, I think the best defenses in the league doesn’t have to do solely with the base defense but the mixture of the looks and being able to change schemes. We see the great defensive coordinators can give 3-3-5 looks or 1-5-5 looks. It’s the in game adjustments that’s more important in my opinion.

  8. I agree with you greenfan, this isn’t the time to go on vacation. I don’t see how the Eagles front office could have okayed Reid going on vacation this week with major decisions needing to be made and the clock is ticking.

  9. Eagles Defense has to be like most Super Bowl teams atleast 2 defenders with 10 or more sacks. Remember usually the two are LB & DE or LB &LB mcginest,Brushci,Romanowski,Harrison ……Eagles need LB’s to stop the run and blitz qb we never had that

  10. Perhaps Reid being on vacation is an indication that they have their eyes on coaches that are currently still in the playoffs and can’t discuss until their season is over.

  11. The big thing about Washington’s situation Scorp and others,
    Is that their front 7 is probably the oldest in age in the NFL so I don’t think you can compare it that it takes as long to convert with players who are younger,healthier and maybe came from similar systems depending where they played college ball at,
    But look at the Redksins front 7 in terms of age
    DE P Daniels 37
    DE V Holiday 35
    DT M Komoeatuea 32
    DT Haynes 29 going on 35 by the shape he was in
    LB A Carter 31
    LB L Fletcher 35
    The 3-4 is build on proper positioning,being disciplined on your gap assignments and speed to the ball..
    This Redskin group I listed above who most were heavily counted on are past their physical primes to be able to play an effective 3-4 at this stage of their careers

    I look at the Eagles
    DE — Tapp,Graham, (Maybe shift a Bunkley over and maybe Abriami comes back
    NT — Dixon, Jeff Owens and T Laws in as the pass rushing DT
    ILB’s — Bradley,Chaney
    OLB — T Cole,Fokou, Clayton maybe a Teo and a Sapp

    If the Eagles picked up in Free-Agency a DE (C Jenkins from the Packers would be a perfect fit)
    a NT (A Branch from Cardinals) and at lest 1 LB (Greenway,Leber,Anderson,Burnett or a Tullock)
    Then add 3-4 players in the Draft for the front 7 to develop Depth and this Defense would probably be an improvement from what we’ve seen in Philly the last couple of seasons.

  12. Could be btc24, but if we want to keep Jauron or try and get Mora, it needs to be taken care of now.

    Just seems like weird time for him to leave.

  13. Paulman you can also argue that the older players are more experienced and been in several different defensive schemes and could be able to adapt quicker than younger guys. It’s without a doubt in my mind that their defense would have been a lot better under the same system they’ve been in.

  14. jk, Andy u can stay but u have to do a few things. Get a Mathews or Mcginest type player LB then a Harrison or Vrabel type LB we need those qb sacks. then run the ball about 30 times like most SB winners do. this will open up pass and McCOY and Harrison was averaging over 5 yds a carry then well we won’t go into QB %

  15. @Tydm….. I almost jumped out my desk at work when you posted EAGLES JUST FIRED ANDY REID…………………. Man you got me…… LMAO!!!

  16. At greenfan and G, just shows more poor time management skills or he has no say in the coordinator hire. If that’s the case it’s showing the front office is really growing tired of Andys decisions.

  17. Reid will never help his QB by running the ball 11 times. DID U know since 1988 Super Bowl teams ave running the ball 28 times. Reid is half that. Did u know Westbrook averaged 5.1 yds a carry heading into the Superbowl Reid ran him 16 times. Pats ran Dillon 28 times. Did u know McCoy average 5.2 yds this year Harrison 6.1 McCoy ran 12 times against the Packers Reid has failed his Qb’s failed his players and failed the fans

  18. I think Andy deciding to go on vacation right now, really stinks. You’ve got planning to be done about what you’re going to do this off season, but you decide to go on vacation. The more I think about it the more it stinks. This isn’t the time for a key decision-maker to take a vacation. Reid might be sending a message.

  19. Reid wants his Qb’s to get killed……. Thats all…… He doesnt mix and match well on the field….. But I bet he knows how to mix and match Gravy and Mashed potato’s with no problem…….. With a GOLDEN CORRAL dinner roll when he’s sopping the gravy up…… He’s just a QB killer….. He makes other coaches resume look better………. And the Joe Webbs of the world also!!!

  20. It couldn’t have been a scheduled vacation because the Birds could have been playing. He’s going to get a lot of time off in a couple of months with the lockout arriving on March 4th. Why would you decide to go on vacation right now?

  21. Just got a Twitt from a friend/source down in Central Florida
    Former Florida Coach Urban Meyer is on a flight to Philadelphia with a open return Flight…
    ****Stay Tuned for Details********

    Coach AR will be let go witin 48 hours is my call…

  22. Absolutely Garry…that is why I asked the question. What coach goes on vacation now?

    Something smells fishy….was he angry at being forced to fire his DC…so he told the FO he was going on vacation?? I doon’t know, but it puts the team in a bad position with so many decisions that need to be made soon….you lose oppotuntities with good coaches who sign with other teams.

    Just doesn’t make sense. Do some digging G, I am sure you can get to the bottom of it.

  23. I know Reid supporters look at his wins but u fail to understand that Cowboys,Redskins, even Giants were bad for most of Reid’s Tenure. The coaches before Reid had to play Super Bowl winning Cowboys,Redskins,Giants Think about it Reid in a 4 year period played Cowboys(who won 1 playoff game) 8 times Before Reid poor Eagles had to play 3 time Super Bowl winning Cowboys (may i remind u the year the Cowboys did not go to Super Bowl they were still great just lost to awesome steve young 49ers) yes, that poor Eagle coach had to play those Cowboys 8 times i think Reids record would be very DIFFERENT

  24. We don’t have a defensive coordinator, but our coach has to go on a vacation, so we have to wait until he gets back before we make a move. I’m making some calls.

  25. The entire week has been a conspiracy, a sheet over the players,media and fans..
    I am going to change my name to Sherlock and see what else I come up with…
    Even if you do decide to fire some assistant Coaches which is every HC perogative..
    Wouldn;t you be man about it and have a press conference to explain why even if it’s out of courtesy to
    the man you just put on the unemployment line.. The Fact that Coach AR has been out on vacation
    tells me he’s toast and not in the picture any longer and the Banner/Roseman show want’s him out of the way and out of any coverstations about the future of teh franchise since Coach AR won’t be part of it.. Wonder what Coach MM is doing .. Is he on vacation too..

  26. I’m just wondering, maybe AR took vacation because the coach(s) he’s most interested in to fill the DC position are still coaching in the playoffs? I’m just throwing that out there, but I think he’s most likely upset that Banner and Roseman strong-armed him into firing McDermott and Segrest. Last year they forced him to finally part ways with McNabb. He can’t be happy that he’s getting power taken away from him. Is there any chance of a resignation coming from Reid soon?

  27. Some NFL News

    M Singletary joins the VIkings Def Staff as Linebackers Coach
    Dolphins go with another OC leaving Brad Childress still out there without a job

    And Eagles are ready to welcome Urban Meyer into town for meetings,interviews and possibly a
    job offer..

  28. Andy is on vacation because it will not be his decision who the DC is going to be. You have to start taking power away from him. You also need someone on the offensive staff who commands that if the playcalling is lopsided they have a voice. Mike Tice has a voice like that in Chicago. The person has to be a respected indvidual. Vacation… right now… with so many DCs on the market and filling jobs. maybe Andy knows something we don’t know. Maybe they already have a deal with someone on the staff of one of these final 4 teams.

  29. Well maybe Heavy A is on vacation because the FO told him its our way or the highway and hes taking time to think it over. I have nothing but love for Heavy A but if he did leave im sure chuckie would parachute out of the booth for a chance to get behind the wheel of this offense

  30. If Jauron doesn’t go to Cleveland, then I believe he will get the job. However, if he does go to Cleveland, which I think he will…i’d like to see Mike Trgovac become the DC.

    I think he has done a great job with every defense/defensive line he has coached. I also think the most talent on our defense lies in the defensive line. I think he could get these guys after the quarterback on a consistent basis.

    The secondary will work itself out with another CB, and the LB’s will play much better with better D-Line play. I think he could be a nice under the radar guy who could get this young defense flying.

  31. ChuckRob….last time I checked the head coach is Andy Reid. Usually head coaches are key voices in who becomes OC and DC. I’m not sure there is one team out there in the NFL that makes a decision on a coordinator without input from the head coach….considering the two will be working together…it only makes sense that he has a say in who he wants hired.

  32. What is this talk of Urban Myer being in Philly to talk to the Eagles? I have scoured the internet and have found zero mentions of this anywhere but from one poster on here. Paulman, do you have a link or any reliable info whatsoever that has any mention of this supposed “news”? I too am very suspicious of Andy Reids “vacation” and have wondered why noone else has brought this up. The timing is absolutely a red flag, esp after hearing Mcdermott was fired on Weds, only to be news to us that following Saturday. I’m starting to wonder if Andy is aware of something already. It makes ZERO SENSE that he is on an unplanned “vacation” during a week that will be of the upmost importance to the future of this franchise

  33. Add that to the fact that the Eagles have released to coaches already, and have not been quick to resigne Jauron, while letting other candidates get gobbled up by other teams. Its almost as if Andy is already out the door, we just havent been filled in, and they are waiting to decide on new coach to make up his next coaching staff. Who knows if there is anything to any of that, but this “vacation” makes no sense whatsoever with all the freetime Andy will have with the coming lockout, let alone to do it during a week where they have already let go of 2 coaches, which Andy has NEVER DONE in his time in Philly, and isnt around to help with interviews or input on who he would like to be his next DC. SOMETHING STINKS!! I dont know what, but something BIG is on the verge of happening, and it could just be the firing of Andy Reid, which I dont know is the best thing for this organization right now. Although, I would feel better having Andy be more of a GM and FO role, and leave the coaching to someone who cant only gameplan for opponents, but who can also coach DURING a game, adapt and change gameplans, understand time management, and understand when to go for FG’s and when to go for TD’s. Having the inability to use those aspects of the game properly, and more often than not actually hurting your team and sometimes losing games bc of your inability to properly employ those aspects of the game, that they would be fired for that alone. Esp after not only not improving in those areas after over a decade with same team, but actually regressing in them. Which I dont even know how that is possible, but AR has found a way to pull that off.

  34. Another point on another one of Andy’s shortcomings. He is an extremely poor judge of defensive talent. He consistently drafts players who are undersized, which makes the chances of them succeeding at this level all the slimmer since they already have one big strike against them for being undersized. But his inability to adapt and just during games is the most unsettling characteristic he possesses in my opinion..

  35. Thru another source from around the North Philly Area who knows a gal who works in the personnel Dept for the Eagles Team
    She said that Coach AR still had like 8-9 Paid Vaction Days left to take by March 1st or he would lose them. So he decided to take 4-5 this week before the Senior Bowl, followed by the Super Bowl Week and then the Indy Combines,etc,etc
    I am not sure if I am buying this story…

  36. If he did go on vacation that could be an indicator of 2 things:

    1. He has no say in the DC or
    2. They are awaiting for the rest of the playoff teams to be done to start picking at their staffs.

    The second point would allow Andy to go vacation because he’s in no hurry to hire anyone right now. I guess that makes sense. Who knows.

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