Andy Reid Showing Commitment to Defensive Overhaul

Written By Bob Cunningham On Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Once the hurt from the Eagles' playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers started wearing off, the ire of the fanbase was turned toward Andy Reid and his, let's say, methodical approach to finding a new defensive coordinator after sending Sean McDermott packing.

Dick Jauron was the favorite for the job considering he's one of Reid's old buddies and was already on the staff as the secondary coach; he's now in Cleveland. Jim Mora, Jr. was a candidate for a short time, but he's headed back to the booth.

Dennis Allen, the New Orleans Saints secondary coach, was brought in for an interview, but that was reportedly never very serious.

So a couple weeks removed from the season, the Eagles are still without a defensive coordinator and the fans are getting restless. But instead of focusing on the unsettling fact that the team still has not decided who will run the defense, perhaps we should take a half-full approach.

First of all, McDermott is gone. That's something I think we can all be happy about. No more will we have to yell until we're hoarse that no one in their right mind plays man coverage in the red zone, or having to hold on the top of our heads because McDermott refuses to blitz even when it's working.

Well, I don't know how everyone else feels about it, but I know I've been waiting to hear McDermott was fired since about halfway through the season.

Also out along with McDermott are defensive line coach Rory Segrest and linebackers coach Bill Shuey, both of whom failed to get their respective units playing well enough. And to replace Segrest, the team took on an aggressive approach and went out and signed a guy in Jim Washburn who is commonly referred to as the best defensive line coach in the league.

Firing a defensive coordinator and positional coaches who weren't doing their jobs might not seem like a huge step for a head coach, but it's the first time Reid has fired an offensive or defensive coordinator. The only guys he's fired (and relatively quickly) are special teams coordinators.

So the fact that he's making so many coaching moves at once is an immense move for Reid and one that should not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Because of the expiring CBA we won't get to see what Reid and Roseman have in mind as far as personnel moves are concerned, but with the way the coaches are dropping one has to expect that the defense is going to be cleaned out and revamped as well.

The defense has a lot of talent in certain areas, and really the only guy I can think of who needs to go immediately is Ernie Sims. From there, Reid and Roseman can continue their commitment to overhauling the defense by signing some key players like Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Babin. Also, trading for Albert Haynesworth -- if the price is right -- and re-uniting him with Washburn might not be a bad idea.

As far as the next coordinator, something tells me Reid has a guy in mind. Something also tells me this guy is currently a coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers or Packers, and that's why the team currently has a gaping hole on the coaching staff. Reid very rarely flies blind, and I wouldn't expect this to be any different.

Philly is usually a fanbase of pessimists, but in this case a cautious optimism and a little faith might be the best route for everyone.

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