According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Eagles are set to lose a member of their defensive coaching staff, and surprisingly, it isn’t Jim Schwartz.
This move comes as a shock. There was some speculation that the Eagles would part ways with Undlin after the secondary endured yet another year of the same issues, but very few really considered him to be a viable defensive coordinator candidate.
The shakeup presents a real opportunity to rebuild the secondary entirely. There are some interesting internal candidates (such as assistant coach Dino Vasso), but this is a rare chance to bring a new style of coaching to the table.
Undlin had an impressive track-record when he joined the Eagles in 2015, but as a positional coach, development is kind of the ultimate area you’re responsible for. Outside of Jalen Mills (who was forced into a starting role in 2016 due to injury) and Cre’Von LeBlanc, there hasn’t been too much to write home about in the way of visible development year-on-year.
Rasul Douglas turned into a tackling machine in 2018, but outside of that, it took 4 years for Jalen Mills to be disciplined enough to handle double moves, while Ronald Darby still couldn’t wrap up a birthday present without some help.
The secondary has been a focal point for criticism for so long now and it needed a makeover. There were so many debates over who was responsible for its consistent weakness. Some pointed the finger at the scheme, while others focused on the players. It’s truthfully a bit of both, but was there ever going to be change if it wasn’t forced upon the Eagles? They almost lost Schwartz but since he’s likely returning, it just seemed to be ‘situation normal’ for another year.
Undlin’s departure may be a blessing in disguise for a team likely already debating a full rebuild in the secondary, and like offensive coordinator, bringing in a fresh face could do them the world of good.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports