Absent a turnaround, McDermott's days are numbered.
I've been saying for a few weeks now that it's time for Sean McDermott's tenure as defensive coordinator to come to an end, and now it looks like others are not only starting to hop on the bandwagon but believing McDermott could really be on the way out.
"There is no question (that McDermott could be fired)," said ESPN's Sal Paolantonio to Mike Missanelli on 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 has been a huge liability in the fourth quarter all year long, but it hadn't noticeably hurt them until the meltdown against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7.
The Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers specifically were about an extra five minutes away from making miraculous fourth-quarter comebacks on the arms of Shaun Hill and Alex Smith, respectively. The Titans were able to do it on the arm (and hobbled hand) of Kerry Collins, who is the definition of an underachiever.
McDermott's play-calling also allowed Kenny Britt to rack up 225 receiving yards and three touchdowns in only three quarters. Statistically, it's the worst showing by an Eagles defense against one player in the franchise's entire 77-year history.
And as Paolantonio points out, it was largely due to McDermott's inability to adjust.
"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."
I'm not exactly sure what Paolantonio is referring to since Andy Reid says basically the same thing at every press conference, but this is what Reid had to say following the loss:
"I thought Sean had a heck of a game plan, man. Doggone, that's a good football team right there," Reid told the media. "For three quarters, we had it right there. It's not all about the offense, and it's not all about the defense. Everybody has an opportunity, and we've got to make sure that we secure that up a little bit and finish things off and we're going to be okay."
Outside of maybe going to bat for him a bit too eagerly, I don't see much there. But reading what Reid is actually saying is about as difficult as learning Mandarin so you be the judge.
But either way, McDermott's play-calling has now cost the team a win it should have had. And if he's allowed to keep running the defense, it's going to keep happening.
There is talk that Jauron could step in and replace McDermott, but Reid isn't someone who is likely to fire a coordinator mid-season. The bye week would be the perfect time to make a switch, but since it hasn't happened yet I don't expect it to happen at all.
The offseason is a different story, but we'll have to deal with McDermott for the rest of this season at the very least. I do believe Reid will be giddy at the idea of getting his buddy Jauron to run the defense for next season, however.
Reid could make a friendly suggestion to McDermott that he allow Jauron to get more involved in the day-to-day operations of the defense, but that's probably as radical as Reid will get for this season.