Eagles Staying Focused Amid Schwartz Reports

Jim Schwartz's days with the Eagles might be nearing an end. 

According to ESPN, Schwartz will interview for the Giants' head coaching job next week and Schwartz has been linked to the Giants by several others as well. 

"Everybody gets paid when you're winning," Malcolm Jenkins said. "It's not surprising." 

For two seasons, Schwartz has led the Eagles' defense as the unit's coordinator under head coach Doug Pederson. While Schwartz has worked hard during that time to be deferential toward the head coach, his desire to return to a head coaching gig is there. 

And Schwartz, 51, has one of the major qualifications the Giants want - he has been a head coach before. He took over a Lions team that went 0-16 in 2008 and had them in the playoffs three years later. In his five years in Detroit, he compiled a 29-51 record before getting the boot. 

But with the Eagles' taking the top spot in the NFC and with his defense performing well, especially heading into the playoffs, it might be the right time time for Schwartz to cash in. 

"Jim Schwartz has done a heck of a job here," safety Rodney McLeod said. "He's a great coach, good leader, is definitely a good mentor as well. I'm not surprised that they are pursuing him. 

"But at the end of the day, we're not focused on that. We're focused on the task at hand, which is figuring out who we play next in these playoff games and that's the complete focus and mentality. And I'm sure it is for him too."

"I'm just worried about right now," Chris Long said. "I'm worried about the playoffs. I'm worried about whoever we play here in two weeks. Anything after the next month or two, that doesn't really concern me." 

That was a common refrain from defensive players inside the Eagles' locker room. Many of them have been around long enough to understand the business of the NFL, but also know they can't allow these things to be distractions. 

Pederson, who was involved in this process a couple years ago himself, said recently that making sure it doesn't become a distraction is the most important thing. 

"I think any time you have success as a team, I think your assistant coaches are going to be looked at for potential jobs," Pederson said Sunday night. "We'll cross that bridge when we get there."

Schwartz does not speak to reporters after games. Since his arrival in Philly, he has elected not to because he doesn't want to step on the toes of Pederson. So Sunday night, he was unavailable to answer questions about his reported interview with the Giants. 

But even if he did field questions, he wouldn't have said much. 

During the practice week in L.A., Schwartz was asked by a national reporter if he still aspired to be a head coach. He declined to answer. 

After Sunday's regular-season finale, players were complimentary of Schwartz, but they let it be known: they're going to stay focused on winning, not the possibility of losing a coach. 

"The biggest thing is, none of that is of my concern," Jenkins said. "We're just trying to get to the next week. I'm not thinking about it unless he's going to be somebody else's coach next week. If he's going to be with us, then all the focus is on here.

"Everybody in this building is worried about winning a Super Bowl." 

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