On the move? Everything you need to know about Eagles coaches who NFL teams are eyeing up

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Black Monday has arrived and it took just a few hours of 2018 to pass before the Eagles defensive Coordinator, Jim Schwartz, was reported as a candidate who would interview for the New York Giants. As the coaching carousel begins and openings begin to present themselves across the league, here are the names you need to know.

 

Jim Schwartz:

One year removed from a complete turnaround where Schwartz shifted the Eagles defense to his renowned 4-3 scheme, Schwartz has done nothing but draw positive attention to himself. A defense filled with playmakers ran rampant this season as they earned the title of the league’s best rushing defense. So what makes Schwartz so attractive to teams?

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And play hard, they do. No matter where Jim Schwartz has travelled during his time in the NFL through various roles, success follows. Here’s a quick recap of his career so far.

During his 10-year stint with the Titans, Schwartz helped Tennessee reach a Super Bowl and win three divisional titles. It was this path to success that led him to his first and only Head Coaching role to date with the Detroit Lions.

Taking over an 0-16 team is no easy task, but Schwartz would guide the team to its first playoff berth since 1999 with a 10-6 season in 2011.

After parting ways with the team in 2013, Schwartz would find himself in Buffalo, directing a Bills defense that allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL (16.9 ppg), notched a league-high 54 sacks, held opponents to a league- best 33.2 percent third-down conversion rate and allowed the second-lowest cumulative quarterback rating (74.5). Schwartz would take one year away from coaching only to land in the City of Brotherly Love where his defense has been anything but loving.

Bringing back the hard-nosed mentality that fans have longed for, Schwartz guided the Eagles defense to finish third in red zone defense in his first year. In 2017, things were only amplified. The addition of Timmy Jernigan and a revamped secondary gave Schwartz plenty of new toys to play with. More blitzing, more NASCAR packages and a lot more production on the back end, Schwartz has bailed the offense out on countless occasions over the last few weeks.

Will Schwartz reunite with Detroit to finish what he started, or take one of the most attractive positions in the league in New York? Only time will tell, but it’s just as likely that Schwartz decides to stay in the winning culture he has helped to craft.


 

John DeFilippo:

What makes ‘Flip’ so attractive to NFL teams is his former coordinating experience. The Eagles recently denied the Jets an interview for the then vacant offensive coordinator role, but they may not have as much luck this time around. However, the Eagles should do all they can to retain such an integral piece of the quarterback puzzle.

Hired by the Eagles in the 2016 offseason, DeFilippo used his former experience that involved developing Derek Carr who went on to lead all rookies in completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2014. That same success would be repeated with Wentz,, who set a team and all-time NFL rookie record with 379 completions. Wentz posted franchise rookie records in pass attempts, passing yards, passing TDs and completion percentage. That’s not to mention his 33 touchdown sophomore season that STILL leads all quarterbacks this year, despite the fact he has missed three games.

DeFilippo also served as the Browns offensive coordinator in 2015. With so many teams looking to draft the future of their franchise, DeFilippo will have plenty of eyes on him as a young offensive coordinator or even a quarterback coach elsewhere. The Eagles will no-doubt aim to keep him planted in Philadelphia, but that may be easier said than done.

 

Dave Fipp:

It’s only a matter of time before the league’s best and most consistent special teams coach gains some recognition. Fipp’s unit has been incredible this year as it has been in each of the year’s since he joined. For context, here’s a snapshot of just how efficient the Eagles special teams unit has been since his arrival.

Philadelphia Eagles Special Teams Coordinator Dave Fipp in a huddle during the NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Baltimore Ravens on December 18th 2016 in Baltimore. (Brian Garfinkel via AP)

2014: The Eagles special teams unit accounted for a franchise-best and NFL-high seven TDs.

2015: The renowned unit ranked second in the NFL in punt return average (11.4)

2016: The Eagles ranked second in the league with a franchise record 27.3 yard kickoff return average and led the league with five kickoff returns of 50-plus yards. In fact, they were the only team to record multiple kickoff returns for TDs.

2017: Blocked Field goals? Blocked punts? Blocked extra points? Donnie Jones pinning teams inside the one yard line? Jake Elliott scoring a 61-yard field goal at the buzzer against the Giants? I rest my case.

Whether or not a team would consider Fipp for a role higher up the ladder is a very different discussion, but Football is a game of three phases and Fipp is simply the best at what he does.

 

Eugene Chung:

Now this one will fly under the radar because that’s what happens with anything in the trenches. The Eagles assistant offensive line coach rejoined the team in 2015 after departing the City of Brotherly Love in 2012 after a two-year stint. Reuniting with Pederson in Kansas City, Chung played a huge pair in the Chiefs rushing offense that through 2013-2015 led the NFL in rushing touchdowns with an astonishing 54. So why would an offensive line coach be a target for teams?

1) Pro Bowlers
Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks (and for the benefit of this point, we’ll say Jason Kelce too) have all been incredible this season and an integral reason behind Carson Wentz’s stunning season. The Eagles also had a ten-game streak of 100+ rushing yards or more this year. To put it simply, they may have best offensive line in the NFL in terms of talent…but it’s nurturing that talent.

Jun 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles center Josh Andrews (68) and offensive tackle Allen Barbre (76) and assistant line coach Eugene Chung and offensive guard Matt Tobin (64) during mini camp at NovaCare Complex.t it’s nurturing that talent.

2) Development.
Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai may not be elite just yet, but the Eagles have done a great job in developing the two second-year players from a technical standpoint and much of that falls on Chung and Stoutland.

3) Stoutland.
The Eagles will not want to lose Jeff Stoutland, period. For teams looking to follow in the mold of the Eagles and build from the ball out, promoting Chung to an offensive line coach may be a more viable option.

4) Experience.
Originally a first-round pick of the Pats back in 1992, Chung has experienced it all. In 2016 he helped Jeff Stoutland field seven different starting offensive line abominations when the going gets tough and this year has been no different. Losing Jason Peters stung, but having Wisniewski sidelined for the last quarter of the season only made life more problematic. The Eagles showcased their strong o-line depth and being ready to go all falls on the coaches.

 

Corey Undlin:

Undlin is a name that will be on the lips of many this offseason. Formerly of the Denver Broncos where he nurtured three Pro Bowl talents in Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr and T.J. Ward, Undlin came to Philadelphia to try and resolve the backend burden. A couple of years later and that is very much the case.

Last year, he coached safety tandem Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod and helped McLeod set career highs in tackles (117), INTs (3) and PDs (10). In his first year coaching Eagles DBs (2015), Jenkins earned his first career trip to the Pro Bowl.

This season, his real coaching ability has been on show as someone who can develop talent. Take rookie corner Rasul Douglas for example, who was dropped into the deep end when Ronald Darby fell injured and had to fend for himself. The WVU standout has done nothing but impress during a progressional rookie season that was filled with highs and lows. How about Jalen Mills? A seventh round pick one year ago who has started every game except week 17 this year for the Eagles. As the most targeted corner in the league, the improvements in tackling and technique have been beyond impressive.

With so many coaching changes, all it takes is a reunion in Denver or maybe a defensive coordinator job somewhere to lure Undlin away. As a coach who has done nothing but nurture talent and help players reach their full potential, many eyes will be on Undlin.

 

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

 

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