There’s nothing more enjoyable after a tough loss than calling on someone to be fired. It’s one of the real joys of being a football fan. So it’s little surprise that many Eagles fans have asked for the head of defensive coordinator Sean McDermott offered to them on a silver tray, preferably with a tomato stuffed in the mouth. So cute when they do that!
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, a former Eagles beat writer, recently told Mike Missanelli of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia that McDermott could soon be done.
'There is no question about that,' Paolantonio said, via Jordan Raanan of 97.5 The Fanatic. 'It may be time for; I don't know how much input Dick Jauron has in the defensive game plan, I'm sure he has quite a bit, but eventually they may have to make a switch there.'
The defense fell apart in a 37-19 loss to the Titans, giving up 27 fourth-quarter points.
'It comes down to the defensive coordinator,' Paolantonio said. 'He has some kind of brainlock or whatever it is -- lack of judgment, inability to make adjustments on the fly. The head coach was covering for him this week [in a press conference], you heard that.'
Mike Florio points out that if the Eagles were going to make a change, they would have done it by now to take advantage of the bye week. And does Andy Reid strike you as the sort to make any sort of dramatic move without having a gun put to his temple? No, he does not. If he was covering for McDermott in the press conference, that’s a surer sign of McDermott staying, more so than if Reid threw him under the bus. Allow my colleague Brian Solomon to sum up SalPal’s report thusly:
That's such a typical Sal Pal story. Pure speculation, backed by his 'years as beat columnist.'
So true. And yet, it’s a slow week. So I may as well treat it as TOTALLY credible. The Eagles currently rank ninth overall in yardage defense but 25th overall in scoring defense. There’s also the matter of Kenny Britt treating the secondary like a fire drill in the second half last week. Since Jim Johnson passed away and Brian Dawkins left in free agency, this hasn’t been the same defense at all.
But I don’t know how much firing Sean McDermott can help. Jauron is a very nice man and a good D-coordinator (though an awful head coach), but he can’t replace Dawkins. And I don’t think there’s anyone who can make chicken salad from chicken feathers the way Johnson once could. You’re talking about perhaps the finest defensive coordinator in pro football history. You don’t just step in seamlessly and replace the decades of experience and insight that Johnson brought to the table. The defense isn’t going to get magically better at this point, especially with Peyton Manning next on deck.
Don’t look for Reid to make a move during the year. But if this defense falls apart completely and the Eagles go into the tank? Yeah, then I think you can get the body bag ready.